Skip to content

Blog

Food & You: The Body-Mind Connection

Published on September 3, 2016 by Dr. Myra Reed

Did You Know?
The human brain consumes the largest portion of the total energy that is generated in the human body – up to 20%!

There’s no doubt about it: what we eat, and how much we eat, has a direct impact on our physical health. But did you know that those same choices also influence mood, mental alertness, memory, and emotional wellbeing? Food can act as medicine, have a neutral effect, or it can be a poison to the body and mind.
When food acts as poison, it creates inflammation, which alters the body’s balance of nutrients, hormones, and neurotransmitters. This directly affects your body’s ability to manage and heal from stress or illness.

While some body-mind effects are due to naturally occurring nutrient content in food, much is due to hidden additives. Below, are four common culprits. If you’re experiencing symptoms that interfere with your quality of living, talk with Dr. Myra Reed and her staff about the role these or other foods may play in your health.

Foods that Impact Body-Mind Wellbeing

Caffeine: The most socially accepted psychoactive substance in the world, caffeine is used to boost alertness, enhance performance, and even treat apnea in premature infants. Caffeine is frequently added to other foods, so be mindful of total consumption. Too much caffeine (500-600 mg daily) interferes with sleep quality, which affects energy, concentration, and memory. Caffeine can aggravate other health conditions, cause digestive disturbances, and worsen menstrual symptoms and anxiety.

Food Dye: Those brightly colored, processed and packaged foods come with a rainbow of health risks. Listed on ingredient labels as “Blue 2,” or “Citrus Red,” food dye has been documented to contain cancer-causing agents (e.g., benzidine). They’re also associated with allergic reactions and hyperactivity in children. Dyes are sometimes used to enhance skin color of fruits and veggies. A number of dyes have been banned from use in foods and cosmetics around the world.

Sugars: Increased sugar consumption (as much as 30% over the last three decades for American adults), is linked to decreased intake of essential nutrients and associated with obesity, diabetes, inflammatory disease, joint pain and even schizophrenia. Too much dietary sugar can result in blood sugar fluctuations, causing mood swings, anxiety, irritability, headaches, and increased depression. Sugars that can act as poison include High Fructose Corn Syrup, table sugar, artificial and “natural” sweeteners.

MSG: Monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer common in packaged and prepared foods. Although the FDA considers MSG “generally safe,” some individuals experience a complex of physical and mental symptoms after eating MSG-containing foods. Symptoms vary but can include headache, sweating, nausea, chest pain, heart palpitations, and overstimulation of the central nervous system which can lead to alterations in sleep, mood, and immunity.

Becoming aware of your food choices, why you make them, and how you feel mentally and physically is an important first step in understanding your personal body-mind food connection. Dr. Reed and her staff may ask you to keep a mind-body food journal to provide a clear picture of how your food choices affect your health.

References


December 10, 2021

Plant-Based Diet: How Do I Start?

The What, Why & How of Plant-based Nutrition, for Everyone Here’s something that might surprise you: not all plant-based diets require elimination of meat. From ...

August 4, 2021

Vitamin D: What You Need to Know for Your Health

Worldwide interest in the health protective benefits of Vitamin D has increased exponentially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We now know that low Vitamin ...

April 13, 2020

Stop the Spread, Wear a Mask.

We now have KN95 Masks available for purchase! KN95 masks are arriving this weekend. Starting Monday, April 13th, 2020 we will be selling them at ...

April 14, 2019

FODMAP Diet for IBS

Digestive Distress Diet Digestive complaints are among the most common health concerns. If you’re experiencing distress, Dr. Myra Reed will evaluate the foods and substances you are eating to identify where a reaction exists. There are many ways to conduct a dietary analysis, including food diary, food allergy testing, muscle testing, and elimination diets. The ...

April 13, 2019

Fermented Foods

You can support your gut health with fermented, nutrient-potent foods. Ranging from tangy to bitterly sweet in flavor, these foods originated decades ago in the cultures of Japan, China, India, and Germany.Fermenting imbues foods with the health-enhancing properties of live bacteria, providing an ample source of probiotics, which are essential to a strong digestive tract. ...

April 12, 2019

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Digestive Distress: Holistic Approaches to Irritable Bowel Syndrome When the smooth rhythm of the muscles of the digestive tract is disrupted, either moving too quickly or too slowly, we experience digestive distress. For some of us, this distress can be frequent and painful, creating a major disruption in our life and in our lifestyle.Several health ...

close