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The Food-mood Connection Is Real but What’s the Science Behind It?

The Food-mood Connection Is Real but What’s the Science Behind It?

Intuitively, food makes us feel good. The Sunday roast with family gathered around, siblings squabbling and a large glass of enticing red wine. But why does food make us feel this way? Is it purely learnt from experience and memories, or is there some basic, biochemical process that triggers an emotional response in us.

Intuitively, food does make us feel good.

Imagine a Sunday family dinner with siblings squabbling, dishes loaded with cheese and a glass of enticing wine.

Mouth-watering, isn’t it?

But, why does food make us feel this way? Is it purely because of our memories and experience or a biochemical process, triggering an emotional response? Let us understand.

For many of us, starchy carbohydrates are the kind of food group we reach out for on the days when a salad simply won’t help. There is just something more comforting about a bowl of hot pasta with a liberal grating of cheese. When we eat carbs, or foods that are rich in carbs, our body tends to release insulin. Critically at this very same time, the intake of carbs also triggers the entry of tryptophan in the brain.

This is where the food and mood connection comes into play. Tryptophan is an amino acid and also the precursor of serotonin. Low levels of this serotonin has been increasingly associated with a depressed state of mind.


The newest buzz in the wellness world is gut health. And it can definitely not escape the discussion when it comes to feel-good food. About 90 percent of the serotonin production takes place in the gut, hence, it makes logical sense to take care of your gut if you want an uplifted mood.


Red meat has not had a mention so far but it is important. It is one of the best dietary sources of zinc which is a micro-nutrient, well-studied as closely related to low mood and depression. Depression has been associated with deficient levels of this nutrient.

Vitamin B12, both extensively and exclusively found in animal products, is another important vitamin to be considered in terms of mood.


Green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid. Studies measuring the impact of this particular amino acid on the brain have come out with results indicating that it significantly increases the ‘alpha waves’ in the brain– the type of waves that are in full swing when you are in a relaxed mood.

Conclusion Gaston is a one-stop solution for all types of food moods, your dietary goals, and meal kit delivery that are allergy-free, helping you make informed food choices for your health and wellness. This blog is written by the Gaston team. Create your very own dietary profile using our online special food delivery application and have a fine ‘food’ experience. Go Gaston! Learn more at


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