The old saying, “You are what you eat” couldn’t be more accurate. The food you consume can affect your mood and emotions. It is no surprise then, that consuming sugar can have long-term implications for your mental health. Eating simple sugars in excess can increase your risk for mood disorders, including depression.

Refined carbohydrates are linked to depression

According to a study by researchers in London, a diet that is rich in whole foods such as fruit, vegetables and fish can lower the risk of depression in adulthood. The study documented that people who ate more processed foods such as sweetened desserts are more susceptible to mental health problems than those who consume whole foods. Processed foods contain copious amounts of refined carbohydrates that your body breaks down into… you guessed it… sugars. Eating more fruit, vegetables and fish can improve your cardiovascular and brain health and help prevent chronic diseases by reducing your daily consumption of simple sugars. 

Sugar is more addictive than cocaine

We’ve mentioned this before, and we’ll say it again and again until it sticks. The truth is that our brains’ sweet receptors are not adapted to receiving constant, high levels of sugar. The intense sweetness of some foods stimulates the brain’s reward centre, creating a sugar rush that is arguably more pleasurable than the effects of cocaine. Even cocaine addicts can feel the effects of sugar every time they consume it. Chemically, a sugar rush or sugar high can affect your brain more than a cocaine high does, and self-control is almost impossible to exercise for food that literally makes you happy, if only for a while.

Curb your sugar addiction and make active efforts to look for hidden sugars in the foods that you eat. Just like cocaine, as you eliminate sugar from your diet, your cravings for it will become few and far in between.

Sugar is linked to inflammation, which can affect your mood

Having an inflamed body makes your brain suffer as well, and this can affect your mood. Some symptoms of inflammation which are also common symptoms of depression are a loss of appetite, a change or fluctuation in sleep patterns and heightened perceptions of pain.  Due to the nature of these symptoms, it is highly probable that depression may be an underlying sign of chronic inflammation in the body

If you suspect chronic inflammation in your body, speak to your doctor about it. Running test can help you determine the cause of your body’s inflammation and detect problems that are below the surface. A diet made up of whole foods may reduce inflammation in your body but you should also consume more anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, black pepper, ginger, saffron, cinnamon and lime.