Product Spotlight

Food and mood: The relationship between what we eat & how we feel

June 3, 2024

Dr. Max Major

Senior Clinical Psychologist

Unmind Product Spotlight: Calendar Reminders


In our latest Member Spaces session, we explored the fascinating link between diet and mental health from a biopsychosocial perspective. Here are the highlights from our discussion:

🔍 The biopsychosocial approach

Using the biopsychosocial model, we explored how biological, psychological, and social factors affect our mood and dietary choices. This comprehensive approach helps us appreciate the complexity of the food-mood connection. There are many factors that influence how and what we eat, and how we feel. Many of these we cannot change (e.g., cultural traditions, religious practices, media messages, and maybe not even family expectations) and may not even be aware of. The relationship between food and mood can be hard to navigate but recognising the different factors is the first step to changing that relationship for yourself.

🍽️ The gut-brain connection

Food affects how we feel, and how we feel affects how we eat. We examined the two-way pathways that connect our diet with our emotions and overall wellbeing. Exploring emerging research on the gut-brain connection, how emotions trigger eating habits, and how our environment shapes our relationship with food. 

🧠 Nourishing body and the mind

Certain foods can boost gut health and in turn can benefit both our physical and mental health, helping us maintain a balanced lifestyle. Everyone is different, but general advice is to aim for 30 different plants per week (eat the rainbow), eat like the Mediterranean’s, and include fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. By understanding their nutritional benefits, we can make better choices for our bodies and our minds.

🌿 The importance of eating habits

The session emphasized what we eat, how we eat, and our relationship with food. We discovered the important role of attention in this relationship and experienced the benefits of mindful eating practices. We considered the potential origins of common eating habits, how our perception of foods and dieting myths influence these habits, and how we can change this recipe to enhance our overall wellbeing. 

🌈 Balancing indulgence and health

We tackled the age-old question, "can you have your cake and eat it too?" Participants discovered ways to enjoy their favorite treats while maintaining a healthy diet, emphasizing moderation and balance, and how to navigate tough situations when faced with what might be conflicts between our physical and mental health (spoiler, you can have both).

Echoes from our participants

As we continue to explore the profound impact of our dietary choices on our mental health, let's embrace the knowledge shared in this session to make informed, mindful decisions about what we eat. Thank you to everyone who joined us on this journey of discovery.

Absolutely great session! Well prepared and fun.
Great session! Super helpful

What’s next?

Stay tuned for more insightful sessions on wellbeing and personal growth:

🌈 Nurturing LGBTQ+ Mental Health with Dr. Anthony Newton - June 12, 2024

🪴 Navigating Adversity: Impactful Strategies for Resilient Leadership with Dr. Kati Adeseko - July 9, 2024

🚸 Thriving as a Working Parent: Practical Strategies for Success with Dr. Kati Adeseko - to be announced

🚀 Mastering Prioritization and Accountability: Tools for Achieving Inner Peace Amidst Chaos with Verity Bradley and Hilary Johnson - to be announced

We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!

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