ASA Style Paper Example: How does What We Eat Affect Our Mental Health?

Posted on March 20, 2022

mental health

A person often has to write an essay in ASA format. To cope with the task, students look for an ASA format example on different credible websites, including Purdue Owl, the University of Oxford, and others. Students must know the rules to reference sources on the bibliography page and provide a correct citation inside the text. A good ASA style paper example shows how and where to write a title, how to format the paper, and what essay writing style is required. The template below describes a topic about the relation of eating habits to mental health. The sample includes the three main parts (an introduction, a body, and a conclusion) with an abstract of the idea and a list of used sources in the required format.

ASA Citation Example: How Does What We Eat Affect Our Mental Health?

We are what we eat. It is hard to find a person who has not heard this saying. Do all of them really understand what it means? Alice Waters described the importance of slow eating in her book. Besides, she touched upon the problem of human relations through the prism of meals. Previously, people paid more attention to the food and drinks they consumed. Now, people prioritize the speed and cheapness of low-quality products. Except for ruined eating culture and self-respect, eating habits can affect human mental health. The worse food people consume, the worse they feel.

What is the relation between eating products and our mental health? A human organism needs serotonin to function properly. Due to this substance, a person can sleep, have a proper mood, kill pain, get an appetite, and digest properly. Besides, it maintains bone health and causes nausea. If one eats a spoiled dish, it will provoke sickness and a person will vomit to get rid of the toxic things. The main source of serotonin is taken by a person with food. A person’s diet should include nuts, red meat, and cheese. If a person lacks this substance, one will experience mood ups and downs that might result in depression and anxiety.

The brain and stomach are connected. When the body receives the required nutrients, the brain receives a signal through neurotransmitters. In some time after meals, the organism will be able to balance energy. The digestive system is usually called ‘the second brain’ due to its value. How does the body develop neurotransmitters? Our stomach and bowels have bacteria. It is not a secret that people need to consume yogurt, sour milk, cheese, buttermilk, or take capsulated yogurt to increase the level of bacteria that keep the healthy environment inside the organism. Health advisors prescribe medicine and diet with bifidobacteria and probiotics during and after the intake of antibiotics. These bacteria are partially responsible for the creation of neurotransmitters. Consequently, when a person consumes pathogenic food, the number of “bad” bacteria grows. Healthy nutrition guarantees a balance of “bad” and “good” bacteria.

Fast food, sweets, and greasy meals provoke an inflammation that suppresses the reaction of the immune system to harmful bacteria. Instead of copying with a virus, germs, and different health problems, the organism tries to digest heavy meals. Over some time, after people stop eating their junk food, the organism starts feeling discomfort. As a result, instead of a positive mood and night dreams, a person experiences a low mood and sees nightmares or cannot fall asleep at all.

Sugar has a controversial effect on the organism. When people consume something sweet, the brain receives “positive impulses”. That is why women adore cakes, candies, and hot chocolate. The taste provokes a high mood, and women feel inspired thanks to the produced dopamine. Nevertheless, a sudden throw of sugar in the blood negatively affects the mood over some period because sugar is the main inflammatory. Moreover, a sudden rise of sugar blood can affect diet followers. First off, it causes hunger and even diabetes over time. Second, sugar feeds germs and pathogenic organisms. For example, patients with Lyme disease must follow a low-sugar and low-carb diet to prevent a sudden blood sugar drop and rise. Sugar provokes a sudden boost of borrelia that leads to acute symptoms of borreliosis.

When a person consumes healthy meals regularly, the brain receives the same signals daily. Due to that, a person feels the same every day. Unexpected mood flows might lead to a sudden mood drop that can result in depression, panic attacks, anxiety, and paranoid thoughts. Moreover, unhealthy food might lead to strokes and dementia. That is why people should feed their brains to preserve their thinking, logic, and memorizing abilities.

So, what should a person eat to keep mentally healthy? The consuming world requires cheap and fast lunches because people have no time and desire to cook. The manufacturers add coloring, taste enhancers, and preservatives that cause depression and hyperactivity. Sarah Jacobs, a holistic counselor of nutrition, names five things that help a person stay healthy. The first one is to eat food that provides “good” bacteria. Second, it is necessary to avoid processed food. Third, one should get rid of toxins that tarnish our body with the help of a detox program. Toxins slow down metabolism and suppress the immune system daily. Fourth, it is necessary to include superfoods in daily meals. They can cover the deficit of most vitamins and minerals. Finally, one should practice positive thinking to guarantee the well-being of the brain. It can be meditation or doing things that distract from problems and let one relax.

People need to prefer whole food, fiber, antioxidants, folate, magnesium, fermented products, and vitamin D. A person should include vegetables, fruit, beans, whole grains, berries, greenery, chia seeds, salmon, melons, mushrooms, chocolate, bananas, kombucha, and nuts. The difference between healthy and unhealthy meals one can see thanks to the research of personal emotions and feelings. For example, a person can cleanse the body by keeping to a diet that excludes sugar and fast food for at least 21 days. Afterward, one should include the excluded products one by one. One will definitely see mood and health changes. Healthy meals let people feel better for a long period. Only those who have not tried it will never believe.

To conclude, food consumption and brain activity are interrelated. One can read an ASA citation example about proper nutrition to know how to start. One should take care of what to eat, drink, and how frequently to have meals. One should not be forced to eat healthily, otherwise, the emotions will be negative. One should decide to eat healthily independently. Only an independent decision can provide the desired results. Proper nutrition, brain exercising, and body training help to take care of body health, including brain activity.


  1. 5 holistic health hacks that can help you stay healthy for life. The Active Times. Published October 8, 2015. Accessed February 4, 2022.
  2. Food & your mood: How food affects mental health – aetna: Foods that help your brain health. Aetna. Accessed February 4, 2022.
  3. Purdue Writing Lab. References page formatting // purdue writing lab. Purdue Writing Lab. Accessed February 4, 2022.
  4. Scaccia A. Serotonin: Functions, normal range, side effects, and more. Healthline. Published August 19, 2020. Accessed February 4, 2022.
  5. Serotonin: Function, uses, ssris, and sources. Medical News Today. Accessed February 4, 2022.
  6. Waters A. We are what we eat by Alice Waters: 9780525561538: Books. Accessed February 4, 2022.
  7. Watson S. Good vs. bad germs: Here’s what you should know. Healthline. Published February 9, 2017. Accessed February 4, 2022.
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