How Can Food Impact Your Mood?
Our mood swings about a million times a day – and that’s when we’re not under stress, in pain, annoyed or irritated, and that’s just the way it is. With so many different impulses affecting our nervous system all day long, it’s only expected not to be in the same mood from morning ‘till night. But, is there a way to control and stabilise our mood? While some suggest meditation, others prefer levelling their mood with food. Depending on the time of day and their state of mind, they pick specific foods and drinks that affect them in various ways.
Better Food, Better Mood
How does food affect our body and, more specifically, does it have anything to do with our mental health? There is no rule of thumb, as not all people react to food the same way, nor do they crave it in the same situations. However, experts disagree. Yes, everything that applies to one person doesn’t have to apply to others, but there are a few universal points: if you eat properly, diversely and regularly, you’ll feel satisfied, content and happy. Moreover, if you introduce new items into your diet, you can trigger a more positive reaction, while, on the other hand, avoiding certain meals that bring you down can be helpful as well. In short, a balanced diet will make you feel good, but a more thought-out one can put your mood over the top.
How to Feel Better?
What many people don’t know is that there are several eating strategies that can help you feel better than usual. Firstly, remember to eat regularly – at least four to five times a day – and eat enough. You may limit your food intake when trying to lose weight, but don’t avoid meals day after day. Eating approximately the same amount of food at the same time of the day is going to, according to a 2014 study, stabilise your mood, the amount of carbohydrates in your body and your blood glucose level.
Furthermore, be sure to discover which foods make your mood swing – if you feel bad and depressed after you’ve finished an entire cake or a large portion of ice-cream, just don’t eat that much. In contrast, if certain sweets elevate your mood, take them whenever you’re feeling down, but not too much. Finally, try to avoid the most common mistakes – people who eat irregularly and don’t include enough carbs or iron in their diet often have problems with mood swings.
What to Eat?
Your everyday diet must include enough helpful nutrients and healthy items for you to function. Carbs, vitamins, minerals, fibres, folic acids and omega-3 fatty acids are just some of the things that’ll make you feel good. Therefore, be sure to try foods that elevate the mood, such as oats, meat, fruit, oysters and even water – this is something you probably don’t know, but water has a lot to do with your mood, and more water will just make you more and more serene.
Another great choice is dark chocolate: this is great comfort food, yet still not as harmful as regular chocolate. Since it makes the brain release more endorphin, which, consequently, boosts your levels of serotonin, you can take a small portion of dark chocolate on a daily basis.
If your diet doesn’t seem to elevate your mood, you should try something else. We could all use a little help once in a while, and turning to food supplements is always a good option. Additionally, some of these have other benefits – EHP Labs’s Oxyshred, for example, won’t only elevate your mood, but also burn your unwanted fat, too.
What to Avoid to Feel Good?
In addition to the options that boost your mood and help you feel better, there are some foods that bust your mood, so you should definitely avoid them. Most experts draw attention to sugar, caffeine and alcohol, but there’s more – junk food, for instance, makes you bloated, depressed and overweight, while processed food is never good for your digestion. All of these will make you physically ill and thus affect your mental health in the process, so avoid them at all costs.
Author Bio – Samantha has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere. When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her on twitter, or in a tea shop.