7 Surprising Ways that Food Affects your Mood
We binge eat when upset or tend to overeat when in a good mood. But did you know that not only does our mood affect your food choices, but what we eat also has a huge influence on how we feel?
Shocking as it may seem, but your unhealthy eating patterns are also a major cause of altering moods. A healthy eating pattern not only keeps you energized, but majorly affects your emotional well being. On the other hand, our mind and body do not corroborate if there’s no steady source of fuel from food. It can often lead to blood sugar fluctuations and nutritional imbalances.
While we have established that good food and good mood are synonymous, it’s important to understand how. Dietary changes can bring about changes in our brain, which often is the cause of mood swings and emotional fluctuations. There are neurons and neurotransmitters that are highly influenced by these ‘good’ bacteria of your intestinal microbiome. Along with limiting inflammation on the intestine lining, they improve your nutrient absorption capacity and activate neural pathways between the brain and your gut. This is why some food items ‘uplift’ your mood, while others, despite looking tempting cannot.
Talking of mood swings, women often face it majorly during PMS, whether it is anxiety or irritability or crying jabs. Here as well, what most women remain unaware about are that what you eat affects the intensity of your premenstrual syndrome. While food heavy in sugar levels can entice you, it’s better to keep them at bay. Rather go for foods low in sugar rather than high in carbohydrates. You can up your intake of Iron, found in leafy veggies, to lower your risk of anemia. Eating complex Carbs such as wholegrains and nuts can decrease moodiness, irritability and premenstrual depression, too.
Let’s look at our expert curated seven quick tips that can alleviate your mood swings and how you can watch out for good food to have good mood:
Load up on Calcium and Vitamin D
Research proves that high intake of calcium and Vitamin D reduces PMS symptoms and increases the production of mood-based neurotransmitters like Serotonin. Vitamin D supplement is also a proven way to maintain a positive mood.
Stock up on Magnesium
Magnesium has a positive effect on the crucial GABA neurotransmitter, which helps stabilize mood and reduce stress. Sufficient GABA means that people are more relaxed and less anxious. Even Serotonin, often associated with mood, emotions, appetite, etc, needs Magnesium to thrive.
Dark Chocolates to The Rescue!
While chocolates always look like the instant mood lifter, the key is to choose dark chocolate but that too in moderation. Dark Chocolate has its very own trigger for antioxidants that lower blood pressure, allow the walls of your blood vessels to relax and improve overall blood circulation. Enjoying moderate amounts of dark chocolate can reduce stress hormone levels and improve your mood instantly.
Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
A bunch of scientific reports will tell you how Omega-3 Fatty Acids, found abundantly in oily fish such as sardines, salmon, and mackerel, have a role in brain functioning. In fact, deficiencies in Omega-3 Fatty Acids have been linked to mental health problems.
Fruits, Vegetables & Nuts
An apple a day not just keeps the doctor but your bad moods at bay too! As noted, fruits and veggies have been linked to high levels of happiness. Elements like Zinc, Protein in foods such as spinach, carrots, cashews, walnuts and Brazil nuts are all healthy since they reduce sugar cravings, as well as delicious to boot.
Get More Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for the body to make neurotransmitters like Dopamine, Serotonin, Noradrenaline and enables the body to use fats, carbohydrates efficiently. Hence, very vital for your mood stability.
As always, natural herbal remedies come to the rescue. Inflammation can cause depression, but ingredients like ginger, turmeric help protect the brain and memory owing to their anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, ginger has been known to treat emotional problems since ages now.
A healthy happy life doesn’t necessarily have to be hard earned or expensive. Eating in moderation but eating the right thing is equally important. And it’s about time your food paves the way for a calmer, content and good mood lifestyle than just being the fuel to run you.