Your Brain on Food
Does What You Choose to Put in Your Body Affect Your Mood?
· Beware of faux-health foods
· Fresh & Whole Foods keep your body happy
· Balance is the key
The old adage says 'you are what you eat'. That is truer than most people know. The foods you eat can fuel your body. They can improve your health. Certain foods can also affect your moods. Think about difference between a sunny and rainy day. One is perfect for BBQ, fresh fruits, and cold beverages. I can almost feel the sun on my skin. How about on rainy days? For me it's the snack cabinet. No preference, just snacks. It The food has brought back memories of a happier, simpler time in your life. Here are 5 ways that the foods you choose can affect your moods.
There are plenty of foods that can make you feel energized and happy . Things like a candy bar or a sugary soda can give you an energy boost. It will cost you later, though. These foods provide a blood sugar spike that boost energy, then lowers blood sugars quickly. This causes a 'crash'. You will be lethargic and grumpy. There are natural remedies to boost your energy. Try an avocado with your breakfast. This fruit is packed with good fats and fiber for long-lasting energy. Almonds are another great choice if you need a pick-me-up. Almonds are packed with magnesium. This mineral helps your muscles to ward off fatigue. Almonds are also rich in B vitamins. The B vitamins are great for energy. These nuts are wonderful for those who meal prep. They will stay fresh and retain their crunch for a long time. Fresh food including dark chocolate and bananas give you an energy boost. They also make you feel happy. Bananas are loaded with vitamin B, potassium, magnesium, and fiber - all of the ingredients your body needs to convert food to fuel. They are also sweet, which makes your mood feel better. Do you want a sweet treat that contains iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus? Grab a handful of dates. Chewy and delicious, these dried fruits make meal prep dessert a breeze. Comfort Food
Are you feeling gloomy or sad? Maybe you just feel a little down or depressed. Try some comfort food to lift your mood. While these foods are certainly not sugar free or low-carb, they are perfect if you need a mood booster. Comfort foods like macaroni and cheese, biscuits and gravy, apple pie and other carb-laden, sugary foods can elevate a mood temporarily. This is because sugar and fat stimulate a reward system in the brain. People also associate certain foods with safe, happy memories. A bowl of homemade ice cream may trigger memories at the farm when ice cream was hand-churned on a hot summer day. This will cause their mood to be elevated. While these foods certainly should not be consumed often, they can help in instances where stress relief or consoling are needed.
Just as certain fresh foods like avocados can give you energy, other foods can make you feel groggy and ready for bed. This is fantastic if it's bedtime. However, this is not so great if you need to be sharp for the boardroom. Feeling mentally fuzzy could be a result of something you ate for lunch. Did you pack fresh food for lunch? Was there turkey in your sandwich? Did you have a glass of milk at break? You could have taken a natural sedative without even knowing it. Milk, cheeses, and turkey all contain tryptophan. This sweet little compound will cause you to feel unfocused, really relaxed, and yes - sleepy. Your mood will be great, but your clarity will not. Best to stay away from these foods while you work. Stress and Depression
If you are constantly stressed out or depressed, it could be stemming from your diet. High sugar, high caffeine diets will keep your body in a constant state of nervousness. In order to relax, get away from sugar and high carbs. Avoid sodas (even sugar free sodas) and coffee. This will allow your body to calm down. You can also use the right foods to sooth stress and decrease depression and anxiety. Try sipping a cup of chamomile tea. This herb has long been used to relieve anxiety and induce relaxation. Try a cup before bedtime for better sleep. Salmon, oysters, and mussels have all been shown to be natural antidepressants. If you feel anxious at work or on the go, grab an orange or other citrus fruits. The vitamin C in citrus fruits has been shown to improve mood and decrease anxiety.
"In the last twenty years, there has been a marked increase in the number of people choosing to engage in more physical activity. However, this has done very little to counter rising obesity statistics and diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. The only culprit left to look at is the standard American diet"
Are you grouchy today for no apparent reason? Irritability is commonly linked to gluten sensitivity. Those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can have mood swings and depression or anxiety when they consume gluten. Aggressiveness and hyperactivity are also known to be linked to gluten. Common food culprits include bread, pasta, crackers, and cereal. Try a gluten free diet for a few days to see if the edginess and irritability cease. If they do, you should incorporate a gluten free diet into your lifestyle to avoid moodiness and irritability. Many of our moods can be traced back to what we are eating and not eating. Finding the right types of foods for your body, your goals, and your desired lifestyle can drastically change how you are feeling. Everything from sleeping better to more energy before and after workouts can come from your food. So remember - you are what you eat.