During the day take time to think about how you feel. People do not acknowledge the connection between food and mood. Food does change your state of mind. For example processed foods lack nutritional value they can put people in a bad mood. When you’re eating chemical, artificial junk food you can have malnutrition. Examples: soda, ice cream, chips, fries are all easy accessible foods and most people turn to these foods to be uplifted from their moods, but the irony is these are causing the problem. Salt can cause people to feel tense. Sugar can give you a high then crash as soon as it goes down your emotions go down. What we really need to be doing with a food is seeking balance. The food we eat breaks down in the digestive tract, enters the blood stream, and creates changes in behavior through our neurotransmitters, impacting our mood. A neurotransmitter is a chemical messenger that relays thoughts and actions to the brain. For example if you have a bowl of soup you feel warm inside which brings people comfort. People have a tendency to crave aphrodisiac food when they’re on a date such as chili peppers, spice, avocado, chocolate. When one overeats the body’s blood flow is directed to the stomach and away from the brain, which causes people to feel sluggish and tired.
Each person’s food mood sensitivity varies; only you can determine the right amount for you to keep yourself in balance. Start to become conscious of your moods and you will be more careful with the choices you make. Record how you feel after you eat the foods and this will help you discover what is best for you.
Foods to Reduce Stress & put you in a good mood:
Your brain cells are capable of making their own chemical mood stabilizers, which can be affected by what you eat. High fiber, carbohydrate rich foods help put people in a positive mood. A healthy carbohydrate can cause the brain to produce more serotonin, which is a hormone for relaxing us. Fiber can help prevent overeating. Examples of these foods would be: sweet potatoes, rice, and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are another source to help avoid stress. Chronic stress can weaken the body to fight disease and cause inflammation. Vegetables and fruits are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which can boost our immune system. Examples can be: squash, carrots, blueberries, spinach, kale, watermelon, dark greens, lemon, etc.
Another key thing to do when your down is to go out side and get some sun, which has vitamin D. Vitamin D can strengthen your immune system and send serotonin levels in your brain which brings you happiness.
Food to avoid when your having stress:
– High fat foods. Fatty foods thicken our blood, which causes poor circulation it can make one feel tired and lethargic.
– Caffeine: When were stressed, many of us do not sleep and turn to coffee to keep us going. Cutting back on caffeine can help maintain a healthy sleeping pattern.
– Sugar: Sugar is a simple carbohydrate causing a crash affect after a high, making one feel worse after.
Ways for to improve your mood:
Reduce processed food you eat
Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
Eat grass fed meat
Add omega-3 fats in your diet
Strive for variety