Admit it. This is no news to you. You've known for a long time eating certain foods effect your mood. Isn't that why you race to that first cup of java in the morning? Not a coffee drinker? Consider asking any school teacher after watching kids eat those carbohydrate loaded lunches trying to find their way through foggy thinking to solve a math problem. Or ask a college student who drinks a 32 ounce bottle of sugar loaded liquid such as Mountain Dew to "stay awake" for late night studying. Heck, even my mom used to give me a cup of warm milk before bedtime to "help me sleep".
Does it come as a big surprise foods can and do effect your mood even make you sad? Researchers have found that certain foods can stimulate the happy parts of your brain known as serotonin receptors and other foods can have the opposite affect making you feel sad.
Take chocolate. Who doen't feel better while eating chocolate? Some people report even feeling better than when having sex! Here's why. Cocoa boosts the brains serotonin levels which is the same mechanism used in antidepressant medications. So the next time you feel sad see if a bit of cocoa will do the job. The sex? Well that's a different discussion.
Feeling an afternoon slump? What you need is protein says Dr. Marcelle Pick, author of the book Is it Me or My Hormones. She recommends you grab almond butter with half an apple, or a cheese stick or some carrots and hummus. Why? Because protein keeps blood sugar stable and you'll have sustained energy. The more energy you have, the better your mood. Add berries to that such as blueberries and blackberries which aside from containing heart-healthy antioxidants are also mood enhancers you'll feel even better.
Experts agree the more fresh raw fruits and you eat on a regular basis the better you will feel. There is a big difference between eating a meal of fresh, organic plants and whole grains to eating a plate full of dead, processed and chemicalized food. Eating fruits and vegetables are disease preventing, life giving and sustaining. Eating processed and chemicalized foods do nothing for your body besides stop you from feeling hungry, contribute to toxicity and deficiency, cause you to gain weight and develop disease. Not doing so good in the fruits and vegetable department try The Juice Plus Company solution.
To remove that dark cloud over your head be sure to say way from these foods:
Avoid Sugar - Fluctuations in blood sugar cause mood swings, lack of energy, inability to lose weight and pre-diabetes just to name a few of the problems that can bring down your mood.
Avoid Gluten - According to some experts gluten effects the stress response, immunity and the functioning of your nervous system, affect brain function and certainly energy.
Avoid Processed Foods - Have you heard the saying you are what you eat? Keeping that in mind, processed foods are really dead foods or not alive. Some natural healers teach food carries energy, and that energy is then passed onto our bodies when we eat particular foods. Processed foods are low energy foods causing low moods. Researchers have found trans fats found in processed foods have been linked to increased irritability and aggression.
Next time you feel sad, mad or depressed you may want to think about what you are eating it might be because of something you ate!
Your partner in health,
Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Certified Health Coach