How the Food You Eat Affects Your Mood

There are people who eat everything in sight when they are stressed. And then there are people who stop eat at all. Food is an immediate response mode to our emotions like binge eating, comfort eating or not eating. Similarly, how and what we eat affects our mood too.

How the Food You Eat Affects Your Mood

There are three ways in which your food affects your mood.

1. Stress and cravings

When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol. This is known as flight or fight hormone. While it helps your body cope with external pressures, in lieu of it, it absorbs energy from the body, creating a drop in blood sugar levels. After an initial relief, you might feel tired and exhausted. If the pressure is long term, the effect will magnify. For example, while studying you feel like munching on snacks.

To recoup its losses, the body releases a hormone called glucocorticoids. Their aim is to regain the lost energy. This makes your body crave sugar and carbs.

2. What is serotonin?

Serotonin is a ‘feel good’ hormone. It helps the body regulate sleep, appetite, mood and even affects the way you feel pain. A lack of this hormone and you might find yourself feeling tense, irritable, tired, and craving sweets and carbs.

The trick with this hormone is that almost 95% of it is produced in the digestive tract. That means what you eat affects your ability to create it! Eat unhealthy food and inflammation can take hold in the gut microbiome, inhibiting the production of serotonin. Hence, eat right and you will feel much better.

Traditional diets such as Mediterranean and Japanese diet, that focus on fresh fruit and vegetable, includes seafood, encourage good bacteria in the gut and regulate the production of serotonin.

3. Are you angry or just hungry?

Skipped breakfast, missed lunch, not back in time for dinner? Perhaps, you are feeling a bit angry right now, right? Well, that’s ‘hangry’. If your body is hungry, your blood sugar levels drop and this makes your feel tired. Your body tries to ward off this feeling of tiredness and releases cortisol and epinephrine into the body to boost those levels back up. The side effect is ‘irritability’. Both the above mentioned hormones can give you a grumpy feeling.

Next the body sends the signals strongly that it is time to eat and need food. All this mixed up state, results in your unnecessary aggressive anger until your hunger is satiated and sometimes, the hangover even remains until hormones are settled down back again.

So, what can you eat that can help balance your mood when you are stressed without ruining your diet and health. You must not go for fast fixes in any case. With them you can feel immediate relief but in the long run, you will start feeling lower than usual. Anything that causes your sugar levels to fluctuate drastically is harming your mood and health both. Here are some suggestions.

1. Nuts

Perfect for a crunchy craving, nuts are jam-packed with nutrition which has favorable results on your physical as well as mental health. They contain magnesium (vital for fighting off stress), Omega 3 (helps relieves depression), tryptophan (good for balance), and selenium (for brain power).

2. Dark Chocolate

Got a sweet tooth? Even if you are stressed, there is no need to forbid yourself as dark chocolate has some wonderful qualities. Apart from being packed with antioxidants, dark chocolate stimulates serotonin.

3. Strawberries

Nothing like a bright summer berry for a good mood. High in fiber and packed with Vitamin C, strawberries can reduce cortisol in blood, that means less stress in body.

4. Green Tea

While English believe that tea can cure anything. Well, it works wonders for good mood because of being rich in antioxidants. Green tea also helps in fat-loss.

5. Eggs

Boiled, scrambled or poached. Eggs are rich in taste, Vitamin D and protein. It helps stabilize your blood sugar, leaves you feeling full and may impact those feel-good hormones. Pair eggs with some avocado and some whole grain toast for a healthy, nutritious meal that combats stress as well as leaves you satisfied.

About The Author

Rajul Tiwari

Rajul Tiwari is the Editor-in-Chief at bodyandstrenth.com and has 18 years of experience in media, content, publishing and education. She has worked with media houses like Daini.... Read More..

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