Explores the relationship between what you eat and how you feel, including tips on how to incorporate healthy eating into your life.
Many will agree with me when I say that “Food is the best thing in life” because it is! Food offers so many options and each of it has a different effect on our mood. While a tub of ice cream helps in dealing with heartbreak, having a hot steaming cup of coffee recharges the body to send out a hundred emails at work.
Similarly, various foods help in soothing different moods. Whether you want to feel happy or shed off anger, there is food for every mood!
Your diet can play a significant role in how you feel emotionally.
Yes, your eating habits play a big role in determining your disease risks. But did you know that they also have a huge effect on your state of mind?
Here’s what the research says about diet and depression: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/food-and-mood-is-there-a-connection
What is the Relationship Between Food and Mood
It is well known that unhealthy eating patterns can cause mood swings. Blood sugar fluctuations and nutritional imbalances are often to blame. Without a steady source of fuel from the foods we eat, our mind and bodies don’t function well.
Beyond mood and general well-being, the role of diet and nutrition on mental health is very complex and has yet to be fully understood. But, you may wonder whether any healthy foods can improve your mood. Here are the ways to Boost Your Every Mood with Food.
We feel sad very often, especially when we get into a conflict with our loved ones, or sometimes even with ourselves. If we are feeling sad, upset or even low, the best thing to cheer the mood and feel happy is to eat ice cream. It releases endorphins (the happy hormone). Other foods to eat are strawberries and chocolates. Don’t eat too many chocolates though as they also tend to make us lethargic.
Another way can be trying to intake of oily fish to boost your brain health and mood. Oily fish is not only rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help ward off depression, negativity and mood swings, but wild salmon and tuna are good sources of vitamin B12, which helps to regulate the mood.
Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed by a busy day or are finding it difficult to wind down after work, try snacking on some blueberries to help cope with stress. Blueberries are high in vitamin C, which can help the body deal with high levels of stress. Also, the superfruit is packed with antioxidants which help to protect your body from its effects.
We all know that anger isn’t a good thing but it also isn’t something we are good at controlling. We often walk out of our boss’s cabin with a frown on our face and using cuss words in our mind. We also walk out of the house and slam the door hard behind us after getting into a heated argument with parents/partner. However, this won’t help in calming the anger down.
Do you know what will?
Next time you feel a rage coming on, try reaching for some nuts and seeds to help calm you down. Research has shown that Omega-3 deficiency can contribute to the aggressive behaviour of adult offenders and children with severe behavioural difficulties, while a Japanese study has suggested that zinc may ease anger in women. To up your intake of these nutrients, try opting for walnuts and flaxseeds, which contain both zinc and Omega-3 fatty acids. Also try eating fruits and leafy greens, eggs and chia seeds.
If you’re feeling confused, unfocused, forgetful, or like your mind is just running slow, give your brain a boost with a cup of green tea. As around 80 per cent of the brain is made up of water, drinking any fluids will help keep it hydrated and functioning at optimum levels. However, green tea also helps maintain alertness by regulating blood sugar levels and helps protect the brain and cut the risk of dementia.
Anxiety is gradually becoming a normal mood/feeling among people. It is a persistent fear one has about everyday activities or situations. Though there are a few exercises like meditation and breathing exercises to soothe anxiety, there are certain foods that help too.
If you’ve got a big interview or presentation coming up, try replacing your morning coffee (which can make you jittery) with a calming herbal tea. The calming effects of chamomile are so powerful that they have been found to reduce symptoms of mild to moderate generalised anxiety disorder, so try a cup of chamomile tea to help calm those last-minute nerves.
Chamomile tea and green tea is considered best for relieving anxiety. Yoghurt, turmeric, dark chocolate, almonds, blueberries, citrus fruits, and oats too help reduce anxiety.
Lethargy usually takes over when you overeat a meal or overwork and feel tired. There is no doubt that caffeinated beverages help is getting rid of lethargy but too much caffeine is bad for health. Whether you’re suffering from a lack of sleep or are generally feeling lethargic, the best options to fight are nuts like cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts and seeds like sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Fresh fruits also help keep the mind active.
Drinking beetroot juice could help revive your energy levels. Beetroot has a high sugar content and many energising nutrients such as magnesium and vitamin C. Make sure your diet includes sufficient amounts of carbs as they are a great source of energy too.
Sometimes we just feel irritated because of minor inconveniences. At such times all we need is to pump up our mood and what other best way than to eat the food that we love. Be it some fries or pasta, you must eat whatever you love to make yourself feel a little better. At times, doing this is fine. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Many people suffer from phobias, ranging from the common (like acrophobia – fear of heights) to the obscure (like arachibutyrophobia). However, it may be that your diet is to blame. Research suggests that folate deficiency may be behind irrational fears and anxiety, so try upping your intake of folate – as well as mood-boosting Omega-3 – by snacking on avocado.
Got a big date coming up and want to get in the mood? Try some foods rich in zinc to stimulate the libido and enhance desire. While oysters are a famous aphrodisiac due to their high quantities of zinc, if you’re not a fan of the slimy mollusc, try opting for shellfish, pine nuts or pumpkin seeds instead.
We all need a confidence boost from time to time, and luckily you can get a helping hand from your diet to relieve shyness. Researchers found that foods containing tryptophan (an essential amino acid) make people feel more confident. Good sources of tryptophan include meat (particularly chicken), fish such as salmon and tuna, and legumes.
Many people find themselves reaching for chocolate in the face of heartbreak, and this may be no bad thing. Chocolate contains many chemicals to beat the breakup blues, including relaxing magnesium, calming anandamide and mood-boosting phenylethylamine. Try snacking on dark chocolate (in moderation!) for the most health benefits.
Your moods highly depend on the kind of foods you eat and the type of diet you maintain.
The more healthy food you consume, the better your mood stays. Make sure you inculcate healthy foods into your diet which will not only maintain a good mood but also help maintain your overall wellness.
Since there’s no single food or nutrient that can prevent depression, consuming a variety of vegetables, fruit, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains will ensure adequate intake of vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health
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By Priyanshi Bhatnagar