Have you ever noticed there is a connection between the food you eat and your mood? Or the food you crave, and want to eat, dependent on your mood at any given time?
I have certainly learned to become more aware of patterns that exist in the way I eat and how I feel when I do (or don’t!) and have found that by really focussing on eating the cleanest diet possible, that I am also able to control my emotions and mood.
Here are some tips that I have come up that you can follow to try and regulate the way that you feel throughout the day.
- #1. Eat regularly: Food is fuel; skip a meal and you’ll feel tired and cranky. Don’t get yourself into a state of hypoglycemia – which is the #1 trigger for mood issues.
- #2. Don’t skimp on carbs: Carbohydrates have long been demonized, but your body needs carbs to produce serotonin—a feel-good brain chemical that elevates mood, suppresses appetite, and has a calming effect.
Only complex carbs—high in fiber and packed with whole grains—have a positive effect on mood, whereas simple carbs such as candy, cake, cookies, and other sugary choices, bring you down. Need a quick mood boost? Try an all-carb snack, like a couple of cups of air-popped popcorn or half a whole-grain English muffin. Avoid any carbs that are white in colour!
- #3. Get enough omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3s—found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as in flax —improve both memory and mood. Most experts recommend at least two servings of fatty fish per week; other plant-based and vegan-friendly sources include ground flaxseeds, walnuts, and canola oil.
- #4. Get enough of these nutrients: iron, vitamin B1, B6, folic acid, selenium, and vitamin D.
- #5. Watch your fat intake: Greasy choices—particularly those high in saturated fat—are linked to both depression and dementia.
- #6. Moderate your caffeine intake: in moderate amounts, caffeine can enhance physical and mental performance, but too much can spur anxiety, nervousness, and mood swings. Stick to one or two cups daily to dodge the negative effects.
I dive a lot deeper into the effects that food and nutrition has on mood in my 3 month and 6 month health coaching programs. If you would like to work one-on-one with me, schedule in a time to chat with me in a Get Healthy, Happy and Sexy strategy session. I set aside ten of these sessions each month, and would love to connect with you!
- I’d love to hear from you…how have you noticed that food affects your mood?