The Relation Between Food and Mood
Have you ever realized that the food served on your plate could very well impact your mood for the upcoming day? Well, it certainly does I There is a very complex relationship between food and the moods of a person. Some may start the day with a very laidback and a lazy approach, if they have gorged on a lot of carbs the previous night, while some may not be affected to that extent.
Various factors can influence your mood and some of these include the time of your meal, the type of meal, the amount of food and its nutrient composition. With modem fast paced lifestyles, it gets difficult to maintain healthy eating habits. The lack of time, continuous efforts to meet competitive demands at the workplace and erratic eating habits adds to your stress, disrupting your mood.
What You Eat Affects Your Mood
Skipping meals and consuming fewer calories than required can make you feel sloppy, tired and lethargic, because good nutrition is the framework of a healthy body and mind. If you are consuming a diet that is devoid of the essential food groups, it is certainly going to be deficient in many nutrients. For example, if you are skimping on important nutrients like iron in your eating regime, you are likely to feel low on energy, depressed or may go through frequent pangs of anxiety.
Say No To Processed Foods
Likewise, eating too many processed foods on a regular basis may result in insulin imbalance and inflammation. The excess amounts of sugars in these processed foods that are often disguised under labels claiming ‘low-fat,’ ‘low sugar’ are the culprits. Consumption of such foods results in insulin levels to spike and drop suddenly, making you feel hungry quickly. Elevated levels of C- reactive protein which is linked to increased incidences of cognitive problems and depression has been attributed to a large intake of processed foods.
Eat Right For A Better Mood
Add colour to your dinner plate by including all the important food groups such as cereals and grains, pulses and legumes, milk and milk products, fish and poultry, fats and oils. Also, don’t skip breakfast. Eat at regular intervals with three main meals and two (in-between) snacks making it a norm for the day. Nuts, vegetable sticks like carrot, cucumber and fruits can be great as your mid-meal snacks. Frequently munching on these will help stabilize your blood sugar level and keep you energetic for the day.
opt for good sources of protein in your diet such as eggs, fish, poultry, low fat milk and milk products like curds, buttermilk, low tat cheese, and paneer. Proteins are known to consist of amino acids and amino acids are the building blocks of neurotransmitters in the brain, which can certainly impact your concentration and mood changes.
Don’t forget to get your daily dose of vitamin D by welcoming the sunshine. You can find vitamin D in egg yolks, fatty fishes like mackerel, tuna, fortified foods like some dairy products, soymilk, orange juice and some cereals. Researches have linked incidences of depression and mood disorders with low levels of vitamin D. Hence, ensure your diet is not deficient in this nutrient.
Sprinkle some pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in your salads or simply have them plain as they are packed with magnesium which helps improve sleep.
Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet as they have been found to improve cognitive functioning and reduce depression. Consume more of chia seeds. walnuts, flaxseeds to help you fight the blues.
Say no to high sugar foods or refined carbohydrates like refined flour and related products. Incorporate whole grain cereals and its products such as wheat flour, oatmeal, and millets like jowar, bajra and ragi in your daily routine.
Proteins are known to consist of amino acids that are the building blocks of neurotransmitters ¡n the brain which can certainly impact concentration and mood changes
Grab a bite of a fruit instead of a dessert when you have sweet cravings. Eat a whole fruit instead of a sipping a fruit juice, as the fibre present in the fruit will not only slow down the absorption of sugar but will also add to satiety. Choose green tea and not an aerated drink or soda beverages, as recent studies have shown that green tea may offer protection against many brain disorders as well as help maintain a happy and positive mood.