Many people don’t realize that the foods they eat have a lot to do with the mood they are in. In other words, what you put into your mouth can directly affect how grouchy, tired, emotional or happy you feel. If you tend to find your mood fluctuating significantly from one day to the next — feeling happy and energetic at one moment and drained or irritable the next – this emotional volatility may be exacerbated by what you are eating. It can be incredibly eye opening and even life changing to better understand the connection between a balanced mood and your daily eating habits. Hopefully the following information can help you better regulate your mood, simply by paying more attention to what foods are on your plate!
The food-mood connection has been under scrutiny for some time now. Studies conducted over the years have found that certain foods can directly affect your mood – some positively and some negatively. A well-balanced diet can be just as effective as other mood-boosting remedies such as exercise, getting enough sleep, and eliminating stress in your life.
It has been found that certain nutrients can go far in boosting your mood. One of the most well-known mood-boosting nutrients is Omega-3 fatty acids. To ensure that you get plenty of Omega-3, try incorporating more fatty fish into your diet such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout. Also, adding foods like walnuts, flax seed, and canola oil can help regulate and even enhance your mood.
Research has also found that people low in certain B vitamins, especially Vitamin B12, produce less serotonin. Serotonin is the primary neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for stabilizing mood. This is why it is important to incorporate foods high in B vitamins into your diet. Green vegetables, beets, lentils, shellfish, dairy products and lean beef are all excellent sources of Vitamin B. Foods rich in Vitamin D can also can enhance your mood. When you regularly consume foods like eggs, low-fat dairy products, and fatty fish with bones, it will help ensure that you are getting plenty of Vitamin D.
Foods that can cause your blood sugar levels to rise rapidly and then plunge quickly are those loaded with refined carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, crackers and plain pasta. Steering away from foods loaded with simple carbs is one way to avoid those unwanted mood swings. Similarly, eliminating snacks and sweets made with refined sugar can also reduce emotional ups and downs. When you get an attack of those late afternoon or early evening munchies, instead of reaching for a candy bar or a handful of cookies, grab an apple and peanut butter, a piece of cheese, or carrots and hummus.
These are all well-balanced food choices that will help keep your blood sugar levels stable while boosting your mood at the same time. If doing something as simple as adding fish to your daily diet or choosing to eat a handful of almonds instead of a Snickers bar can enhance and stabilize your mood, there really is nothing holding you back from becoming happier, healthier, and more emotionally balanced!
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