In the world, there are two categories of people. First, there are some that eat everything in sight when they are worried. Then there are those who refuse to eat at all. Binge eating, comfort eating, and other forms of eating can be a natural reaction to our emotions. But did you know that the way you eat and what you consume have an impact on your mood? That’s why going for that candy bar when you’re down might not be the best choice. This is why.
Food is fuel
Your brain works 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is always operating in the background, whether you are awake or asleep, to help you breathe, move, feel, and do so much more.
But what powers this behemoth? Of course, there is food. To function and perform what it does best, your brain need calories.
Does it make a difference where you obtain your calories? Yes! Consider your intellect to be a vehicle. If you give it low-quality fuel, it won’t take long for the engine to start spluttering, and you might even notice that it won’t travel as far.
If you replace it with high-quality fuel, you’ll have a longer, smoother ride. Which one do you think you’d prefer?
The same can be said for your physique. When you add in low-quality fuel, those empty calories from refined foods that are high in fats, sweets, and other nasties, you’ll be in a bad mood. A bad diet has long been associated with:
- low quantities of energy
- Mood problems
- difficulties with long-term health
Now replace the low-quality items with the high-quality ones. You know, fruits, veggies, and so on. Take a look at what those vitamins and minerals can do for you.
Foods that are good (and bad) for your mood
You already know the essentials, but let’s go over them again. What foods should you eat to stay in a good mood?
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- High fiber foods
- Micronutrients, such as magnesium
- Highly processed foods
- Fast food
- Crisps and snack
- Lots of sugar
- Too much caffeine
3 ways what you eat affects your mood
You could see a link between your mood the next day and that fast-food takeout, but what’s going on behind the scenes? This is the skinny on how your nutrition affects your mood.
1. Stress and cravings
Cortisol is a hormone released by the body when it feels stressed. This hormone is referred to as the “flight or fight” hormone. While it aids your body in dealing with whatever ‘threat’ it detects, it depletes your body’s energy and causes a dip in blood sugar levels.
You may feel exhausted and depleted after the initial high (stress). This effect may be enhanced if the pressure is long-term. You might crave chips or other snacks during a difficult period of study, for example.
Following this consequence, the body releases glucocorticoids to compensate for its losses. Their mission is to reclaim the energy supply that has been lost. What are their methods for accomplishing this? By making your body seek sugar and carbohydrates in order to replenish what it has lost.
2. Say hello to serotonin
Serotonin is a hormone that makes you feel pleasant. It aids in the regulation of sleep, hunger, mood, and even pain perception. You might feel tight, irritated, weary, and crave sweets and carbs if you don’t have enough of this hormone.
The trick with this beneficial hormone is that it is virtually always produced in the digestive tract (95 percent of the time). That is to say, what you consume has an impact on your ability to make it. Inflammation in the gut microbiome can cause serotonin production to be inhibited if you eat unhealthily.
You’ll feel lot better if you eat properly. Traditional diets that emphasise fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as seafood, such as the Mediterranean and Japanese diets, promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and control serotonin production.
3. The hanger is real
Breakfast was skipped, lunch was missing, and dinner was missed? Isn’t it possible that you’re a little enraged right now? That’s a sign of irritability.
Your blood sugar level drops when you’re hungry, making you weary. As a result, your body’s first reaction is to try to stop the sensation. It does so by releasing cortisol and epinephrine into the body, which helps to restore those levels. Irritability is a side effect. Both cortisol and epinephrine might make you feel irritable.
The body then sends you signals that it is time to eat. It uses Neuropeptide Y, among other things, to accomplish this. This hormone signals to your body that it is time to eat, as well as making you feel more aggressive. Put these two things together and you’ve got one grumpy individual.
Bad diet wrap up
Let’s keep things basic for now. This is the link between nutrition and mood.
To counteract the effects of famine and indicate that it’s time to eat, your body releases hormones. It may cause you to become angry, hungry, and crave all those nasty carbs and sugars due to the hormones it releases.
Ate something bad?
When you consume unhealthy foods for an extended period of time, it has a bad impact on your body and mind. Highly processed foods, as well as those high in fats and sweets, have a chemical influence on your body and mind, making you crave more but, in the long run, decreasing your mood.
So, what can you eat when you’re anxious that will make you feel better without causing you to lose weight?
Best good-mood foods
Forget about quick cures in this case. Although they may provide rapid relief for what you’re experiencing right now, there’s no way to know for sure until you’ve tried them for a while. You’re going to be grumpy. That’s because your blood sugar levels have risen and fallen as a result of the quick cure.
So, instead of starving your brain and body or overloading it with sugar, choose your snacks carefully. Healthy, healthy snacks can help you feel more like yourself by boosting your brainpower and regulating your moods. These are a few of the most effective.
Nuts satisfy a crunchy hunger while also providing essential nutrients for emotional (and physical) survival. Magnesium (essential for stress relief), omega 3 (helps with depression), tryptophan (excellent for equilibrium), and selenium are all present (for brain power).
2. Dark chocolate
Do you have a sweet tooth? Even if you’re anxious, there’s no need to abstain; dark chocolate provides a lot of benefits. Dark chocolate promotes serotonin production in addition to being high in antioxidants.
There’s nothing like a bright summer berry to lift your spirits. While a strawberry may not be your go-to pick-me-up on a bad day, it should be. Strawberries, which are high in fiber and vitamin C, can lower cortisol levels in the blood, resulting in reduced stress in the body.
4. Rooibos tea
If you’re feeling off, it’s time for a brew. Rich in flavor and color, it’s time for a brew. The British may believe that a cup of tea can heal all ills, and while this isn’t entirely true, there is a lot that a small cup can accomplish. When you’re stressed, Rooibos tea can help you relax by lowering your stress hormones. Not only that, but it’s also a fantastic fat-burner. It contains aspalathin, which prevents new fat cells from forming.
Poached, boiled, scrambled Choose a look that you like. Eggs are high in vitamin D and protein, which assist to regulate blood sugar, make you feel full and influence feel-good hormones. Combine this with avocado and whole-grain bread for a stress-relieving, nutrient-dense snack that will leave you feeling pleased.