Food and state of mind

4 Dec

Research indicates that, in some ways, diet may influence mood. Dietary changes can bring about changes in our brain structure (chemically and physiologically), which can lead to altered behavior. Try to incorporate as many as the following suggestions as possible for you and your family, because regardless of their effects on mood, most of these changes offer other health benefits as well.

Know what to avoid. Before you can eat mood-boosting foods, it’s important to know which foods to leave off (or limit) on your shopping list. The biggest bad-mood culprits are refined carbohydrates, like sugar. The simple sugars that are in junk foods like candy and soda-as well as in everyday foods like fruit juice, syrup, and jams-can cause your blood sugar to go up and down like a roller coaster. Refined white starches such as white rice, white bread, and crackers can have the same effect. Blood sugar spikes and drops can leave you with a short-lived burst of energy followed by a tired, cranky feeling. For best mood results, you should also avoid alcohol, since it’s a depressant and can disturb your sleep.

Don’t skip meals. It may be tempting to rush out the door without breakfast, but researchers report that starting the day without fuel-or bypassing any meal-is a mistake. If you keep yourself from getting too hungry, you may be able to avoid a bad mood.

Eat often enough. According to research, you should eat every four to five hours to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Eating at regular intervals helps to ensure that your body has a continuous source of fuel, and this may assist in keeping your mood stable.images[4]

Best foods to eat to stay healthy and happy:

  • Protein. Adding protein to your meals can help slow the absorption of carbohydrates in your blood, which may improve your mood for several hours after eating. Eggs, poultry, seafood, tofu, and low-fat yogurt are all smart protein choices. 
  • Vitamins. There are a few specific vitamins that research has suggested can be helpful for mood. Research reported that vitamin D may help relieve mood disorders. Studies have also suggested that the vitamins folate and B12 may help ease depression. To get your daily dose of vitamin D, try low-fat milk, egg yolks, and soymilk. Many doctors also recommend adding a multivitamin that contains vitamin D. Broccoli, lentils, oatmeal, and oranges are high in folate, while cottage cheese, lean beef, and salmon can provide vitamin B12.
  • Fiber. Foods that contain soluble fiber-such as brown rice, barley, pears, and peas-can slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, decreasing mood swings. 

There is a clear relationship between food and your state of mind. When you combine strategies for eating regularly with foods that may have a positive effect on your well-being, you can plan meals that may help you to feel better. Plus, you can also avoid foods that may make you feel worse. Now that’s something to be happy about!


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