How moody do you get with food?

So this week I’m looking at food and mood or you could say mood and food — which way round do they go.

I’m one of those people who if something is open like a box of brazil nuts I feel I should eat pretty much eat all of the box. There isn’t really much pleasure in it, it is more of a compulsion which then leads to me being in a pretty bad mood.

I appreciate that if we are not feeling well, or experience a trauma, grief, we are not as likely to reach for a cucumber as that bar of chocolate but generally I think we allow food to take over our mood too many times and in a negative way.

It’s time to think of food as our healer, something that lifts our spirits rather than drags us down. We want to eat things that give us energy, improve our performance, strengthen our muscles, bones, generally make us feel happy and this will have to be a work in progress. However if you are on the sugar roller coaster and eating quite a lot of processed sugary food each day, you are going to seriously drag your mood down in the end. Blood sugar will spike and then not long after the sugar hit, you come down with a crash, only to want to have more sugar very soon to pick yourself back up. Never ending downward cycle.

So what to do? How do we eat to improve our moods. Well there are foods out there that help our bodies to produce serotonin through containing trytophan. Foods like walnuts, pumpkin and squash seeds, most nuts, soy/tofu, flaxseeds, poultry, red meat, beans, eggs, fish, mozerella, edam — quite a lot of food that can release the happy endorphins but moderation will be important.

It might be worth while keeping a food and mood diary if you do find yourself waking up feeling low, not very happy, lacking energy, lethargic. Notice what lifts your spirits — is it only sugar and how soon do you crash afterwards. Do you drink 2–3 litres of water a day — dehydration can drag your mood down too.

Maybe if you know that you are coming to that monthly low if you are still experiencing periods, have some dark chocolate in and have a little bit to offset the hormonal mood swings that can bring out the darker side of your personality, the one the husbands/partners really don’t know how to deal with. Green tea is also noted as a good uplifter and if you are a serious caffeine addict, try and see if you can at least replace one cup a day with water or green tea. Too much caffeine will keep you wired and affect your sleep.

If you are not sleeping then you are not repairing your body which will also affect your mood and what food you eat.

It’s time to stop food dominating our lives and our moods, try to think of food as healing your body. Every bit that goes in needs to have a purpose and okay that bottle of wine will make you happy when and as you drink it, but will it be worth how unhappy you may feel the next day — possibly not. If you are in your 40s you will not recover as easily from drink as you used to and it certainly takes over your body and how it processes everything because it is busy processing out the alcohol putting a hold on all your other functions.

So I think to take from this, yes there are time when it is really difficult not to eat what you feel like but if you can change your mindset to seeing food as having the power to heal, and get real if you have a weakness just don’t buy those things you love if you are more than likely to eat them all at once, why make life harder for yourself.

Get the green leafy vegetables in, vary your meat and fish intake, good essential oils and fats — a wholesome, as fresh as possible diet and we will banish the blues away.

Have a great day.

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