Check Up: Can food affect your mood?
Ronald asks Check Up about foods which can affect your mood.
He says he needs a 'mood lift' and has recently been told that sugary fruits, drinks and pastry might not be helping much at all.
He thought sweets would energise him and help him cope better with his daily problems, but he is now hearing that sweets can make him irritable!
Well Ronald, sugary fruits aren't as bad as the fibre contained in most fruits actually slows down the body's absorption of the sugars contained.
However, without the fibre, most fruits are sugar and water with nutrients which can result in a quick mood lift and, just as quick, a descent into moodiness and even anger!
Yes, the foods we eat can affect our mood! Some other foods and drinks which affect our mood unknowingly are:
- Sodas - sugar-filled drinks with no nutrient value can cause depression
- Diet sodas - excessive ingestion can cause even more depression than regular sodas, and the caffeine can cause anxiety.
- White bread - quickly turns to sugar after you eat it!
- Ketchup - Ketchup has tomatoes and is also full of sugar, which can cause anxiety moving towards a high and depression on the way back down towards normal sugar levels.
- Salad dressings and many marinades contain a lot of sugar.
- The caffeine in coffee keeps you awake, jittery and nervous. Cut caffeine slowly from your diet to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
- Alcohol - can cause superficial sleep and is associated with many socially unhealthy problems; worsens depression.
- Energy drinks give a super charge which may help you stay awake in the short term but can be associated with anxiety, irregular heartbeat and insomnia
- Soy sauce - if you're gluten sensitive, then soy sauce can cause anxiety and depression
- Frosting - is loaded with sugar and trans - fats which cause depression.
- Processed foods - fried foods, candy, pastries can all lead to anxiety and depression, although many of us will say we overeat pastries to feel better. This may be really so with dark chocolate, but not pastries.
Eat food filled with fibre, grains, fruits, beans, green leafy vegetables and fish to keep your mood on a level!
The ancient Chinese have also suggested that our emotions are linked to what we eat and have suggested that we can help to control our mood with food.
The Chinese link the liver with anger and suggest that diets heavy in animal protein can contribute to being an angry and unsettled person.
People with anger issues are advised to limit their intake of red meat and whole milk. Tomatoes and spicy peppers are said to lower the threshold for aggression and anger!
People who have food allergies to gluten, wheat and casein (found in dairy milk) can create a toxic effect in the brain when these substances are ingested which are associated with aggression and lack of control over behaviour.
If you want to try to manage anger, which may be influenced by what you eat, start eliminating a few of the indicated food items which form a substantial part of your diet and see how you feel.
Perhaps begin with avoiding sugars, simple carbohydrates, spicy foods and alcohol!
Also, deficiencies in magnesium, manganese, vitamin C and vitamin B can cause a person to be easily angered.
Without proper nutrients and vitamins, the brain just doesn't function well and the body just doesn't make enough of the brain chemicals (like serotonin), which are needed for clear thinking and a good mood.
Other foods which lift your mood include:
- Spinach salad
- Peanut butter
- Green tea
- Omega 3 regular consumption
- Whole grain cereal with low fat milk
- Egg salad sandwich
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Po Box 1731: Kgn8