Mood Food? Some Foods Can Affect Our Emotions

By DeDe Hausmann

Foods can affect how we feel and research backs it up, according to the US News and World Report, in an article written by Angela Haupt in August, 2011.  Changes in our diets can affect our brains chemically and physiologically effecting our emotions and behavior.  Many of us tend to think that the nutrients we consume effect how physically healthy our bodies are but many don’t know of the correlation between certain foods and our moods.

Let’s see what dietary habits or foods help us feel better emotionally:

1)   Food is fuel and if you skip a meal or go too long without eating, you can get tired and out of sorts due to blood sugar levels dropping. A HEALTHY BREAKFAST is very important for all.  We perform better and studies back up the fact that eating a healthy breakfast can help us maintain a healthy weight too.

2)   Consume good carbs.  Serotonin (a feel-good chemical) is produced in our brain when we eat complex carbohydrates which are high in fiber.  Read food labels for high amounts of DIETARY FIBER, such as those found in beans, whole grain cereals and breads, veggies and fruits.

3)   Omega-3 foods (fatty fish as in salmon, mackerel and sardines; flax seeds, walnuts, and other Omega-3 fortified foods) help to improve our moods and memory.

4)   Iron, thiamine and folic acid are 3 nutrients that can help one combat depression and fatigue.  Good dietary sources of iron can be found in red meat, beans, egg yolks, artichokes and liver.  Cereal grains, pork, yeast, cauliflower and eggs are some foods that provide thiamine, and folic acid is in green vegetables, oranges and grapefruit, nuts and whole wheat, just to name a few food sources.

5)   Consuming too much fat, especially saturated fat, can lead one to depression and dementia.  And ever notice how groggy you feel after consuming a meal high in fat?  That’s because your body has to work really hard to get rid of those fat calories.

6)   Think about what you drink.  More than one to two cups/daily of a caffeine-laden beverage, as in coffee or pop, can make one feel anxious.  It’s far better to drink water, low-fat or fat-free nutrient-rich milk or green tea.  Dairy products provide whey protein which can reduce stress and improve mood and memory.  And green tea contains anti-oxidants that can fight depression and also an amino acid that helps reduce stress.

 

Does this help you understand why you feel the way you do when you eat some foods or skip a meal completely? Food is fuel but we need to know what FUEL we are putting into our bodies so we know what is helpful to us not only physically but also emotionally.

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