Food & Mood

Food Affects Your Mood!

Eating the right foods is absolutely necessary to keep your body healthy but many people are totally unaware of the impact food has on your mental state.  Research has shown that food actually does affect our moods.  Eat the wrong things and you may experience fatigue, moodiness, anxiety and depression.  Eat the right foods and you’ll not only keep disease away, you’ll also keep your mind functioning more optimally which means you’ll feel happier, more energetic and you’ll have a clear head.

Food Sensitivities

Many people have food sensitivities and don’t even know it!  They are unaware of the connection to the symptoms (tired, crabby, depressed, headaches, joint pain, etc.) they are experiencing to what they ate 24-72 hours ago.  They actually assume that it’s normal to feel like crap!

To find out what foods you’re sensitive to eliminate one food for one week and see how you feel.  If you feel incredible you know that you’re sensitive to that food and you should not eat it.  If you feel the same then that particular food is not the culprit and you need to try eliminating something else.  Keep eliminating one food at a time for one week to find out what foods are causing your body and mind distress.

I used to eat A LOT of sugar when I was younger.  I also suffered from asthma, depression and anxiety.  I never drew the connection between what I was eating and how I felt.

After taking a nutrition course I decided to try cutting out sugar – NOT at all easy but I was determined.  After I got over the withdrawal I noticed something amazing.  I was no longer needing to use my inhaler before my workouts and my state of mind completely changed.  I went from feeling depressed, anxious and tired to feeling clear headed, energetic and actually excited about life.  I still indulge now and then and when I do I always need to use my inhaler the next day and if I indulge for a few days in a row I notice feelings of anxiety creeping back.

Think food sensitivities aren’t a big deal?  Think about this: eating foods that you are sensitive to puts constant stress on your digestive system, immune system, and compromises your vitality which can lead to depression, low energy, anxiety and brain fog.

The most common foods that people are sensitive to are:

  • Gluten (the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye)
  • Nuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Dairy (especially cows’ milk)
  • Eggs
  • Nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, white potatoes, peppers, and any spices that include peppers)

Caffeine

I consume caffeine – I LOVE my morning coffee and for some people it can enhance physical and mental performance.  The problem is when you have too much.  Too much caffeine can cause anxiety, nervousness, mood swings, and sleep disturbances along with inhibiting serotonin (your happy brain chemical).  1-2 cups per day is fine and try to consume it before noon.

Need some alternatives?

Want to cut caffeine out completely?  I just found out about an alternative to coffee called Dandy Blend.  Dandy Blend is a natural herbal “coffee’ that has helped many people get rid of coffee for good.  I’ve never tried it but if you try it let me know what you think in the comments below.

How To Get In The Mood With Food

Manage Blood Sugar

foods for the moodIf you want to feel good both physically and mentally you need to control your blood sugar.

Never skip meals!  If you do you’ll be cranky and ravenous which will most likely lead to bad food choices (ie a sugary snack) which will lift you up momentarily and then drop you on your ass.  Eat healthy foods throughout the day – I like having almonds handy and I also use a high quality shake when I need it.

Especially never skip breakfast!  Eating a breakfast rich in protein will get you started on the right foot!  I have my shake, half an apple and my ketone/mct supplement every morning.  It’s not too heavy and it keeps me going through my morning spin classes J

Here are some more tips on managing your blood sugar:

  • Balance your meals with healthy protein (nuts, seeds, wild fish, organic chicken, grass-fed beef), healthy carbs (vegetables, fruit), and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts & seeds, grass-fed butter).
  • Stop eating flour and sugar products.  NEVER eat high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Stop consuming all processed, junk, or packaged foods.  If man made it in a factory don’t eat it!
  • Stop eating trans or hydrogenated fats.
  • Help to fix cell membranes so that they can more easily receive the messages from insulin by eating omega-3 fats.  Consider taking a high-quality supplement like Udo’s Oil to increase your levels of omega-3 fats.
  • Eat 30-50g/day of soluble fibre.
  • Get your workout in!!  Exercise improves your cells’ ability to respond to insulin better.
  • Make time for ‘me time’.  Constant stress can affect your blood sugar so be sure to have a bit of down time every day and make sure to schedule in vacations.

Foods that Boost Mood

  • Nuts – I love almonds!  Walnuts are great too
  • Berries
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Dark orange vegetables (pumpkin, squash, carrots etc.)
  • Wild caught salmon
  • Citrus
  • Fermented foods

To be your best in body and mind, eat a balanced nutrient dense diet, full of whole, real foods.  There’s a BIG difference between eating a meal of fresh, organic plants, properly raised protein, and healthy fats and eating a plate full of dead, processed, “food-like” substances (I like to call them non-foods).  Non-foods increase toxicity, inflammation, and nutritional deficiencies.  Real food that you could find in nature if you had to, promotes physical health and optimal brain function.