Food and you Mood - 8 Tips for how food can help with your moods

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Eating is one of the most common and beneficial things we do. We eat to nourish our bodies and our souls. To celebrate, commiserate or just to enjoy time with family and friends. A healthy diet can help you with maintaining a healthy body weight and decrease the risk of chronic diseases related to diet. But how about how you’re feeling? Can your diet really help balance your moods?

For your body to function properly you require a steady supply of energy, which comes from the food you eat. This will also help nurture your brain and in turn support your moods. Here are eight tips on how to use food to support your moods.

 

Eat Regularly

Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced can help keep you feeling great. When your blood sugar drops you can feel tired, depressed or irritable and eating regularly can help decrease the likelihood of this occurring. Choosing foods that release energy slowly will also help keep your blood sugar steady.

Tips

  • Eat breakfast

  • Consume small meals throughout the day rather than three large meals

  • Avoid foods that can make your blood sugar rise and fall rapidly such as biscuits, sugary drinks and alcohol.

  • Eat foods that release energy slowly like rice, oats, wholegrain and nuts and seeds.

Keep Hydrated

If you don’t drink enough fluid, it can be hard to concentrate or even think clearly. The brain depends on a delicate balance of water and other elements to help it function optimally.

Tips

  • Drink between 6-8 glasses of fluid (water) a day (2 litres)

  • Water is a cheap and healthy option

  • Tea, coffee, juices and smoothies count towards your intake – but be aware they can also contain sugar and caffeine

 

Protect your gut

There is a major connection between how you’re feeling and what your gut is doing. If you are feeling stressed or anxious your gut can speed up or slow down leaving you feeling rubbish and blah.  For healthy digestion make sure you eat plenty of fiber, have plenty of water and exercise regularly.

Tips

  • If you are changing your eating patterns, start slowly to give your body time to adjust

  • Eat foods that are good for your gut including fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, beans and probiotic foods.

  • If you are feeling stressed and it seems to be affecting your gut, try some relaxation techniques or breathing exercises.

 

Reduce Caffeine

As we all know, caffeine is a stimulant. This means it will give you a quick burst of energy, but then you may end up feeling anxious or depressed, effect your sleep patterns or even give you withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly. Don’t forget caffeine is in coffee, tea, coke, energy drinks and even chocolate.

Tips

  • Try switching to decaffeinated versions if you drink coffee or teas

  • Substitute coffee or black tea for herbal teas

  • You might feel noticeably better if you stop drinking or limit caffeine all together

 

Eat 5 Vegetables and Fruit per day

Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of the vitamins, minerals and fibre that we need to keep us mentally and physically healthy. Eating a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables (think rainbow) every day means you will get a good range of nutrients.

Tips

  • Fresh, frozen, tinned and dried fruits and vegetable all count

  • One portion is about a handful or small bowl

 

Eat Protein

Protein contains amino acids, which are needed to make up the chemicals in your brain. These help to regulate your thought and feelings. Protein also makes you feel fuller for longer. Protein is found in meat, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Tip

  • Eat protein with every meal

 

Eat the Right Fats

It is important to have the right fats in our diet, rather than just avoid them all. Your brain needs omega-3 and -6 fatty acids to keep it at optimal function. These are found in oily fish, seeds, nuts, poultry, avocados, cheese and eggs.

Tip

  • Eat fish at least once per week

  • Avoid saturated fats

 

Eating a balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables as well as protein and wholefoods can really benefit both your body physically and your mental and emotional health. While this is all well and good, don’t forget that nourish your soul with those foods you just love like chocolate (in moderation). Healthy eating is not a “diet” it’s a “lifestyle”.

If you want to find out more about how natural health can benefit you, feel free to contact me. Or book in online today by clicking the button below.