22 Mar Eat your feelings; How food affects our moods
Food can affect your mood just as much as relationships or experiences. What we eat actually determines whether we are reactive or proactive in situations.
It’s tempting to reach out for a cupcake when you’re having a bad day but sugar is a very unsustainable source of energy as it causes too much of a spike on your glycogen levels, hence making you feel giddy (not happy) but then drops your energy levels —crashing—just as fast thus the feeling of lethargy (not sadness). If we are not mindful, our addiction to the high we get from sugar can become a vicious cycle of ups and downs.
Opt for complex carbohydrates instead. In order to maintain level-headedness and prevent mood swings, it is important to consume complex carbs like brown rice, oats. sweet potatoes and other whole grains and root crops. The slow release of glycogen from these foods will prevent crashing later on. Eating complex carbs can also stop sugar cravings. When our mind screams for a sugar fix, it is simply the body’s way of saying that its energy has been exhausted and sugar, it knows, is the most instant source of pure energy. Resist the urge to settle for dessert and sit down or a real meal rich on whole grains and fiber.
Within a week you will notice your mood getting steadier, and you will be less emotional about situations or people.
Animal-based foods are hot in the body. When we consume hot flesh foods, we are more prone to feeling anger and resorting to aggression during a confrontation. Be mindful with meat consumption, especially during summer. Tropical dwellers should have a diet that has more cooling foods like complex carbs, vegetables and sour fruits with less animal based and sugary fruits.
Fast with fat
Our body exhausts 70% of its energy during digestion. That leaves only 30% for vitamin assimilation, internal organ repair and mental stimulation. The science of intermittent fasting in which you only eat two times a day allows you to digest less often so that you can use your digestive energy for more important bodily and mental functions. In order to make the most out of intermittent fasting, it is best to consume alkaline-forming good fat with every meal, like avocados, coconuts, seeds and nuts because fat is the last to be dispensed for energy by the body, and therefore acts like a reserve throughout the day.</span
Perk up with Lemon
A common mistake we make in the morning is to start with coffee or tea or even juice. Because the body is technically coming from a fast (assuming you’ve slept for 6-8 hours), it is best to wake up your digestion with something alkalinizing. Lemon water is the most accessible, but you can also use cider vinegar. This will set the pH level of your body throughout the day which will make you less prone to cramps and fatigue. It is also a natural energizer and mood lifter.
Natural mood enhancers include raw cacao, (no refined sugar, no dairy) banana, sprouted raw roasted nuts, coconut and berries. These foods helps you produce more serotonin which promotes a feeling of well-being and enhances mood.
Eat a balanced diet, but…
There’s the old adage that states, “you are what you eat.” While each mental health case is different, the food that you eat can certainly contribute to your over-all well-being. Patients suffering from disorders should consult their doctor before going on an all-natural diet, and whether they should wean off their medication. Together with therapy, being more mindful about one’s diet can certainly improve one’s mental and emotional state.