Have you ever eaten a favourite food, only to find the next day that it turns your stomach? Have you ever craved the unlikeliest of meals at the most improbable of times? This happens because there are foods that affect mood and your overall well-being.
Chances are you’re experiencing turmoil that is:
- Causing you to want to eat a particular kind of food, and
- The food, in turn, is causing you to feel a certain way.
How can food affect your mood?
What you eat has an immense capacity to have an impact on how you feel. This happens because food affects the neurotransmitters that our brain produces. These are the chemicals in the brain which guide how we’re feeling. Neurotransmitters like serotonin help us relax, while dopamine helps us feel more focused. The foods we eat are the building blocks for these chemicals. Our brains extract the nutrients necessary from the foods we eat to create the chemicals, which, in turn, regulate and enhance our moods.
But if our brains aren’t given the fuel they need to provide the right balance of neurotransmitters, we can be prone to mood swings and bad days.
Let’s look at foods that affect mood
Research in recent years shows that sugar has many effects on your mood. One study has proved that sugar causes the brain to become foggy. This impacts your focus and concentration. There are also studies proving that sugar leads to dopamine spike in our brains, leading to more cravings and display of withdrawal symptoms if, not consumed. In other words, sugar consumption is actually a kind of addiction. Sugar also blocks Vitamin B and chromium receptors in the body, and this is harmful as this help naturally balance emotions. Sugar can also attract depression to affect your mind. A study conducted by Whitehall II consisted of 8000 men. It shows the direct relation between sugar consumed by beverage intake/ sweet food and depression.
It is not uncommon for people who want to stay awake to consume caffeine. In fact, a study conducted by A. Nehlig, suggests that limited intake of coffee can improve moods. But high intake can cause the opposite effect and lead to nervousness and anxiety. You don’t just consume caffeine through coffee. Foods such as ice cream, chocolate and even breakfast cereal can harm your mood and health.
Milk and Milk Products
How is it possible that one of the most ubiquitous of foods is also very notorious when it comes to influencing our mood? Your mother must have told you to finish your milk everytime you were running late for school. If you have developed the habit to consume this drink every day, you might want to rethink. Casein, a protein in dairy products, is known to cause a depression in how we feel. It is positively discouraged in those who suffer from schizophrenia. So, the next time you feel a bit off, opt for a soy latte instead.
It seems unlikely that this food is one of the foods that affect mood. Soy sauce is used in many forms of cooking and at times even as a dressing in a few cuisines. But what if, soy sauce is actually a cause of anxiety and depression and can lead to your becoming sluggish? It is known to be true for people who are gluten sensitive. A few soy sauces contain gluten and they should be removed from your grocery list. So, if soy sauce happens to be a preferred food of someone who has gluten sensitivity, it is better to check the ingredients to make sure that it is gluten-free.
There are many foods that affect mood positively and a few others that can give us negative effects. It is important to be informed, and choose wisely!