Many people resort to eating when they are feeling low, this is why the concept of “comfort food” exists. Nowadays, eating has become a hobby, an emotional outlet, or a means of socializing—a far cry from its core purpose of providing the energy for survival.
Food and Mood: Why are They Connected?
Food is usually associated with satisfaction and happiness. After all, its rich flavors are comforting enough to make you forget about the moment’s troubles and just feel good about yourself. However, if the food is of poor quality, then it will not only affect your health, but also your moods.
But, how can something that tastes so good make you feel so bad? The following factors will briefly explain the reasons:
While mood swings are highly associated with stress, what people don’t immediately realize is that stress can also be driven by your diet. If your current eating patterns are unhealthy, chances are, you’re not getting all the nutrients that you need.
As a result, your systems are bound to crash because your blood sugar and hormonal levels are out of whack. Whether you’re undereating or overeating unhealthy food items, your body will have no fuel sources to utilize optimally. For instance, missing several meals consistently can cause a significant drop in blood sugar levels. In effect, you’re bound to feel weak and lethargic.
Additionally, low levels of key nutrients like iron, zinc, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins B and D can reduce your energy levels and worsen your mood. In the same manner, eating too much processed food and refined carbohydrates can cause severe fluctuations in your blood sugar, thereby increasing your irritability.
Serotonin Receptors in the gut
The food you eat also has an effect in your gut environment. Processed food, for example, are made in a way that even small amounts are incredibly tasty yet detrimental. However, to get that rich taste, it had to undergo several chemical processes that aren’t exactly good for your long-term health.
But what does that all have to do with your mood? Apparently, the majority of your serotonin receptors can be found in your gut. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that controls mood, pain, and sleep. Hence, this just strengthens the relationship of your diet and gut health with your mood.
Ultimately, the real key to feeling better with the help of food is to follow a healthy diet composed of whole foods. Just because you consider something as your “comfort food”, it doesn’t necessarily mean that its good effects will translate over the long term.
Diet Changes to Improve Your Mood
Eating and emotions go hand in hand, in both obvious and subtle ways. If you’ve been feeling down lately, the food you eat may also have something to do with it.
Fortunately, there are simple ways to gradually undo these effects. Listed below are 5 simple diet changes that you can apply to lighten up your mood:
- Give Up Unhealthy Diet: If your recent diet consists of processed, oily, and sugary food, it’s time to give them up one by one. Understandably, it may be hard to do a diet overall when you’re not in the mood. The good news is that there are simple ways to make your meals healthier without sacrificing your sanity.
- Stay Hydrated: Not having enough fluids in your body can make it difficult for you to think and focus. Instead of drinking your usual sugary or caffeinated drinks, drink more water.
- Eat Proteins: Apparently, protein isn’t only good for building muscle; it also has amino acids that can help regulate your mood.
- Try CBD: CBD has become popular nowadays because of how it modulates serotonin in the body, which helps people feel better overall. There are many CBD products available in the market, but in this case, you’re better off getting the best CBD pills.
- Create an Exercise Routine: Regular exercise is known to increase blood circulation, which consequently improves digestion. Moreover, exercise also releases feel-good hormones like endorphins, which can significantly improve your mood and reduce your susceptibility to stress.
Not All Food Items Are Comforting Over The Long-Term!!!
It’s very rarely that you blame the food you eat for your mood swings. After all, at first glance, food and mood can only seem related by how its taste makes you happy—or not.
However, the effects of food on your body can actually go beyond the taste. That’s because the nutrients found in food, or the lack thereof, has a direct effect on how your systems can regulate your mood. Hence, your current diet is worth examining if you wish to positively shift your everyday moods.