Did You Know – Food has a powerful influence over mood, both to your advantage and disadvantage.
Your food can assist you to become more happy and healthy, or your food can undermine your health and well-being, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Food used to be something we ate to give strength and vitality to our bodies, to heal us when we were sick and to satisfy an appetite after doing meaningful work. Now food is produced for profit and instead of being eaten when we are physically hungry, food is now consumed to satisfy artificial cravings. We eat, but we are rarely satisfied, only full.
Food changes chemicals in the body and brain, affecting mood and behavior. It is impossible to be contented and emotionally stable while poisoning your body and brain with artificial and adulterated ‘food’. Present day research and experience are proving without a doubt that there is a connection between what we eat and how we think, feel and behave. Improving your physical diet can reduce stress levels, anger and anxiety.
Enjoying a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, eggs, lean meat and oily fish, for instance, is associated with a reduction in mood swings, depression and anxiety. Eating these foods can help maintain a steady blood-sugar level, which also helps to stabilize mood. Your mood also affects the foods you choose.
People in a negative frame of mind are more likely to choose sugary, fatty, processed and salty indulgence or comfort foods, rather than Life Enhancing ones. Sugar leads to fluctuations in blood sugar, which can bring on mood swings and the Sugar Blues. Sugar, though sometimes a short term fix, encourages poor mental and emotional health. Sugar, carbohydrate and processed food consumption also triggers a cascade of chemical reactions in your body that promote chronic inflammation. In the long term, inflammation disrupts the normal functioning of your immune system and wreaks havoc on your brain, and mood.
A high-quality source of protein – like organic eggs, sardines or a handful of almonds (preferably presoaked to unlock the enzyme inhibitors)– helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady for enhanced energy and mood.
Brain chemicals (neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and acetylcholine) influence the way we think, feel and behave. They can be affected by what we’ve eaten. We are becoming more and more aware of the Gut/Brain connection and know that eating traditionally fermented, unpasteurized foods are the best route to optimal digestive health.
Bananas contain dopamine, a natural reward chemical that boosts your mood.
Magnesium, found in pumpkin seeds, almonds and leafy greens, is a calming mineral that gets depleted when we’re stressed.
Leafy greens, legumes, nuts and eggs: These types of foods are packed with vitamin B, which helps to create neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which calms and reduces anxiety.
Caffeine, found in tea, coffee, cola drinks and chocolate, is probably the most widely used behaviour-modifying drug in the world. We often choose to drink it if we are feeling tired and irritable, because it can give us a boost and help us to concentrate.
My main philosophy about what to eat and what to avoid is quite simple. If man has created, enhanced or adulterated a food in any way, then I greatly reduce my consumption of these foods or avoid them altogether. The chances are the molecular structure of the original food has changed due to high heat, forced pressure or some other unnatural process or procedure so our bodies no longer recognizes it as food. This is how some food allergies are created. I prefer to eat foods created by nature, as nature intended.
And last but by no means least is Water. Dehydration can contribute to poor concentration, low energy, and poor mood, so try to drink plenty of water every day and stay hydrated.
Shared on: Natural Living Monday, Real Food Forager, Real Food Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, HomeAcre Hop, Thrifty Thursday, Freedom Friday, Friendship Friday, Old-Fashioned Friday, From the Farm, Farmgirl Friday, Say G’Day Saturday