I’m sure you daily take time to think, ‘Am I really hungry or just feel like eating because I am stressed?’
Food is one of the main reasons playing with our mood swings, besides having a good day, eating something we love would turn it happier and vice versa.
So If we eat a lot of sugar and caffeine rich foods this can elevate our blood sugar to give us fluctuating moods and also exhaust our adrenal glands which adds to our feelings of stress and anxiety.
Low levels of vital vitamins and minerals and essential fatty acids can also affect mental health. For example, links have been demonstrated between low levels of certain B-vitamins and symptoms of schizophrenia, low levels of the mineral zinc and eating disorders, and low levels of omega-3 oils and depression.
By enjoying a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, wholegrain cereals, legumes, low-fat dairy, lean meat and oily fish, you can prevent and improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Exercise is a key part of changing your mood for the better. It has been shown to be as effective as taking anti-depressants in a number of studies in which people exercised for 30 to 60 minutes 3 to 5 times a week. Exercising outdoors increases the beneficial effects.
But what mainly are the foods that effect our mental and physical health??
Walnuts are a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, and have been shown to boost mood and even feelings of self-worth. Sarah M. Conklin, Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh found that adults who consumed higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet had higher volumes of grey matter in the area of their brain that controls emotion and mood. Not to mention, walnuts also improve heart health, cognitive function, and joint maintenance.
Dark chocolate is a known joy stimulant. In one study, subjects who drink the equivalent of 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily reported feeling calmer and more content. This is a result of the cocoa in dark chocolate that boosts brain serotonin levels, producing those feelings of calm and bliss we all experience when we bite into a piece of chocolate.
According to Jacob Teitelbaum, a researcher and nutrition expert, green tea contains theanine, an amino acid that stimulates sensations of calmness and focus. Studies show that theanine can cross the blood-brain barrier and positively affect brain chemistry, possibly by changing the levels of amino acids affecting serotonin—everyone’s favorite neurotransmitter.
Furthermore, having healthy meals in their time maintain mood swings. Breakfast mustn’t be a neglected meal, but a strong full part at the beginning of the day.
However, if you are finding meal preparation to be too difficult or time consuming, try the following tips to create healthy meals for yourself every day of the week:
1- Cook in bulk and freeze leftover portions in single-serve size containers ready to just heat and eat.
2- Shop and cook with a friend. Spending time with others can also be great for improving your mood.
3- Consider a food swap. Trade extra portions of meals that you have cooked with a friend in a similar situation.
4- Keep plenty of convenient meal options on hand. Frozen vegetables are fantastic as they keep for ages and don’t require any chopping. Tinned fish and canned beans are convenient sources of protein that you can use to top toast or stir into pasta or rice.
At the end: “There are only three things women need in life: food, water, and compliments.”