They say good food equals a good mood, but what constitutes good food?
Is it a burger, fries, and large diet coke? Or, is it a big green smoothie? What about simple, whole foods that you find when you shop the perimeter of the grocery store? We’ll come back to this because I think we have another question we need to answer first. That is, can food affect your mood?
The answer is a resounding YES!
It’s only been recent that we’ve started to understand that each part of your body is interconnected, including the connection of the body to the mind. I’m sure you’ve heard that your gut is your second brain and that there’s a distinct connection between the two. This means that what you think, feel, and use as fuel will all affect your mood. But if you’re feeling particularly anxious, depressed, or swinging from one mood to the next, then rethinking what you’re using for body fuel can make a big difference.
So, what are some of the top mood-affecting factors?
Two big factors that affect your hormone levels are stress and imbalanced blood sugar. Stress itself can contribute to the blood sugar issue. Here’s how that plays out. When you feel stress from any source: the person in front of you that won’t use their blinker; the kiddo that says mom for the millionth time today; the news you’re glued to; or, the fear you feel for yourself or your family, all leads your body to create cortisol aka the stress hormone.
Your body is ramped up and unless you’re able to use some techniques to find the calm and return the body to a state of balance then you’re body will continue in a flight or fight state. This type of stress hormone overload throws off the delicate hormone balance your body needs for optimal health. What can further exacerbate this type of outcome is a lack of sleep and using caffeine to make it through the day. What does all this do for you and your mood? Typically it straps you in for a wonderful roller coaster right of emotions.
Vitamin & Nutrient Deficiencies
Living a life devoid of the vitamins and minerals you need will affect your body and your mind. You may be living that lifestyle if you: spend your day on the caffeine express, using sugary foods or alcohol to satisfy your stress levels, live off of processed foods, or just choose to look at food as an enemy to be conquered.
As I stated earlier, your gut is your second brain. It’s responsible for absorbing all the nutrients that you should be taking in. It’s where 90% of your good mood hormone, serotonin is made. If your gut is not fully functioning then your mood won’t be either.
So, now that we know some critical pieces of information I think it’s safe to circle back around to the question of what constitutes good food. I think it’s safe to say the burger and fries aren’t at the top of the list. Neither is what I call the white diet…white flour, white sugar, dairy (although there’s a lot of yellow cheese it all comes from the same white place). The diet coke is also no Bueno.
What does work? Whole food sources. The food your grandparents would know. I’m talking fresh organic produce. Food that doesn’t have ingredients because it is the ingredient.
Other foods that are great mood boosters are bone broth, or another form of collagen, for the healing of your gut lining. This allows that nutrients that you eat to be absorbed properly. Probiotics can also be beneficial. Spinach, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, chickpeas, and of course, chocolate are all good food for your mood.
Food is a powerful healer. It sets your body up for living a better life.
If you find this post beneficial, then connect with me to keep the conversation going about how to improve your health to live a longer, healthier life.
Until next time!
Health & Hugs
This is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional mental advice or medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional mental health advice or treatment, or medical advice or treatment. If you have a medical or mental health concern you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical or mental health treatment. Never disregard professional treatment because of something you read on this blog. If you feel you have an emergency situation, seek professional help immediately.