Does food change you mood? Part II

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We all know that sugar is bad for you. It is bad for your teeth, your general health, it can lead to weight gain and it can even affect your mood. But do we really know what sugar does to our bodies? And how that is linked to our mood changes? When we have a look at what really happens in our body when we eat too much sugar we might get a better understanding.

Once sugar hits our bloodstream the pancreas detects it. To deal with the sugar the pancreas releases insulin and the insulin helps to regulate the level of sugar in our bloodstream. The more sugar we get in our bloodstream the more insulin is released. The insulin helps store all of the sugar in the liver and muscles as glycogen and in our fat cells. Because of the fact that nowadays we eat so much sugar (cause it’s in almost everything) our bodies struggle to get the balance right. So our bodies respond by telling us that it needs more sugar. And the vicious circle starts.

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So when we eat too much sugar too much insulin is released, which makes our blood sugar levels spike and ultimately dropping below normal levels. This results in an energy dip, which influences our mood drastically and we experience fatigue, depression, anxiety and moodiness.

Now we have a better understanding about how particular food can influence our mood negatively. But can we also eat ourselves happy?

Good news…Yes we can!

There are loads of foods that can make us feel good and energetic if we eat them frequently and in a balanced diet.

Complex carbohydrates:
Eating unrefined carbohydrates can boost the level of serotonin in our brain, which can elevate our mood. Make sure you eat carbohydrates that release energy slowly. Think of: quinoa and oatmeal

Foods high in folate:
Folate deficiency has also been linked to depression, because it can decrease serotonin levels in the brain. Eating foods high in this B vitamin can boost your mood. Think of: Dark, leafy greens like spinach, and legumes.

Foods high in vitamin D:
Vitamin D comes mostly from sunlight absorption. But in winter many people experience some kind of feeling of depression due to a lack of vitamin D. Vitamin D also has a positive effect on our cells which means it could help prevent cancer or help prevent cancer cells to spread. Think of: Cod liver oil and fish.

?Fatty plant foods:
We have the general idea that all fats are bad for us, but actually they’re not. Even better, we need them. And also the brain needs fat to function properly. So we do need a little fat for a better mood. Think of: coconut oil, avocado and nuts.

Foods containing omega-3 fats:
Eating foods high in this valuable fat can improve mood and could be very beneficial for cancer patients. Omega-3 fatty acids are linked to the decrease of inflammation in the body. And a variety of cancers have been linked to chronic inflammation. Think of: Flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds

Foods high in iron:
A lack of iron in the blood can result in feeling tired, depression and irritability. So keep your iron level up. Think of: Pumpkin seeds and legumes.

Green Juice or Smoothie:
Start your day with a green juice or smoothie to energize your body and mind. Think of: blending or juicing dark leafy greens with some fruits and add a protein powder to your liking.

No better way to start your day!

Lots of love,
Sophia

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