We all can feel out of sorts sometimes. One perhaps more often and longer than others but we all know that feeling. During these times we tend to make different choices in what we eat and drink. We all know that our mood influences what we choose to eat or drink. But is the other way around also possible? That our food choices influence our mood? Sounds logical as well, right?
Think for example about caffeine.
Drinking a cup of coffee can give us that needed boost and relieve us (temporarily) from being tired and irritable, but too much caffeine can also cause anxiety, nervousness and depression.
Like with the caffeine there are always two sides to what we eat. On one side there’s the question why do we choose what we eat and on the other side the question what effect has what we eat on how we feel. Studies have repeatedly shown that what we put in our bodies affect our mood. But how does food affect our mood? There are many explanations.
The following are some examples:
– Fluctuations in blood sugar levels are associated with changes in mood and energy, and are affected by what we eat.
– 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.
– There can be abnormal reactions to artificial chemicals in foods, such as artificial colorings and flavorings.
-Low levels of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids can affect mental health, with some symptoms associated with particular nutritional deficiencies. For example, links have been demonstrated between low levels of omega-3 oils and depression.
In case you’d like to figure out if anything you’re eating is maybe affecting your mental and emotional health, keeping a food journal could be a great tool. In this journal you record what you eat and drink and how you feel afterwards, both physically and mentally. Do this for at least 1 week and after this week you not only get insight in what you eat during a day but also how your body and mind reacts to it.
Awareness is an important step forward! Part 2 is coming later this week.
Lots of love,