Eating = feelings?
When assessing our state of mental well-being and overall happiness, it’s important to start at the core. While our relationships, jobs, and general habits all have a role to play, we often overlook an all-too-important factor: what we eat. Read on to find out how your dietary habits can affect your mood.
Are you eating often enough?
Research indicates that eating meals at regular intervals during the day helps keep your blood sugar levels – and, consequently, your mood – stable, since this provides your body with a continuous source of fuel to burn. If you feel like your blood sugar levels are dipping frequently, however, talk to your doctor. This could be a sign of hypoglycemia – a health condition characterised by having frequent urges to eat throughout the day.
Many of us rush out in the morning without having breakfast, which is not the best idea. Skipping meals can leave your body malnourished and have you craving for food, which leads to low blood sugar levels and, consequently, moodiness. If you make a point of eating at designated, regular intervals, you will be much more likely to be left in high spirits.
Not eating the right stuff
Before you can indulge in your mood-enhancing meals, however, it’s important to know which foods to avoid. The biggest culinary culprits are refined carbohydrates, especially sugar. The sugars in junk foods such as candy, fruit juices, and cool drinks, as well as in many everyday foods, can cause turbulent shifts in your blood sugar level. Refined white starches such as white rice and white bread are likely to have the same effect. Although junk foods taste good, they don’t do much to make you feel better in the long run.
Blood sugar spikes and drops can leave you with short, great bursts of energy followed by lethargy and crankiness – in other words, not the ideal.
Here’s the plan
The irony is that in order to feel good, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know what’s best for you in the dietary department. If it’s bad for your body, it’s bad for your mood.
Lean protein sources (such as chicken and fish), plenty of green, leafy vegetables and enough water is your go-to nutritional strategy.
Remember to balance a healthy diet with regular exercise and plenty of sleep. There is no better guarantee for feeling great all day, every day!