Do you ever monitor your mood after you eat? Happiness and positive emotions come from an array of different aspects for everyone. But one place that I believe is fundamental yet often overlooked is in our meals. I see tons of nutrition articles about the impact of food on our physical bodies, namely our weight, but not as many about how food is connected to our emotional state.
According to this article “Food and Mood: Interview With JB” at precisionnutiriton.com, Dr. John Bernardi says that food can impact our mood in three ways:
1. Food helps the brain make mood-changing chemicals called neurotransmitters
2. Food impacts blood sugar levels, which impacts perception of alertness/energy
3. Food is connected with past feelings/experiences
High protein foods will make you feel more alert and energetic.
Carbohydrates calm your nerves, reduce stress, and can make you feel tired.
Sugar will give you an immediate and temporary boost of energy and then as your blood sugar drops, will make you feel more tired than before.
Omega 3 rich fish oils can lower incidence of depression as well as increase your motivation.
Months ago I was inspired to try an elimination diet after experiencing long-time discomfort in my stomach. In the end I discovered new food sensitivities to gluten and soy. It was well worth cutting these foods out of my diet namely because of the impact it has had on my mood and energy levels. I generally feel happier, more alert, and motivated on a daily basis. In turn, this has made me more effective in my pursuits.
This is a key point, how we nourish our bodies affects our mood and therefore how efficient we are with our work and making our dreams a reality. That’s a big deal!
Now, my latest nutrition quest is finding new and easy recipes to spruce up my weekly meal plan. I tend to make the same things every week: rice pasta with cheese, steamed broccoli, and tilapia are my staples along with smoothies.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please comment below with your experiences on food and mood, or with your favourite easy to make healthy dishes!