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How To Balance Your Mood Through Food

Updated on April 26, 2011


Foods play a significant role in how you feel. You want to make sure that you consume foods that will make you feel up to your optimum level. 

In general, you want to consume nutrient rich, natural foods such as water, vegetables, fruit, and oil-rich fish. Try to intake less nicotine; alcohol; caffeine; weird, manufactured fats; gummy, washed-out flour; and sugar. These negative foods can drastically alter your mood and make you feel tired, irritable, or  hyper after an hour of eating them. Other factors that can alter your mood include anemia (which lead to depression and fatigue), lack of vitamin B, skipping meals (which can cause low blood sugar), and sensitivities to certain foods,

Your mood is controlled by neurotransmitters in that give off a chemical called serotonin. Low serotonin causes negative moods and high serotonin causes a positive, balanced mood. Serotonin functions on how much sugar you consume, preferably the form that comes from low glycemic carbohydrates. You want to maintain a stable blood sugar so you can increase the amount of serotonin in the brain. This will prevent you from being irritable, tired and moody. Some low glycemic carbs include whole grain bread, beans, whole grain crackers, soy, apples, pears, peaches, and other fruits. Avoid high sugary foods such as graham crackers, potato chips, and of course, cakes and pies. These foods will increase insulin in the body and cause an imbalance in the brain chemistry. Excessive intake of these sugary foods can lead to major health problems such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

In general, you will want to eat more natural foods that can be found in nature and are not processed. Some of these foods include sweet potatoes, tryptophan, B vitamin foods, and complex carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes are full of fiber, vitamins and nutrients that will keep your blood sugar level steady throughout the day. Tryptophan helps regulate mood. It is an amino acid that makes blood sugar accessible to the neurotransmitters. This amino acid is found in milk, turkey, fish, chicken, cheese, beans and tofu. Carbs can be added to tryptophan for better absorption. B vitamin foods are leafy greens, blueberries, whole wheat grains and cereals, and lean meats. Complex carbohydrates come from whole meal breads, peas, beans, lentils, shredded wheat, and root vegetables like potatoes. They will give you steady energy.

If you cannot control your desire for high sugary foods, you should fulfill that craving (but in moderation). For instance, if you have a craving for sugar, eat one twinky instead of seven of them. Also, you can choose to substitute foods. Buy low-fat ice cream. Make your hot chocolate with skim milk instead of whole milk. Replace potato chips with popcorn or pretzals. Use a sugar substitute if possible.

 You can also ask yourself why you are hungry. Is it because you really are hungry or just stressed?  Avoid eating sugary foods to satisfy emotional insecurities.


Recommendations For A Healthy Lifestyle

1)     Eat frequent small meals throughout the day (four or so). Eat healthy foods such as fruits, whole grains and vegetables. This will increase metabolism.

2)     Drink a lot of water. It is recommended you consume atleast eight glasses of water a day. Your body is made of 70% water.

3)     Exercise everyday for atleast  20 minutes.

4)     Add fat to your diet in moderation. Do not start a low fat diet. This can alter your mood. Fat is needed for anti-depression. Consume polyunsaturated and monounstaurated fats and fatty fish or flaxseeds, which are full of healthy omega-3 fats.

5)     Avoid skipping breakfast. Skipping breakfast will low blood sugar and can have negative effects on your energy level throughout the day.

6)     Limit coffee.

7)     Look at the nutritional information in the foods you are eating. Make sure you follow the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals and the food pyramid.



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