Can our diets really affect our moods? Ask yourself that question the next time you chow down on a big bag of pretzels, couple of donuts or anything else that sits like a rock in your stomach.
After you eat one of these huge meals you are probably ready for a nap, which is a pretty telling sign of how much your diet can affect your mood and health as a result.
The reason why what we eat has an impact on our mood is because of how cell signaling in our brain works; what we eat determines what types of chemicals out body produces such as serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin is the chemical that makes us feel happy and alert, while dopamine is the one which makes us feel tire and relaxed.
This is why eating a healthy and balanced diet is important, in that these nutrients we get determine the chemical activity in our body and brain; and thus our moods. With all of this being said, we have to know what foods to avoid in order to keep our sanity.
What Foods Negatively Affect Our Mood?
1-Artificial Ingredients and Added Sugars
With all of the sugar alternatives out there it can really make your head spin, and consequently to no surprise many people do not know what options are the best for them. One of the options many people turn to instead of sugar are artificial sweeteners.
The problem with these sweeteners is twofold. First they are usually synthetic, which means they are manufactured in a lab. Many of these molecules are similar to sugar but are not sugar, and thus our body gets confused. This means by consuming them we are not getting the same pleasure that we would from consuming sugar itself, which does not satisfy the cravings in many cases.
Second, many of these sweeteners are much sweeter than sugar, some even thousands times more sweet. What this does is makes your body crave more of this sweet taste, to the point where you end up consuming more, and can really disrupt your blood sugar levels.
An increase in energy followed by a sharp drop after the consumption of these sugary drinks including artificially sweetened drinks is a common cause of mood swings.
2-Skipping Out on Whole Eggs
Many of us are concerned about our health and the high cholesterol content in eggs. This has resulted in a switch to using egg whites for some, as they still are getting the protein from the egg without all the fat and cholesterol.
The problem with this is that all of the other vitamins and minerals including some of the protein in the egg are found in the yolk. These fats and cholesterol are what our body uses to create our hormones, and these hormones have a tremendous influence over our mood.
If you are feeling more moody than usual or down in the dumps and are someone who regularly consumes egg whites, try switching back to whole eggs to help your mood improve.
3-Trail Mixes, Beef Jerky and Other Similar Snacks
Trail mixes and beef jerky are becoming very popular once again due to the widespread health movement as well as more and more people seeking hiking and walking as their primary form of exercise.
While many trail mixes can be an excellent healthy snack to eat during a hike, many trail mixes and beef jerky are just full of additional salt and sugar. This extra salt and sugar is going to spike your blood sugar levels and increase your blood pressure, which can lead to mood swings.
Instead of buying a premade trail mix, your best bet is to make your own using whole foods, with no added sugars or salts. The fruits and nuts within the trail mix itself provide plenty of salts and sugar to help reduce your cravings without the need to add more.
Many people have already made the switch away from processed meats like hot dogs, sausage, salami, and mortadella which are loaded with salt and fat. The problem is that a lot of these same people still eat other deli meats like turkey and ham because they believe that they are a better option.
These meats are still loaded with sugar, salts and a whole host of other things you don’t want to be eating as well. Between all of the fillers, preservatives, and all the other nasty stuff found within deli meats, you are better off avoiding them all.