I am a sucker for letting my moods influence the way that I eat.
Happy? Sure, I’ll take a bright, crunchy salad.
Anxious? Let me crunch down on that entire bag of chips.
Sad? Ice cream, topped with ice cream, topped with cookies and throw some bacon in there somehow.
So often I get frustrated with myself. I let my mood impact the way that I eat even when I am striving to maintain a healthy relationship with my food.
Now let me make this clear, I do not believe a healthy food relationship means only eating leaves plus the occasional piece of celery. I believe there is a beautiful balance that can be found when you find foods that not only taste good but make you feel good.
Yet, how do I stop succumbing to the temptation of wanting (unhealthy) food to fit my “less-than-happy” mood?
A thought came to mind, what if we turned this question upside down? Instead of asking, what food will fit my mood? What if I asked, what food will change my mood?
There are so many things you can do to help improve your mood: prayer, exercise, volunteering, laughter etc. but one that we often don’t realize is literally right at our finger tips is what we are putting into mouths.
So to help us out I compiled a few foods that are known to boost your happiness and that hopefully will get us out of our mood related food funks.
Yogurt and other Probiotic-rich foods
The website The Daily Alternative states, “Along with mitigating depression, probiotics are also linked to easing anxiety. A 2013 study published in the journal Gastroenterology tested the effects of a yogurt high in probiotics on a group of healthy women. On their results, the study authors wrote:
‘Four-week intake of an FMPP [fermented milk product with probiotic] by healthy women affected activity of brain regions that control central processing of emotion and sensation.’”
Praise be to this one! According to The Washington Post chocolate contains serotonin, “a natural neurotransmitter which controls many functions in the brain, including mood and behavior.” Chocolate also contains multiple other chemicals and molecules that are known for increasing your heart rate, cardiovascular health and lift your mood.
Now pomegranates are a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition. Ranging from providing a healthy glow to your skin to reducing the risk of some cancers, it really is a food we should be eating more often! When we are looking at the mood boosting affects, this one is for the ladies out there. An article by Organicnet.com states that pomegranates “can help women overcome depression symptoms during her period, especially post-menopausal depression.”
This is something I can easily incorporate into my day. I don’t know about you, but I am in a state of constant cold. Even in the summertime I find myself turning on the heater in my office and sipping on a hot cup of something. Making that something a hot cup of green tea is an easy switch for me. I encourage you to do the same! According to Authority Nutrition green tea contains both caffeine and an amino acid called L-theanine. Combined, these two stimulants provide both improved mood and anti-anxiety effects.
There are a lot of foods out there that can help boost your mood. These are treats that I felt we could easily turn to when in need of a little pick-me-up in the middle of the day.
Let’s do this together. Instead of letting our mood choose our food, let’s have our food improve our mood.
Comment below if you know of some other foods that have given your mood a boost!