Unravel the Food-Mood Connection to Beat the Blues
By Rupina Meer • February 16th, 2012 • 15406 Views
We connect what we eat to our expanding waistlines but have you ever paused to tune in to the food-mood connection? Often we don't realize the emotional roller coaster ride from our wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels. We feel happy and energetic for a while and then suddenly inexplicably, we find ourselves arguing with our spouse or a friend. The truth is that the mind and body exist on an exquisite continuum, and profoundly impact one another.
The brain is essentially a chemical factory that produces a cascade of neurotransmitters—brain chemicals, such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and endorphins that pass messages between nerve cells in the brain. The raw materials for these neurotransmitters are amino acids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. So, the good news is that you can beat the blues and dial down your crankiness and irritability just by changing what you eat. Consider some of these lesser known "secrets" of food and mood:
1. Discover the bitter truth about your sweet tooth.
The most common physiological trigger of negative moods is hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Blood sugar, aka glucose, provides the energy that keeps your brain buzzing and your heart ticking. So it's no wonder there's a complicated hormonal system to nip and nudge at blood sugar to keep it in normal range. But you can mess with the system by overdoing foods that are high in simple carbohydrates. Foods, such as sugar, white bread, or anything refined causes your blood sugar to surge and then nose-dive an hour or two later, pushing your body's alarm buttons. After a crash, you'll feel crabby, shaky and prone to violent outbursts (yes, one of the most common causes of domestic violence is hypoglycemia, gulp!). And you'll end up grabbing chocolate bars or sugary drinks -- setting yourself up for yet another blood sugar dive.
Solution: Eat foods that sustain blood sugar the longest. The champions are: high quality fats (think coconut oil, almonds, avocadoes), high-protein foods such as wild salmon and grass fed beef, and whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat. The key is to have a slow, steady release of sugar into the bloodstream that in turn will signal a slow, steady release of insulin and keep you on an even keel.
2. Is your morning muffin wrecking your gut and your mood?
Foods most guilty of triggering reactive hypoglycemia are those that contain gluten. Gluten is a protein found...
Nutrition, Wellness, Food, health, mood, sugar, cravings, blood sugar, caffeine, sweeteners, preservatives, Rupina Meer
Location: Orange County, US
Rupina Meer, Board-Certified Holistic Health Coach received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). Health Coaches from Integrative Nutrition’s world-class training program learn from luminaries in the field of health and wellness including Drs....