Many people do not realize it, but you actually are what you eat. Scientific research shows that eating healthy can drastically change your mood and improve your way of life.
Food allergies or intolerances can have a great effect on your mood. For example, if you have gluten allergy or intolerance, consumption of gluten (found largely in wheat products) can leave you feeling sluggish or even depressed. Dietary changes have been suggested for children with ADHD or autism. This suggests there is a strong link between food, mood and behaviors.
Fluctuations in blood sugar also can change your mood. High blood sugar often can lead to irritability, while low blood sugar can bring about feelings of anxiety, depression and lethargy.
Research also suggests that low levels of vitamins, mineral deficiencies, and low intake of fatty acids and omega-3s can contribute to altered moods and mimic various mental health issues. Some believe that these deficiencies actually cause mental health issues. Insufficient levels of vitamin D, in particular, can lead to mood swings, depression and fatigue. If you have any deficiencies, your mood may be improved simply by adding supplements.
If you are interested in exploring how food may be affecting your moods, keep a food diary for at least two weeks. Record everything you eat and drink and your moods before and after. It may sound tedious, but it is beneficial. If you notice a pattern, you may wish to seek a nutritionist or experienced health care provider to assist you in making the necessary changes. Since diets should be individualized, you will want to make sure the changes you are making are appropriate and healthy for you.
Many people feel that it is difficult to eat healthy or to change their eating habits. It’s really simple if you keep it simple. Start slow and make changes over time. Using the all-or-nothing approach to cutting out certain foods typically leads to failure.
You can also make changes by slowly substituting bad foods with good ones. Experiment with different grains, fruits, and vegetables. Get online and find exciting new recipes, and you just may fall in love with a good food you never imagined you would eat.
Remember every change you make matters. If you fall off the wagon, just get back up. It’s about making changes to improve your emotional health. Don’t get discouraged or depressed if you slip up. Consider that day as a misstep and make healthier choices in the future. Here’s to a healthier you!
White, D. (2013). Improving Your Emotional Health Through Healthier Eating. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/improving-your-emotional-health-through-healthier-eating/00015925
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Apr 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.