Prone to Constant Mood Swings? It Could Be the Food You’re Eating

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More often than not we can identify the cause of our mood swings. We’re stressed because we’ve got a deadline to meet, we’re tired because our baby isn’t sleeping or anxious about work, friends or just life in general.

There are always factors outside of our control which determine how we feel at any given moment. However, there are often times when you are feeling a bit flat and you just can’t put your finger on the reason why.

I’m a big believer that these cases are, more often than not, due to food. If you think this sounds like it could be the case for you, take a look as I talk through some simple links between mood and food.

Processed food equals grumpy moods:

When I go bananas on the treats (which I will admit does happen from time to time, have you ever tried to stop at one Cadbury egg?!) I often find that afterwards I’m grumpy, tired and irritable. This isn’t due to disappointment that I’ve finished the bag but is related to the spike and crash in my blood sugar levels that comes from refined carbs and sugars. Keeping your blood sugar levels stable is an around-the-clock job for your body. When you overdo it on processed treats, your blood sugar levels can spike (hello sugar high) but they then crash as your body works to bring them back down. This spike and crash can leave us tired, irritable and not too much fun to be around.

Skipping meals means more than just hanger

Much like consuming processed foods, skipping meals can affect your blood sugar control and can cause a serious spike in your mood. When we don’t eat often enough, we’re playing with these blood sugar levels and this is when hanger takes over. It doesn’t just end there, skipping meals also means we’re more likely to overeat when our next meal rolls around and depriving ourselves in this way can impact our bodies ability to absorb food in the long run.

Tryptophan will put a smile on your dial

Our bodies need tryptophan – one of the most important amino acids, to produce our happy hormone serotonin. When we’re trying to include more tryptophan into our diets, foods like turkey, chicken, eggs, and milk are all awesome sources that can provide sustained mood boosting benefits. While refined carbs can be rich in tryptophan, it’s best to steer clear of this source as they only provide us with a quick and temporary mood boosting fix.

Now that you’re convinced of the impact that food can have on your mood, take a look at a few of my favourite foods that are guaranteed to lift your spirits.

  1. Fill up with fibre. Complex carbs and vegetables are an awesome source of fibre that slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and increase serotonin production, so fill your plate up with the likes of brown rice, peas and broccoli and snack on raspberries and almonds to feel those mood boosting benefits.
  2. Pack with protein. Including a protein component in every meal can slow down the bodies’ absorption of carbs which can help lift your mood and energy, even hours after you’ve eaten. Eggs, seafood and poultry are my go-to sources when I’m packing my diet with protein.
  3. Sip smarter. Ok, I know this technically isn’t a food but when we’re trying to stay happy and healthy, reducing our intake of stimulants and depressants that can cause feelings of anxiety, like caffeine and alcohol, is a must. Instead, focus on having around 8 glasses of water each day, stick to one coffee to prevent getting those jitters, and think about reducing your alcohol intake to a couple of glasses a week.
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Sam Wood

CONTRIBUTOR

Sam Wood; known for his debut in The Bachelor Australia in 2015, is a successful Entrepreneur and a well known Health & Fitness Trainer, who has recently launched an online fitness program called 28 by Sam Wood. This program is designed to help people become a better version of themselves, through the use of a healthy eating plan and enough exercise.

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