When you are feeling down, temptation leads us to eat junk food to lift our spirits.
Food should not be just for survival, it is supposed to make us feel good. Some of the go-to foods have been shown to negatively affect brain health and send us into a state of gloom.
Here are the 6 foods to avoid that kill your mood and alternative healthy foods to boost your mood.
If you start your day with a bowl of lucky charms, it can lead to weight gain or obesity. When you eat a massive amount of sugar the first thing in the day, it can spike your blood sugar and signal to your brain throughout the day that you need more sugar and can lead to energy crashes and mood fluctuations. This is not what you want to get from the most important meal of the day.
Switch to: Oats
Oats are a great way to start your day and lift your spirits in the morning. You can have them in different forms. The most common one is a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. It will provide brain fuel, keep you energized, and satisfied for hours. They are an excellent source of fiber and the best type of oats to use is steel cut oats.
To sweeten oatmeal without going overboard on refined sugar, add chia seeds and almonds. In addition, you can add berries they are typically high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidant polyphenols. Healthy berries are blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, acai berries, cranberries, and grapes.
Pastries are one of the most commonly enjoyed foods around the world. Pastries is a good way to make people happy, when they are feeling tension or sad. They do have a high sugar content and lack nutritional value. It will make you feel sluggish instead of fueling your day. Switch to: Organic Bananas
Bananas can turn a frown upside down. When on the go a banana is quick grab breakfast. They aree high in vitamin B6, which helps synthesize feel good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin They also contain a good balance of sugar and fiber. Finally, this edible fruit, especially when still showing green on the peel, is an great source of prebiotics, a type of fiber that helps feed healthy bacteria in your gut. A robust gut microbiome is associated with lower rates of mood disorders.
Processed meat is a meat that has been treated in some way to preserve or flavor it through salting, curing, fermenting, and smoking.Think, deli meats, hot dogs, sausages, and generally considered unhealthy. Bottom line this can cause harmful effects on health.
Switch to: Grass-Fed beef or fatty fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of essential fats that you must obtain through your diet because your body can’t produce them on its own. Salmon and albacore tuna are rich in omega nutrients.
Grass-Fed beef comes from cows who eat grass. Beef is loaded with vitamin B12, B3, and B6 and contains high quality protein and various lesser-known nutrients, such as creatine and carnosine, which are very important for your muscles and brain. In addition, grass-fed beef also tends to be richer in other antioxidants.
SAUCES AND CONDIMENTS
Store bought mayonnaise, ketchup, barbecue sauce, soy sauce, and salad dressings are easy ways to add flavor to our meals. They tend to be high in salt and sugar that spike blood sugar levels and crash energy and mood. Switch to: Fermented foods
There are several ways to enhance the flavor of your meals without relying on processed condiments. Fermented foods, such as kimchi, yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut, may improve gut health and mood.
The fermentation process allows live bacteria to thrive in foods that are then able to convert sugars into alcohol and acids.
During this process, probiotics are created. These live microorganisms support the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and may increase serotonin levels. Serotonin affects many facets of human behavior, such as mood, stress response, and appetite. Up to 90% of your body’s serotonin is produced by your gut microbiome or the collection of healthy bacteria in your gut.
In addition, the gut microbiome plays a role in brain health.
Eating fried fast food or frozen food at home could leave you seeing red. Eating fast food might do this to your body: feeling bloated, raise your cholesterol, digestive problems, weight gain, drain your energy, and affect your mood.
Switch to: Nuts
Nuts and seeds are high in plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and fiber.
Additionally, they provide tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin. Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts, and sunflower seeds, are excellent sources.
One of the main reasons people eat at fast food restaurants is because it is convenient when you get hungry, you can order and go pick up quickly. If you have handful of, it can hold back your hunger until you find a healthier option to eat.
Moreover, nuts and seeds are a large component of both the MIND and Mediterranean diets, which may support a healthy brain.
Most people like to indulge in a sweet treat now and then, but doing this regularly can have negative effects on your health. Candy is high in sugar and many types also contain unhealthy amounts of fat and calories. It will give you a sugar rush, but it will also come with a sugar crash. In addition, it comes fatigue, feel irritable, brain-fog, and sleepy. Switch to: Dark chocolate (70% or more cocoa solids)
Chocolate is rich in many mood-boosting compounds. Its sugar may improve mood since it’s a quick source of fuel for your brain.
It may release feel good compounds such as caffeine, theobromine, and N-acylethanolamine - a substance chemically similar to cannabinoids that have been linked to improve mood.
Milk chocolate contains added ingredients like sugar and fat, it is best to opt for dark chocolate which is higher in flavonoids and lower in added sugar. Have 1–2 small squares of 70% or more cocoa solids at a time since it is a high calorie food.
The bottom line when feeling blue, and you are craving high sugar foods like ice cream or cookies to try to lift your spirits.
This will definitely give you a sugar rush, however it is unlikely to help you in the long term and may have negative consequences.
Aim for wholesome foods that have been shown to not only boost your mood but also your overall health. Try the foods above, they can help kick-start your positivity routine.