Are you feeling sad for no reason? Have you been eating lots of pizza? Or maybe you had too many drinks last night at a happy hour?
This week, I received an interesting question: Can food affect how we feel? I must admit that at first, I didn't know about this at all. So, I contacted a professional that not only is a certified nutritionist, but her focus happens to be on this very topic! Melissa Mitri has been helping people for over 10 years with their dietary problems, associated moodiness, and how to effectively manage both. Let's dive into this!
Q: Can food really affect our mood?
A: Yes, what we eat can have an effect on if we're feeling good or bad. If we eat overly heavy foods like fried or greasy foods or eat past the point of being
comfortably full, this can make us feel run down, bloated, and even depressed.
Q: What should we be eating if we want to improve our mood?
Plenty of mood-boosting foods like tuna, leafy green veggies, and nuts.
Omega-3 rich foods like fatty fish (e.g., salmon, or fish oil supplements if you're not a fish gal), chia, or flaxseed has been shown to boost mood and ward off depression.
Mushrooms can also boost happiness, as they increase levels of serotonin (a hormone that improves mood) in your body
1-2 oz of dark chocolate a day increases our happiness-boosting neurotransmitters
Q: Besides what we eat, what other advice would you give us to keep smiling and energetic throughout the day?
Eat balanced meals regularly (i.e., don't skip meals!) If you don't eat regularly and are often skipping meals, this can affect your blood sugar levels. Erratic blood sugars can lead to cravings, fatigue, and moodiness. Making sure your meals are well balanced and contain protein, healthy fats, and whole grains will stabilize your blood sugars and keep your energy levels steady.
Melissa and I spoke about how things like school projects, a hectic work schedule, or a new baby could impact our meal choices, and we get it! Eating well gets challenging when you are a superwoman! but being aware and planning ahead could make a big difference.
If you do not have a lot of time try things like meal prepping, having healthy snacks on hand, and drinking plenty of water throughout your day!
So there you go, eating well won't only help you boosting your mood, but will also have an impact on your ability to cope with stressors and how well you concentrate!
Happy tummy = Happy life!
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