Most of us have a friend or know somebody that gets cranky when their hungry. Being hungry is one thing, but can a person’s mood be affected by what, or when they eat? Can a change in diet bring about a change in personality? Maybe we don’t need to go that far, but there are some interesting facts about how food affects our mood.
Dietary changes can trigger chemical and physiological changes within the brain that alter our behavior and emotions. What you eat can change your mood, energy, how you sleep and how well you think.
Your body needs fuel and when you skip a meal or don’t eat regularly it’s like trying to run a car without gas. Going too long without eating lowers your blood sugar which can cause mood swings. This is especially important with children. Children who skip breakfast perform better and get into less trouble in school.
For many dieter’s carbs are to be avoided at all costs, but that may not be the best advice. Your body needs carbs to produce serotonin, a brain chemical that elevates mood, suppresses appetite and has a calming effect. Research has revealed that low carb dieters are more likely to feel tired, angry and depressed. Candy, cakes and cookies are forms of carbs that can be cut out when dieting, but there are good forms of complex carbs found in whole grains that should remain in the daily diet.
Eating too much greasy fat from things like potato chips are linked to depression and dementia. Eating a large, high fat meal will also make you feel sluggish.
What you drink can also alter your mood. Drinking too much coffee can bring on anxiety, nervousness and mood swings. One or two cups of coffee a day will avoid any of the negative effects. Drinking a glass of low-fat or skim milk can improve mood and enhance memory.
So now the saying “you are what you eat” takes on a whole new meaning.