Stop for a second before you gobble up that chocolate. Did you know that your food choices can make or break your mood? You may not realise it, but there’s a significant connection between your diet and your emotions. Wondering how? It all starts with your brain. Like any other organ in your body, your brain needs the right nutrients to function properly. Certain foods can deprive your brain of essential nutrients, which can alter your behaviour and affect your mood. Keep your mood in check by staying away from these top five mood-wrecking foods.
Ham and polony can make your life easier, but they can also send your mood spiraling. Most cold meats are made from cheap cuts and are highly processed. They’re injected with sugars, salt, starches, food dyes, and nitrate preservatives, which have been linked to low moods and mood disorders. Swap cold meats for grilled or roasted chicken. Lean poultry contains tryptophan, which the body uses to make serotonin – the hormone that regulates your moods, and makes you feel happy.
It has long been touted as a healthier alternative to butter. Truth is, margarine is one of the top sources of trans-fats. These inflammation-promoting, industrial fats are bad for your heart, and have been linked to depression. Margarine is also high in mood-tampering Omega-6 fatty acids. Miss the margarine, and opt for butter instead. Butter is a source of Omega-3 fatty acids known to stabilise and improve moods. Just make sure you use it in moderation.
Raw peanuts are a perfectly healthy snack. But those processed, packaged ones are bad news, and could be the reason for your uncontrollable mood swings. They are high in sodium and packed with questionable food additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG), which may disrupt your mood and cause migraines. Stop costing yourself a good mood, and stick with raw peanuts. They’re much more nutritious and pack a healthy punch of the mineral selenium, which can help ward off anxiety and depression.
Love your chip and dip? Well, your mood doesn’t. Potato chips are fried in oils laden with Omega-6 fatty acids known to block out mood-enhancing Omega-3 fatty acids. Trade in the greasy stuff for a handful of almonds. These crunchy nuts contain zinc, a key nutrient for maintaining a balanced mood. They’re also a good source of healthy fats that can help boost your mood, and prevent mental health problems.
A hearty cup of soup can make you feel all warm and fuzzy – unless you’re eating the canned kind. Canned soups contain high levels of bisphenol-A (BPA), a toxic chemical used to make plastics and resins. BPA has been linked to depression, irritability and anxiety. Toss those canned soups, and make your own from scratch. Fill yours with natural mood-boosting ingredients like turkey, carrots, pumpkin, lentils, and beans.