Control your mood with food

Give it a try and see how it affects your mood!

Remember when you mom or grandmother would question what you were eating and when you were eating it? They would say things like, “that will put you in a bad mood”, or “that will just wind you up”, or “don’t eat that it makes you hyper”. And you believed it was a conspiracy to stop you from eating all the foods you enjoyed because you certainly didn’t hear them say that when you were struggling to eat your veggies or your Broccoli. Well, now there may be some truth to the oldwives tale. 

In a study in Lancet Psychiatry they say that there is “emerging and compelling evidence for nutrition as a crucial factor… suggests that diet is as important to psychiatry as is cardiology, endocrinology, and gastroenterology”. And that there is growing evidence for the relation between dietary quality and mental health and recommends the advocacy of recognizing that diet and nutrition as major determinants of physical and mental health. To elaborate further a great article, Nutritional Psychiatry: Your brain on food  by Eva Selhub in the Harvard Health Publications tells how the food you eat can affect the way you feel. 

So, with more compelling evidence that what we eat can affect our mental health, for simplicity our mood, then it may be time to pay attention to what we put in our mouths and each member of our families and the ones we feed. I advocate taking a reverse approach that we use when introducing new solid foods to our infants, we feed then wait to see the infant’s reaction to the food. In this case the opposite, we deprive ourselves of the food, then wait to see the mood or behavior the food has on the body. 

  • Identify a food or food group.
  • Stop eating the food for approximately two weeks.
  • Add the food slowly back into the diet after the given period.
  • Consider how much of the food was consumed
  • Observe or record the mood or behaviors after adding the food back into the diet.
  • Is the mood happier, more sad, is there no change, or
  • Was the body’s reaction, like bloating, jittery, heavy, etc., contributing to an undesirable mood? 

Try it, you may find that you can control your mood with food! Visit other health and nutrition sites at Michigan State University Extension

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