Now have we got some food for thought for you! Literally…in this blog post we talk about all things food (yum) and how they can have such a strong and direct effect on our thoughts and feelings.
We aren’t talking about those sugary treats that satisfy those stressed and hormonal feelings for about 5 minutes then suddenly send you spiraling down into an inevitable blood-sugar crash.
We’re talking about the foods that actually do the opposite: boost your mood and energy, tame stress and foster positive mental health to perform better at life.
What was thought to just be a source of nutrition, has now evolved into something with much more meaning: comfort, love, reward, diversion, punishment. Food has gone from being something to satisfy hunger, into a source of fulfilling our emotional needs or a way to fight our internal problems.
There’s no denying it, but our brains and guts are intimately linked! So rather than using food to fight emotions, we should be using them to boost our emotions and moods! And here’s how…
Below are a list of different moods and feelings us girls can experience. Following the feeling, are the types of foods you should be eating to prevent these feelings.
Hangry? (Hungry & Angry) This surprisingly can be due to a lack of carbs. Carbs play a role in producing serotonin - the brain’s feel-good chemical that’s in charge of boosting your mood. You should be eating good quality carbs like fruits, veggies and whole grains that will snap you out of this mood.
Depressed? Fats are your friend when it comes to fighting depression. Although food is just a minor component when it comes to curing something like depression, it can definitely have an impact on your overall mental state. Healthy fats found in omega-3 foods such as salmon and nuts are a key mood-boosting nutrient that alter brain chemicals linked with mood. Studies have even shown that students who took omega-3 foods before an exam, lowered their anxiety symptoms by as much as 20%.
Lacking energy? Protein is your go to when you want to boost those energy levels. Eating protein fueled foods like eggs, poultry and tofu can help slow the absorption of cars in your blood and increase the release of dopamine (A chemical that improves your energy levels several hours after eating)
Fatigued? Have you ever noticed how you feel sluggish after a big lunch or dinner? This is because your body s trying to digest your food with the energy in your body. To avoid this “food coma,” try to eat smaller portions of food throughout the day filled with fresh fruits and veggies rather than processed foods like burgers and fries. Stick to whole grain foods and lean protein.
Feeling emotional? (Or is it that time of the month?) As much as it would be nice to indulge in a packet of Krispy Creme donuts, the satisfaction of eating these goodies are only temporary. Rather than eating to escape a bad mood, try to find other ways to feed your feelings like going to see a friend, exercising or mediating. Or take 5 before you give into a craving. Give yourself 5 minutes to pause and reflect, and give yourself the chance to make a difference decision. You’ll be surprised at what 5 can do to steer away from your next craving.
So next time you’re feeling blue or a bit blah, don't succumb to the trap of emotional eating! Use food to your advantage. Fk emotional eating and start eating foods that have a positive effect on your well-being!