There is more than enough proof that food is able to change your mood. Like Christmas dinners that leave you sleepier than a decent dose of valium. Or your daily cup of coffee, that you need to wake up and start your day properly. Whenever you are down and feeling low, spinach would not be the first thing to think about. No, you’re going for chocolate or something else that is sweet, because that is what makes you feel better.
Nowadays, plenty of research has been done, and scientists agree that there are significant mind-altering effects noticeable with different types of food. Fat, for instance, is able to make you sleepy, calm, and can even ease your perception of pain.
Even though a long walk and meditation can also aid a foul mood, let’s face it: sometimes you only feel like eating your troubles away. And who can blame you, when there is scientific evidence that food can alter the chemistry of your brain?
Although eating yourself to a good mood can be extremely comforting, you do have to remember that stuffing yourself with chocolate is not exactly healthy. However, there are enough healthy “foods” that will lift you up to a better mood instantly.
Without any reason, you feel incredibly down and just want to weep your day away, the first thing that comes to mind would be a big chunk of chocolate. But what you really need is a low-fat, low-protein, but high-carbohydrate snack. That sounds very complicated but all you need is an English muffin with a dollop blueberry jam seeping into those nooks and crannies.
When high-carbohydrate food is not in the presence of protein or fat, they allow tryptophan to flood to your brain that results in a boosted mood. Added to that, it also helps to curb food cravings and chocolate yearnings. The last perk is that it helps you tolerate pain and helps you sleep like a baby.
A second remedy is having a piece of whole wheat bread with some honey or a bowl of popcorn. Make sure that you don’t take any protein foods, such as cheese, chicken or turkey. They suppress serotonin, the stuff that makes you feel happy, rather than to stimulate it.
When you are very sleepy, and you cannot get enough time to wake up fresh and energized, you are intolerant, depressed, forgetful, and irritable, these are the foods you should take. Dealing with insomnia is absolutely horrible, but perhaps your problem starts at the dinner table, instead of in the bedroom.
Cut out your caffeine intake, and that does not only mean that you should avoid coffee, tea, coke, or hot chocolate. It also means cutting out those energy drinks, vitamin waters and even some yogurts.
Try to switch to decaf, and find other substitutes for your favourite drinks. You might feel crappy for a day or two since you are experiencing a withdrawal, but we promise, it is so worth it. You will be able to sleep a lot better, and you will also feel better.
Try not to have dinner too late, and lighten it up. Heavy meals can keep you awake while your body is digesting in overload. Try to have a heavier breakfast or heavier lunch, and keep your dinner small. Add a small snack in the shape of fruit or a low-fat oatmeal raisin cookie to keep the serotonin going.
This is not to state the obvious, but alcohol seriously interferes with your sleep. It stops you from dreaming and leaves you tired in the morning. Limit your alcohol intake to a maximum of two drinks with dinner around two hours before you go to sleep. Banana’s, avocado’s, or chicken sandwiches are good to increase your copper consumption, and since these foods are rich in this vital mineral, you will fall asleep easier.
When you feel dull, a cup of coffee is one of the most popular choices, you will feel alert and revived. Your concentration increases and your reaction time is faster. The caffeine in your cup causes a chemical reaction, giving your brain that boost. Although this rush is helpful for quite some time, remind yourself that too much coffee is not good nor healthy for you. You will feel too buzzed to think clearly and once the caffeine is out of your system, you will experience a let down. A heavy fatigue that causes you the urge to reach for another cup.
To maintain a temporary rush that continues to be pleasant, limit yourself to solely 3 cups of coffee per day. As mentioned before, if you experience insomnia, leave the coffee and other caffeinated drinks alone.
Another helpful medicine is fish. The omega-3 fatty acids that fish contains, mainly salmon, herring, sardines, and tuna, help easing depressive symptoms. After a recent study on bipolar disorders that was supposed to be conducted for 9 months, stopped after four months only. This was due to the effectiveness of omega-3, besides the good fats that this fish contains, the amount of mercury is relatively high. This metal is linked to birth defects. The types of fish that are low in mercury are pacific salmon, shrimps, summer flounders, farmed catfish, croakers, haddocks, and mid-Atlantic blue crabs.