In life we experience a rollercoaster of emotions. With the stress of work, home, and kids, it is often a struggle to get through the day. Most of the time, we reach out to others for support in dealing with these issues. This may help some, but the answer lies within you. I am talking about your food choices. There are many ways that food is linked to how you feel. By understanding these, you are empowered to live a happier and more energetic life!
Emotions and Food
For years it was thought that mood swings were a result of chemical imbalances, or mental health issues. Of course, there are times when this is the case. There is evidence, however, that food is linked to your emotions. That’s right, the fries and shake that you had for lunch could be the reason you felt so cranky at dinner time.
Food and Hormones
The reason for this connection goes back to your hormones. A hormone is defined as a chemical substance that controls and regulates certain cells and organs within the body. When you do not eat properly you send mixed signals to your hormones. For example, eating too much sugar causes the pancreas to release an excessive amount of the insulin hormone. When this happens you experience low blood sugar. As a result you feel cranky and aggravated.
Learn from the Diabetic
This is very common in diabetics. They experience extreme mood swings as apart of hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a condition where the blood sugar is too low. Symptoms of this disease include crankiness, drowsiness, and feeling “not quite right.” They are instructed to eat in order to stop the symptoms. After eating and raising the blood sugar, their emotions return to normal.
Often times, others who suffer from mood swings could take notes from diabetics. By maintaining a consistent diet you keep your emotions balanced. Choose complex carbohydrates and protein, rather than sugar or starch. This will keep the blood sugar from going too high or low. You will feel more calm and relaxed after doing this for a few days.
When Having Your Favorite is Okay
Some foods cause your body to release “feel good” hormones called endorphins. Chocolate is an example of this. When you eat chocolate your brain releases a chemical to make you happy. That’s why many people are practically addicted to this stuff! When eaten in moderation it can be a wonderful little pick me up for those with out health issues.
Food Temperature and Emotions
Many times the temperature of food is linked to how you feel. Have you ever thought about how soothing a cup of hot soup is on a cold, winter day? What about ice cream on a hot summer day? The funny thing is that if you change the temperature of the soup or ice, it would provide a totally different emotion. This is why many restaurants change their menu items from season to season. They know that your body will appreciate a “turkey sandwich special” in the summer time, more than in the winter.
Control your feelings with your diet
Listen to your body. How do certain foods make you feel? Start to choose food that makes you feel the best. Your body knows what you like, and will associate certain emotions with those foods. If your favorite drink is a sprite, then don’t settle for a Coke. Whenever possible choose the sprite, you’ll be just a little happier throughout the day. Notice how pleasant you are at a dinner party, when your favorite meal is on the menu. By paying attention, you will learn how to feel good by eating right.