Food and Mood: the link between food and our mental states

February 22, 2010

Diets & Nutrition

Food cravings are extremely strong, depleting your energy and your will. Experts even say that is has nothing to do with hunger. Food and mood are linked together. Prohibiting yourself the consumption of certain foods will only make you want them even more. Because these food cravings are related, most often, to your emotional states, you must succeed to control your moods to permanently get rid of them.

The link between food and mood:
• Chocolate – is associated with depression and sadness, a common thing during menstruation or exhaustion. Solution: exercise to increase your serotonin levels, drink soy milk or eat skimmed yogurt;
• Dairy products (including ice cream) – are associated with frustration, resentment and depression. Solution: adopt a diet that is rich in nutrients, because depression sometimes comes as a result of vitamins and minerals deficiencies. Exercise and keep a journal in which you write it down your emotions. If it does not work, search for help from an expert to get rid of depression;
• Chips – are associated with stress, anger and frustration. Solution: identify the reason that induces that state. Eat crisp vegetables or wait for 15 minute before you start devouring the bag of chips; • Bread, pasta and rice – are associated with stress, fear or tension. Solution: replaces them with popcorn or with rice cake;
• Sweets – are associated with states of boredom, anger, stress, frustration or when you need more energy. Solution: replaces them with fruits or reduce their amount;
• Foods that are high in fat – are associated with fear of change/new or a feeling of spiritual emptiness. Solution: Try to master these states and find refuge elsewhere that in eating inadequate.

What we eat determines our state of happiness, sadness, alert or depression is very . When eating certain foods, our brain releases chemicals called neurotransmitters that control our moods, thoughts, appetite and behavior. That is how food and moods are linked. A high consumption of carbohydrates (pasta, bread, fruit) releases serotonin, which creates a feeling of happiness. Foods high in protein (chicken, fish, nuts, soy products) release dopamine and noradrenalin, which are designed to raise energy in the body.

Tips to stop food cravings:
• Keep a food diary to note what you eat, the amounts, time of day, feeling before and after eating;
• Wait 15 minutes before eating and then think if hunger persist;
• Enjoy all foods, but with moderation;
• Find a another refuge besides throwing yourself at food. Try to take a walk or to call a friend;
• Exercise steps up the release of serotonin and endorphins that are designed to reduce stress and to make you feel better;
• Adopt a balanced diet for a maximum of energy;
• If you feel the need to crunch something fast, make healthy choices: fruits and vegetables, popcorn;
• If you think you need an expert advice do not hesitate to contact the doctor!

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