6 Ways to Balance Your Mood With Food
Not enough attention is given to the power that food has to regulate our mood and support mental health. You have so much power over your mind and learning to balance mood by addressing what’s at the end of your fork is a fantastic place to start!
Balance Your Moods by Balancing Blood Sugar
Eating to balance blood sugar is absolutely essential for anyone dealing with imbalanced moods, hormonal concerns, sleep issues and fatigue. Blood sugar imbalances are one big root-cause factor in mood swings, anxiety, anger, panic attacks, depression and other severe psychological issues. Focus on getting proper sleep and eating a nutrient-dense, balanced diet.
Don’t Forget Your Minerals!
Adequate mineral intake is crucial balanced for moods, adrenal and thyroid function and overall health. Minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc and chromium are necessary for blood sugar and mood balance. Keep in mind that stress depletes minerals also. Include foods like bone broth, real salt, seaweed, kelp, dark leafy greens, grass-fed beef and liver.
Top Up On B Vitamins
B3, B6, B12 and folic acid are needed to form serotonin and other neurotransmitters that help balance the brain by supporting methylation. Be sure to eat plenty of B-rich foods, including eggs (if not intolerant), almonds, walnuts, spinach, grass-fed meats and beef liver, avocado, lentils, whole, gluten-free grains and oysters. For additional mood support you may consider a quality B complex supplementation.
Get Your Omegas
Eating enough omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for mental health. Essential fatty acids are what build our brain and our sex hormones, including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, which women need also. Imbalances in sex hormones and thyroid hormone can all contribute to anxiety, panic attacks, depression, low motivation and fatigue.
Limit Sugars & Refined Carbs
High sugar intake has been linked to poor mental health for a variety of reasons. Sugar not only negatively impacts blood sugar control, it also depletes B vitamins, vitamin C and other nutrients needed for brain, neurotransmitter and hormone balance.
Take A Break From Alcohol
Alcohol worsens memory and mood by reducing fatty acids in the brain and replacing them with more inflammatory substitutes. It also creates blood sugar instability and inflammation in the body. Additionally, if you’re reliant on alcohol to feel relaxed, you may not be producing enough GABA, a key neurotransmitter to chill you out. You may also have high estrogen levels, and there’s a good chance you’re relying on too many stimulants, such as caffeine and sugar during the day.
Skip The Processed Carbs & Sugars
Don’t go for processed foods when you’re hungry and in a pinch for a pick-me-up. They’ll make you feel great in the moment, but leave you crashing and moody later on when your blood sugar plummets. My best tip for avoiding these foods?
#1 – Don’t bring them into the house.
#2 – Be prepared when hunger strikes and make sure meals are balanced.
#3 – Work towards making your main meals whole, balanced and large enough so you’re not scrambling for something sweet mid-day.
Avoid Your Specific Food Intolerances
Surprisingly, food intolerances are big contributors to all kinds of mood-related issues, including anxiety and depression. Food intolerances form when the gut lining becomes damaged and “leaky”. Ongoing inflammation and leaky gut can affect the blood brain barrier, allowing toxins, pathogens and inflammatory molecules to enter and inflame the brain, affecting mood and cognitive function. Additionally, neurotransmitters are affected by food intolerances, altering mood.
Doing an elimination diet of common allergens for a full 30 days with your nutritionist can be a great test, but we also offer Food Intolerance Testing for those looking to dial in further. Contact us today for more information!
Registered Holistic Nutritionist™
New Optimum Nutrition for the Mind by Patrick Holford