Learn how to stay happy and get negative emotions under control with easy changes to your diet and lifestyle:
- The foods and drinks that kill your energy and mood
- Ways to regulate your hormones so you stay balanced
- Keeping your digestive system healthy to help stabilise mood
Whatever anyone else says, you are not a moody, anxious, tearful, highly-strung, bad-tempered or angry person! Negative emotions are not personality traits, they are your physical and mental responses to triggers in your environment. Get them under control with dietary changes even if you’re stuck with triggers, such as a person or situation that winds you up. Our Nutritionist Claire explains the worst mood killers in your diet and how to eat to keep smiling.
LOW ENERGY MEANS LOW MOOD
We’ve discussed these usual culprits in previous posts, but we can’t ignore how caffeine, alcohol, sugar and refined carbohydrates affect our energy balance in the most disruptive way. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a failsafe way to kill your mood and it happens when you get the energy dip after eating and drinking too many fast-releasing sugars. Who has snapped the head off their favourite person because you ate badly earlier in the day? Stop it happening with these tips:
- Avoid foods packed with sugar and refined carbohydrates like commercial chocolate, biscuits, cakes, muffins, soft drinks, juices, alcoholic drinks.
- Caffeine in tea and coffee doesn’t contain sugar, but it triggers the liver to release energy, so it has a similar effect to eating a biscuit.
- Eat foods containing protein and fibre with each meal and snack – these slow down the rate of digestion and stop the energy highs and lows.
Imbalanced hormones can lead to the irrational sensation of moodiness that most women have experienced at some point. There’s no sexism here by the way; women simply have more fluctuations in their hormone levels than men!
- All our hormones work in synergy, so if you eat too much sugar, excessive insulin is produced (the hormone that takes sugar out of the blood), which then disrupts our sex hormone levels.
- Any excess hormones we produce are managed by our bodies naturally, they are detoxified in the liver and eliminated. However, if your liver is overloaded or you are constipated (even mildly) then excess hormones are reabsorbed and go back into circulation, causing worsening of symptoms.
- You can give your liver and gut a helping hand by taking Organic Burst Chlorella every day, because it promotes detoxification and helps maintain a good balance of gut flora.
- Organic Burst Maca can balance hormones as well as boosting your energy and mood, so it’s perfect for keeping you stable.
Any foods that can cause sensitivities, i.e. irritate your digestive system, cause you discomfort, itching, sneezing or a flare up in skin conditions such as eczema, can also affect your mood. This is because your gut and your brain are very closely linked, many of our mood-dependent neurotransmitters are made in the gut and our nervous system provides a direct link between the two.
- Grains, gluten, fructose and dairy are common culprits for causing reactions in the gut. When our intestinal lining becomes inflamed from an overload of these types of foods, it becomes more permeable and incompletely broken down proteins manage to leak into our bloodstream, causing an opiate effect (this is why we crave the foods that do us most damage), as well as brain fog, headaches, and immune reactions.
- Eliminate foods that cause you symptoms, you may need to use a food diary and work with a nutritionist to discover these, but here’s a handy hint: gluten is an irritant to most people to some extent.
- Eat foods that are healing for the gut lining such as aloe vera, naturally fermented foods (kefir, tempeh, miso, sauerkraut), easily absorbed protein (spirulina, soaked nuts and seeds, fish) and fish oils.
SAY NO TO ADDITIVES
Processed foods are packed with additives that have been found to be damaging to our mental health, including sweeteners, colourings, preservatives and monosodium glutamate.
- Aspartame (a common sweetener) and monosodium glutamate (MSG) seem to be the biggest culprits for affecting our mood because they are toxic to the brain and actually destroy our neurones. Avoid soft drinks and processed foods as much as possible.
- Eat a ‘clean diet’ focussing on pure, whole and natural foods without a long, unpronounceable ingredients list. Plenty of oily fish for essential brain fats, and more antioxidant-rich berries and the spice turmeric can be very protective.
- Organic Burst Spirulina is a mood saviour because it is rich in Vitamin B6 and contains iron that are both known to support brain function.
Finally, don’t forget the importance of getting outside in daylight hours, and exercising in the open air to boost your mood.