There are scientific reasons why our brains react to some of the foods we eat. Neurotransmitters called serotonin and dopamine send messages to the brain and in short some amino acids found in our foods or lack of can play a part in whether we are feeling happy or sad.
Eating a balance of protein and carbohydrates with your meals will help balance your moods and food cravings. Eating three meals a day and a small snack in between meals can not only increase your energy it will improve your mood. Skipping meals will sabotage your performance, energy levels and mood. Planning your meals and snacks for the day is not always easy, but the pay off is huge.
Be aware of comfort foods. We usually eat these when we are sad or upset and unfortunately they are typically not the healthiest choices. Brian Wansink, a researcher from Cornell University found “when people are happy they usually choose foods higher in nutritional quality”. Choosing mood-enhancing foods on a regular basis you will increase your energy and improve your mood and you will likely continue eating this way.
So what should you eat and drink? Focus on these foods:
- Higher in omega 3 fatty acids – salmon or sardines or mix flax seed into your yogurt, cereals and even your baked goods.
- Drink more water and less caffeinated and sugary drinks
- Choose bright colored vegetables and fruits at every meal. Don’t forget the blueberries and purple grapes.
- Increase or trade your low fiber grains for the whole grains. Try this whole grain pizza at home and add your favorite toppings or better yet, make it a pizza topped with salad.
Do you notice a difference when you eat certain foods?