How does food affect your mood?

Knowing how food affects your mood can be really confusing, especially when it feels like the advice changes regularly. However, evidence suggests that as well as affecting our physical health, what we eat may also affect the way we feel.Improving your diet may help to:

– Improve your mood

– Give you more energy

– Help you think more clearly.

Eating regularly
If your blood sugar drops you might feel tired, irritable and depressed. Eating regularly and choosing foods that release energy slowly will help to keep your sugar levels steady.Slow-release energy foods include: pasta, rice, oats, wholegrain bread and cereals, nuts and seeds.

Staying hydrated
When we ask does food affect your mood, it isn’t just food we should think about. If you don’t drink enough fluid, you may find it difficult to concentrate or think clearly. You might also start to feel constipated (which puts no one in a good mood).It’s recommended that you drink between 6–8 glasses of fluid a day.Water is a cheap and healthy option.Tea, coffee, juices and smoothies all count towards your intake (but be aware that these may also contain caffeine or sugar).

Looking after your gut
Sometimes your gut can reflect how you are feeling emotionally. If you’re stressed or anxious this can make your gut slow down or speed up. For healthy digestion you need to have plenty of fibre, fluid and exercise regularly.Healthy gut foods include: fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, beans, pulses, live yoghurt and other probiotics.

Getting enough protein
Protein contains amino acids, which make up the chemicals your brain needs to regulate your thoughts and feelings. It also helps keep you feeling fuller for longer.Protein is in: lean meat, fish, eggs, cheese, legumes (peas, beans and lentils), soya products, nuts and seeds.

Managing caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it will give you a quick burst of energy, but then may make you feel anxious and depressed, disturb your sleep (especially if you have it before bed), or give you withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly.

Avoid caffeine after 6pm if you are sensitive to it and/or you struggle to fall asleep.Caffeine is in: tea, coffee, chocolate, cola and other manufactured energy drinks.

Diet is one of the many aspects of your life that can significantly impact your mental health. Please get in touch with us if you would like further guidance on how you can work to improve your mental health.

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