Is it really possible, can food affect your mood? The simple answer is yes. And what can further exacerbate this is that our mood can influence what we chose to eat and drink. As you can see, this can quickly turn into a downwards spiral of poor food choices and bad moods.
So how can we avoid this? Well, for starters we need to know how exactly food affects our mood and which foods to avoid to prevent symptoms of anxiety, depression or just irritability.
3Causes Of Mood Altering Foods
Many foods either have a positive or negative effect on our mood. So what are some of the foods that have a negative effect of mood?
- Sugar – Probably the most commonly linked to causing negative effects on mood. Fluctuations in blood sugar greatly affect our moods and energy levels. We get energy highs after eating sugar, but then come the demoralizing lows.
- Artificial sweeteners & colors – The brain can also react in mood altering ways when we eat either of these as the body does not know how to process them. These are very common ingredients in diet sodas, aspartame in particular can cause serious issues in your brain. Not uncommon side effects of aspartame can be depression and panic attacks.
- Dairy – If we have a lack of the enzymes required to digest a certain food, our moods can also change for the negative. A common example of this is an inability to digest lactose and found in dairy products.
- Caffeine – While a coffee here and there can do good things for your mood, too much caffeine can make you anxious or nervous as it is a behavior altering substance. If you suffer from anxiety try cutting coffee out of your diet and see if you notice any improvements.
Food allergies can also be a cause of food changing moods. Some of us can become sensitive to foods caused by delayed food allergies that we are completely unaware of. Sometimes we don’t see the effects of an allergy on our body for months or even years! Talk to your healthcare professional about whether you can be tested for food allergies or undertake an elimination diet to start to discover what makes your body thrive and what doesn’t.