Have you ever noticed that your mood shifts after eating certain foods? I know we all feel it after a large cup of joe, am I right? It shouldn’t come as a surprise that foods you eat, and the eating habits you’ve formed effect both your mood and metabolism. But who really knows which foods cause happiness or give you energy, or which make you tired, stressed, etc. I found this great article on EverydayHealth.com by Abigale Miller informing us of 6 Tips to Boost Mood & Metabolism.
By making a few simple adjustments to your diet, you can elevate your mood and boost your metabolism.
Resist Skipping Meals. Skipping or missing a meal can cause a dip in your blood sugar, leading to crankiness and lethargy. Maintain your blood sugar levels, and your energy, by eating small amounts of food throughout the day. You might even prefer eating six smaller meals rather than three large ones.
Stay Hydrated. Dehydration can also make you feel sluggish and lethargic. Be sure to drink throughout the day, and don’t rely on thirst alone to remind you to have another glass of water. The average person needs about eight glasses of water, and that may be hard to drink without reminders.
Think Moderation, Especially for Low-Nutrient Foods.Avoid a lot of caffeine, refined carbohydrates (sugar), alcohol, salt, and other food additives. Any of these, especially in large amounts, can decrease your metabolic efficiency. Excess salt can disrupt your fluid balance, changing your daily water needs, not to mention increasing health risks like high blood pressure.
Strive for Balance in the Food You Eat. Properly combine protein, carbohydrates, and fat to achieve a balanced energy intake. In general, a healthy diet includes a mix of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and some protein, but each person has individual needs based on age, sex, physical activity level, body size, and stress factors. To find out the best foods for you, consult a nutritionist who can help you determine the right balance.
Get a Boost From “Good Mood” Food. While research about the mood- and metabolism-boosting qualities of certain foods is mixed, foods high in the amino acid tryptophan can increase serotonin levels in the brain, contributing to feelings of optimism and calm. Add some bananas, avocados, dried apricots, walnuts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds for some extra tryptophan. Polyunsaturated omega-3 fats help elevate mood and reduce anxiety and depression. Look for omega-3-rich fish, like salmon and mackerel; walnuts and pumpkin seeds are also sources of these healthy fatty acids.
Keep a Food Diary. Some foods can have the opposite effect of tryptophan and instead trigger negative changes in mood and cause irritability or headaches. If you think a particular food might be affecting your mood, start a food diary. Record all the foods you eat each day and how you feel before and after every meal. After two weeks, review your entries to see if any foods line up with specific moods, either good or bad.
The key message here is balance. A variety of healthy foods with a dose of exercise will help you maintain your energy, speed up your metabolism, and boost your mood.