Yes, there’s such a thing as bad mood foods. But how can food contribute to your feeling? One great example is when you smell a heavy dish. What do you feel? Are you feeling alert or sluggish? How about smelling a coffee?
Food can alter your mood and how you feel. The reason for this is that what you eat acts on your neurotransmitters, which are brain chemicals that shape your feeling.
For example, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel relaxed. Dopamine, on the other hand, is another brain chemical that helps you be more focused.
What you eat will be the foundation for these brain chemicals because the brain gets its nutrients from your food and regulate your mood. Now, if you’re not giving your brain the right food that can balance the levels of brain chemicals, you’ll experience mood swings.
Foods that are high in omega-3s are great options that could boost your mood. However, if you feed your brain with low-quality ones, they could negatively impact your brain, eventually your attitude.
Your blood sugar also affects how you feel. If you endlessly eat options with a high amount of sugar, they could cause a crash when the sugar starts to get out from your blood. When there’s little amount of sugar in your blood, it could cause a headache. You’ll also feel more irritable.
So, in this post, let’s talk about the bad mood foods that you must stay away from. Some of them are pretty obvious while others might surprise you. If you feel down because you ate one of these options, it might be time for you to choose the feel-good items.
1. Artificial sweeteners
They’re found in chewing gums. You can also have them when you drink a no-calorie water. Your toothpaste may also have them. The side effects of using them would include mood disorders and different types of headaches, including a migraine.
However, if you take them in a small amount, they will slightly affect your mood.
Apart from artificial sweeteners, added sugars, too, are bad mood foods. Even though they taste good, they could cause an emotional breakdown. If you eat high amount, they could increase your anxiety, and you tend to be more irritable. When you continue having them in your diet, they could prevent your body in fighting against the adverse effects of stress. As a result, you’ll find it hard to relax.
These added sugars aren’t the same as the natural sugars, like in fruits. But these nasty sugars are added to food products, such as condiments and yogurt. Thus, watch out for them as they might be the cause of your bad mood.
What must you instead?
- Choose natural sweeteners. You can pick raw honey that you can get from a farmer’s market.
- Coconut sugar is also ideal, as long as you know its source.
- Stevia is another great alternative because it’s 0 calories.
It’s a no-no because it’s rich in sugar. In fact, it’s considered by nutritionists as a toxic food that can put your mood down. It can replenish thirst, but it’s just a short-term solution.
Soda drinks are mainly simple sugars. Your body absorbed them quickly. As a result, it causes an instant increase in your energy. But after a few minutes, it goes down affecting your energy and mood.
What about those diet sodas? Unfortunately, they’re more harmful than regular sodas. That’s because their sugar content is twice that of a regular option. People who take at least two glasses or cans of diet sodas a day could end up having a soda belly. It’s similar to having a beer belly.
What’s the alternative? Just drink water if you’re thirsty. Tea is a good choice as well. But don’t add sugar to it. Just drink it plain.
It may help you start your morning. Plus, coffee is rich in antioxidants. In fact, studies showed that it could somehow protect your brain against any cognitive decline.
Unfortunately, if you’re a type of person who drinks more than three cups of coffee a day, then your mood might not be as cheerful as you want it to be. The reason for this is that your body is entering an overdose zone. Instead of helping you out, it causes more harm to your body and brain.
Coffee contains caffeine, which affects your mood. It impacts neurotransmitters that can cause you to feel less cheerful. Apart from that, it also increases your anxiety because it causes an increase in your heart rate. It’s the reason you sometimes feel a bit jittery.
Now, if you’re a regular drinker, you might experience headaches and the lack of energy after having a day without taking a coffee.
Coffee isn’t entirely a bad mood food as long as you take it in moderation. One cup is ideal.
What can you drink instead?
- Green tea is more preferred than coffee. It may still contain caffeine, but the amount is less than what’s in the coffee. Plus, it contains anti-aging properties.
- You may also want to try turmeric tea. It has anti-inflammatory elements.
They’re delicious, and they can fill your stomach. But they’re unhealthy, and they cause a spike in your blood sugar. That’s because they’re just simple carbohydrates.
Simple carbs can negatively affect your mood as they also change your focus and energy. As a result, you’ll experience mood swings. Bagels are white grains without nutritional value. That is, they’re of empty calories.
Now, if you don’t consume them with protein, they could easily cause an immediate rise in your blood sugar.
What’s the alternative? As mentioned, they’re bad if you consume them without protein.
- Try eating a bagel with peanut butter.
- Or just consume food with good carbs. Great examples would be oats and sweet potatoes.
They can maintain your blood sugar level. They’re also rich in nutrients. Plus, they contain a high amount of fiber.
5. Agave Nectar
It’s considered as a low GI sweetener. However, it contains a high amount of fructose. With that, it increases your risk of suffering from a metabolic syndrome. This medical condition causes your brain to shrink and put you in a crappy mood.
Agave nectar is dangerous because it undergoes a highly processed procedure that involves removing the natural agave juice, which contains all nutritional value. This sweetener is made mostly from fructose.
Why is fructose bad? It’s the most harmful sugar because it’s not metabolized in the bloodstream. Compared to other artificial sweeteners, agave nectar contains the highest amount of fructose.
What to try instead?
- Choose to use 100% maple syrup.
- You may also try raw honey or Manuka honey.
- These alternatives contain the right minerals that promote health.
6. Salted peanuts
Peanuts are great for your health because they’re rich in protein. Unfortunately, if they’re salted, they contain a lot of sodium and food additives. These artificial flavorings can cause you to be in a mood. Not only that, but they can also result in depression and fatigue.
What to choose?
- Instead of purchasing salted peanuts, opt to make raw almonds or Brazil nuts.
- Boil peanuts at home and avoid adding a high amount of salt.
- You may also mix raw nuts with rosemary, which is known to have brain-protecting properties.
How much did you drink last night? Two or three glasses? That might be the reason you’re feeling down.
Red wine is an alcohol. It’s good for you. However, drinking it frequently will surely make you feel down.
It’s true that you’ll feel cheerful while you drink alcohol. However, it also results in your body to produce hormones that can trigger stress and anxiety. It reduces serotonin level in the body that can lead to an awful mood.
What’s the alternative?
- If you can avoid drinking alcohol, then avoid it.
- You may wish to relax by drinking fermented cold beverages.
- However, if you can’t, limit your consumption to two glasses a week. Or you may choose to have gluten-free alcohol.
8. Baked treats
Great examples would be cookies and cakes. Baked goodies include high levels of saturated oils and refined sugars. These ingredients are known to cause depression. You’ll feel lethargic, and your mood fluctuates.
Baked treats are an indulgence. But you can have healthy alternatives, such as Greek yogurt and mashed bananas.
9. Egg whites
Egg, per se, is healthy and it contains a high amount of protein. However, eliminating the egg yolk would also mean getting rid of mood-enhancing benefits.
In addition to protein, a whole egg contains B vitamins and choline. These nutrients are known to support your brain’s health, so they balance your mood.
What’s more is that the good stuff of egg is found in the yolk. Thus, if you’re not eating it, you’re not getting all nutrients of an egg.
Try this instead:
Eat organic whole egg. Make sure that it’s a free-range egg, instead of the egg that comes from a conventionally raised chicken.
10. French fries
Those delicious fries that you buy from McDonald or Burger King are full of saturated fats. They contain a high amount of salt and refined carbs. These ingredients, alone, can already affect your mood.
The carbs, fats, and salt in them will cause your energy to increase. You’ll feel alert. However, when they leave your system, you’ll end up feeling irritable and foggy. Not to mention, they widen your waistline.
What to choose?
- Baked your fries, rather than buying them from a restaurant.
- Or you can choose to avoid them entirely.
- Opt for baked potatoes or mashed potatoes. They’re healthier because they don’t contain a lot of salt.
Cereals are great. However, those that you buy from a store contain refined carbs. As previously mentioned, refined carb can increase your blood sugar level, resulting in mood swings. It also increases your risk of depression.
Wheat, too, is bad for your mood. That’s because of its gluten content. If you eat a lot of gluten, it can cause mental fog and other reactions related to inflammation.
What to choose?
- Eat food that’s filled with protein.
- Instead of refined carbs, opt to have food with complex carbohydrates. This kind of carb can stabilize blood sugar while keeping your energy high. In that way, you’re always ready to tackle your day.
12. Dried fruits
They can be a healthy part of your diet. Unfortunately, they’ve lost their water content during the drying process. Furthermore, you tend to overeat them. As a result, you’re consuming a lot of sugar causing disruption in your gut.
Dried fruits contain fiber that can alleviate a blood sugar increase. But make sure you’re mindful of your portions. Never overindulge them as they can easily wipe away all of their health benefits.
What to choose instead?
Opt for fresh fruits, instead. They’re not deprived of water, and all of their nutritional content is still intact.
For your mood’s sake, avoid margarine. They’re made of fats that can cause inflammation or worsen it. Because they contain a high amount of omega-6, they can block the benefits of omega-3, which is a natural mood enhancer.
What if it’s made with olive oil? It’s still not good enough. It won’t make butter a better choice to enhance your mood.
What’s the alternative?
- Instead of margarine, choose to use grass-fed option.
- Ghee is great for cooking.
14. Potato chips
Most producers of potato chips are using vegetable oil to fry them. Unfortunately, the vegetable oil contains a high amount of saturated fats. Plus, it has increased level of omega-6.
As mentioned earlier, having raised amount of omega-6 in your body can just negate the benefits of omega-3. As a result, it causes inflammation in the body. From there, it leads to mental and emotional instabilities.
Healthier alternatives? There are a lot of them.
You can opt for cinnamon carrot chips, tomato chips, baked squash chips, and baked taro chips, among others.
But make sure that you cook them at home and not purchase them from a grocery store.
These bad mood foods contain a lot of chemicals that can affect the right chemicals in your brain. When you eat these options, you’ll experience mood swings and sugar lows. Stick to those alternatives to enhance your mood.