Using Food to Change Mood
Prefer a natural alternative to changing your state of mind? While
major chronic mood disorders require counseling and intermittent drug
treatment, often we can make small but significant changes to our diet
and lifestyle to assist us to get out of a bad frame of mind. Try these
simple tips next time you have a case of the “blahs”.
- Feeling Irritable?
Maintaining steady blood sugar levels will help stave off sugar swings
that can lead to irritability. Eating 5 to 6 small meals throughout
the day and never missing breakfast can make for a much more stable
mood. Supplementing with chromium, zinc and the B group vitamins will
also help. Avoid sugary foods that will spike blood sugar levels.
Include protein in each meal for staying power. Get into the habit
of taking 10 slow breaths before you speak or make a decision when
under intense stress. This slows your body’s fight-or-flight
mechanism and also allows you to act on rather than simply react to
- Feeling stressed?
We all know about stress. Work, social and family commitments, not
to mention personal trauma, can take their toll. Try withania, Siberian
ginseng and B group vitamins. Don’t skip meals just for the
sake of time; ultimately it doesn’t work in your favor. If pressured
for time, choose healthy takeout food that is unprocessed and low
in fat and sugars. Try a yoga class once a week and listen to a meditational
CD before going to sleep each night.
- Feeling down?
The herb, St. John’s Wort can help in cases of mild depression.
It is available in tablet form from health food stores. Do
not take with prescribed antidepressants as negative interactions
may occur. If you are taking antidepressants, always inform
your doctor about your intention to take St. John’s Wort. Also
try Bach flower remedies, gentian, and sweet chestnut: all are similarly
available from health food outlets. Comfort foods are great for slight
depression and include warming casseroles, roasts, porridge and soups.
Counseling is recommended where simple remedies are ineffective, and
keep an open mind about antidepressants.
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