If you think I have no idea what I am talking about, I want you to know that I have used food to help with my mother’s anxiety, depression, and emotions during her withdrawal from benzodiazepines. I have cleaned up her diet from caffeine, sugar, dairy, and gluten. If my sister happens to let her have one of the above, my mother will present with symptoms of psychosis and rage. It doesn’t always happen at the time of eating the food butcan happen days later. My sister had to learn the hard way.
Have you ever heard the old sayings, “you are what you eat” or “let food be thy medicine?”.
Today, we totally disregard those old sayings. Why? Because we are overworked, overstimulated, overmarketed, and overtired.
Can food affect your mood? Absolutely! It does everytime you eat. What we choose to put into our bodies can affect the delicate balance of some neurotransmitters (gut and brain chemicals) along with other hormones that can play a role in your mood and appetite.
I know, we have certain days when we just don’t feel right or happy, we are irrated all day long. We wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Women chalk this up to that time of the month or the change of life. Sure, if we are not healthy enough to support these stressful times, our hornones will just get wacky!
What does food have to do with everyday mood? Everything!
Have you ever given a child, an adult for that matter, something sugary? Did you notice a change in mood or behavior? How about the guys pounding down a couple of brewskies? Notice a change in your man? Does he get tired or cranky or become loud and embarassing? Do you like to sip on a glass of wine, why? Does it relax you? These are all examples of how food can affect your mood. Alcohol, by the way is a depressant and dehydrates the body. Sugar can give you a rollercoaster of emotions beginning with an energy load and then a plummet in your blood sugar which results in that tired feeling and being hungry and wanting more.
Let’s quickly talk about the average American breakfast.
You may be one of those people who chooses not to eat breakfast. Huge mistake! If you do eat breakfast it might be grab and go like a bagel or pastry. If you are trying to eat healthy you might grab a banana. I would say 95% of people will accompany this with a cup of coffee and something added to it like sugar or an artificial sweetener, lowfat milk or a non-dairy creamer.
For those who rush out the door, you might drive right over to the drive thru where you pick up your ready made coffee and something to eat. I see more and more children with a breakfast like this too.
On average, the typical breakfast does not consist of drinking water.
Let’s think about this for a minute. You just slept or attempted to sleep, you rushed to get out of the house to head to school or the office and have not hydrated your body. Your brain is considered to be made up of 70% water. How do you think your mood is going to be?
How many of you feel “down” or “crabby” in the morning? Why? You are already dehydrated and then you start the day with a cup of coffee.
Do you need that cup of caffein to get going in the morning? Why? Caffein is a stimulant and your body has become dependant on the caffein rush. Caffeine not only dehydrates but causes inflammation in the body. Your gut becomes an acid environment causing acid reflux, indigestion, and heartburn. Over time your gut will fall out of balance and digestion will become a problem. You may experience leaky gut or dysbiosis (good/bad bacteria).
Physiological Effects – Livstrong.com
Caffeine's stimulant effect on the central nervous system is dose-dependent; the more caffeine consumed, the stronger the stimulant effect. It blocks a neurotransmitter called adenosine, which is a central nervous system depressant and has a calming, slowing effect on the brain. When adenosine is blocked, the adrenal glands begin secreting adrenaline, which is the chemical associated with the body's "fight or flight" response. This response is characterized by increases in heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. When caffeine blocks adenosine, it also leads to increased dopamine levels, which are associated with an elevation in mood.
Lowfat and skim milk are just gray water. All the nutrients are taken out when they take out the fat. Synthetic vitamins and minerals are added back in. Your body can not absorb synthetic supplements. Choose grassfed, non-homonigized whole milk when available.
Do you choose non-dairy creamers
thinking they just might be better for you? Read the label. You will probably find artificial flavors, corn syrup,
and trans fat in there. All of these
play with mood!
Bananas are no better especially if you eat them on an empty stomach. Bananas are high in sugar without enough of fiber to slow the burning process. That’s why you feel great when you eat a banana but then get hungry fast. Eat a really ripe banana and you may feel like you are drunk. If you are eating banans because you think they are a good source of potassium, think again as they are listed as number 200 on the “contains potassium list”.
As you can see, food does affect your mood. A lifestyle like this can certainly enduce or make worse symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
You have just begun your emotional rollercoaster for the day.
Making healthier food choices can improve your mood, increase energy, and help you to think more clearly.
Food for thought – most serotonin “the happy-making neurotransmitter” is made in the gut, not the brain. Poor gut health could prevent its production. What does this mean? You have less of those happy chemicals in your brain.
Our Walk/Run For Your Life Benzo
Awareness Event will be sponsored by Kava Chocolate, the makers of Kava,
Kratom, and CBD Chocolate and Teeccino. Teeccino is an alternative coffee beverage. It’s delicious without the stimulation of caffein.
If you would like to participate in the pot luck you will need to bring something to share. Please be mindful of our acceptable food list and let us know what you will be bringing. Please keep in mind that we are keeping with our food & mood theme so no corn, gluten, soy, canola oil, nuts, caffeine, refined sugar, or animal products.
Acceptable Food List
Gluten Free Pasta Salad