Eating for a Better Mood
We know that food is information for the body. When we eat, are directing our inner resources and sending signals for our body to take specific actions. Those actions can be ones that bring us to greater levels of health and happiness, or they can sink us into inflammation and despair.
Every time we eat or drink something, we are ultimately making a choice for how we want to feel, both physically and emotionally. Recent science is giving us proven ways to eat to support a more emotionally balanced outlook. Leslie Korn, author of The Good Mood Kitchen specializes in mental health nutrition and offers an in-depth guide for understanding what food choices will bring a sunnier outlook to your day.
Support Emotional Balance with these Tips:
- Eat like your ancestors did. As a culture, we are marketed the latest and greatest processed options for fast and easy food. The problem is, our systems have not evolved to deal with these concoctions. Since evolution happens over many years, it’s best to stick with what your gut knows: whole foods in their natural state, some simply cooked food, some raw, and a variety of foods.
- Know your body. There is no one size fits all way of eating for optimal health. There are guidelines, but the most important part of any nutritional program is getting to know one’s own body; it’s sensitivities, and digestive qualities. Korn offers a self-assessment tool in her book that can help every individual come to a much greater understanding of how their digestive system functions, and how to help it function better.
- Eat to lessen inflammation. A body that is chronically inflamed is a body primed for diseases of all kinds. We now know that depression, decreases in cognitive abilities, and poor mental health all share at their core inflammation in the body. Eliminating sugar and processed foods, getting a handle on your stress response, and healing your digestive system are all ways to decrease chronic inflammation.
- Change your relationship to comfort foods. Most of us consider comfort foods that may help us feel better in the moment, but ultimately only make us feel worse. Often we have cravings that are based not on what our bodies need, but rather on addictions, (think sugar and caffeine.) Instead of giving up “comfort foods”, consider making a gradual shift toward healthier versions. Try fruit smoothies as a substitute for sugary snacks and mashed sweet potatoes instead of a loaf of french bread.
Our bodies can only respond to what we give them. When we give them high quality nutrition that supports a healthy digestion and inflammation response, we are rewarded with a balanced emotional state. We get to step off the roller coaster of out of control emotions and enjoy a calmer, more focused frame of mind.
Kalia Kelmenson, Certified Wellness Coach :: mauimindandbody.com