The saying, “you are what you eat,” is true in a sense. If you find yourself irritable, stressed, cranky, tired, or depressed, your diet and lifestyle may play a bigger role than you originally thought. Changing your diet might just help! Also, exercising as little as 20 minutes per day has been shown to improve your mood.
Stabilize your blood sugars: Drastic spikes and dips in your blood sugar may be the culprit for your bad mood. Eat every 4-5 hours; limit your intake of refined carbohydrates such as sugar, candy, soda; white flour, cookies, etc; incorporate more soluble fiber in your diet to slow down absorption of carbohydrates (found in oats, whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and beans); add protein to all meals and snacks to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates into the blood.
Avoid vitamin/mineral deficiencies: People with anemia tend to feel more tired and depressed. Different vitamin/mineral deficiencies have different effects on the body which may affect hormone levels and in turn affect mood. Eat a balanced diet, take vitamin/mineral supplement to meet needs, and/or talk to your doctor about any concerns, such as anemia.
Comfort Foods: Sometimes, you just crave foods that are not necessarily “good” for you. Don’t fret if you cant think of a healthier response and indulge – enjoy the food. Don’t let the food item ruin your mood – you ate it to feel better! After you eat it, be sure to avoid guilting yourself into not eating later. Consume a light but filling meal on your regular schedule to avoid blood sugar drops. You can also make your comfort foods healthier – look for lower fat ice cream, dark chocolate, make your own cookies with whole-wheat flour, etc.