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How can food affect mood?
How can food affect mood?

Knowing what foods we should and shouldn’t be eating can be really confusing, especially when it feels like the advice changes regularly. However, evidence suggests that as well as affecting our physical health, what we eat may also affect the way we feel. Continue reading to get some cool tips:

 

EATING REGULARLY

If your blood sugar drops you might feel tired, irritable and depressed. Eating regularly and choosing foods that release energy slowly will help to keep your sugar levels steady.
Slow-release energy foods include: pasta, rice, oats, wholegrain bread and cereals, nuts and seeds.

Quick tips:

· Eating breakfast gets the day off to a good start.

· Instead of eating a large lunch and dinner, try eating smaller portions spaced out more regularly throughout the day.

· Avoid foods which make your blood sugar rise and fall rapidly, such as sweets, biscuits, sugary drinks, and alcohol.

I made a decision that I was going to [...] make positive lifestyle changes to try and live as happily and stress-free as I could. I gave up red meat and try to eat no sugar [and drink] hardly any alcohol.

 

STAYING HYDRATED


If you don’t drink enough fluid, you may find it difficult to concentrate or think clearly. You might also start to feel constipated (which puts no one in a good mood).

Quick tips:

· It’s recommended that you drink between 6-8 glasses of fluid a day.

· Water is a cheap and healthy option.

· Tea, coffee, juices and smoothies all count towards your intake (but be aware that these may also contain caffeine or sugar).

 

LOOKING AFTER YOUR GUT


Sometimes your gut can reflect how you are feeling emotionally. If you're stressed or anxious this can make your gut slow down or speed up. For healthy digestion you need to have plenty of fibre, fluid and exercise regularly.

Healthy gut foods include: fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, beans, pulses, live yoghurt and other probiotics.

Quick tips:

· It might take your gut time to get used to a new eating pattern, so make changes slowly to give yourself time to adjust.

· If you’re feeling stressed and you think it is affecting your gut, try some relaxation techniques or breathing exercises.

 

MANAGING CAFFEINE


Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it will give you a quick burst of energy, but then may make you feel anxious and depressed, disturb your sleep (especially if you have it before bed), or give you withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly.

Caffeine is in: tea, coffee, chocolate, cola and other manufactured energy drinks.

Quick tips:

· If you drink tea, coffee or cola, try switching to decaffeinated versions.

· You might feel noticeably better quite quickly if you drink less caffeine or avoid it altogether.

 

GETTING YOUR 5 A DAY


Vegetables and fruit contain a lot of the minerals, vitamins and fibre we need to keep us physically and mentally healthy.

Eating a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables every day means you’ll get a good range of nutrients.

Quick tips:

· Fresh, frozen, tinned, dried and juiced (one glass) fruits and vegetables all count towards your 5 a day.

· As a general rule, one portion is about a handful, small bowl or a small glass.

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