Does Diet effect your moods?


Mood and Foods – Is there a connection

Cookery classes with Family and Friends at The Cooking Academy
Cookery classes with Family and Friends at The Cooking Academy
Unequivocally YES! Our diet directly effects our emotional well being, ergo our mood. Chocolate of course is a real game changer for many women and increasingly men! Chocolate ice cream is probably the thing for my husband! it’s not just a nice thing to do, it’s a fix for many people.

If we deprive ourselves of food that makes us feel better, whilst our will power may sustain the longing, the food calculator in the brain isnt quite as forgiving. In the short term it effects our mood levels, however in the long term it effects our outloook on things, particularly if we are already putting the body under a lot of stress and strain through our working lives. It therefore follows that food can be used to improve our mood!

Chocolate releases a hormone in the brain called serotonin, that has a pleasing effect on the brain which can change your mood. Chillies also release serotonin and therefore we often find ourselves craving hot food. Does the expression ‘fancy a curry tonight’ ring a bell, well that is your brain talking to you. sy to do that you can try on your own

How Food Influences Mood
Your body communicates with your brain through neurotransmitters that conduct electrical impulses, or brain waves. There are a variety of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, endorphins, glutamine and serotonin. Your body has to manufacture these chemicals and it uses the enzymes, amino acids, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids, proteins and carbohydrates in the foods that you eat to do that. If you’re not eating enough, or enough of the right foods for your body to manufacture sufficient amounts of these chemicals, depression or anxiety can be the result.

Another diet mistake that will lead to low moods is allowing your blood sugar, or glycemic index, to rise and fall throughout the day. Skipping meals can make your blood sugar fall too low, while eating starchy, sugary foods, or simple carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries, can make your blood sugar too high. This can do funny things to a person’s mood, making them irritable, forgetful or sad.

Craving carbohydrates may also be an attempt to self-medicate depression by raising serotonin levels. Serotonin of course being the neurotransmitter responsible for sleep, appetite and mood.

Eating for Mental Well-Being – Nutritional cookery classes
Nutrition is central to your mental well-being. Here are some quick tips for keeping your diet in line with your mental health:

In order to keep your blood sugar steady, eat small meals and healthy snacks throughout the day. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Skipping breakfast will likely mean you’re still hungry at the end of the day, when you should stop eating in order to prepare for sleep.
Don’t follow any extreme low fat diets. You need some fat to keep your brain working and your mood up. Make sure your diet plan includes healthy, monounsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil and fatty fish, instead of saturated fats, like the kind found in butter and fast foods.
Make fresh fruits and vegetables a central part of a healthy diet. Getting enough vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin C and zinc is essential for your body to manufacture serotonin.
If you’re feeling low, try eating a meal with a food containing the amino acid tryptophan, such as chicken or turkey breast, or milk. Add a carb to your meal, such as a whole grain roll, to help your body absorb the tryptophan more efficiently.
Limit your consumption of coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
Don’t follow any diet where you cut out an entire food group, such as the Atkins diet.
Get at least 20 minutes of exercise daily. Exercise helps reduce the severity of anxiety disorder symptoms, such as anxiety attacks.
If you would like further information about Nutritional cookery, please contact us here at The Cooking Academy on 0845 0 68 58 48 or email

Written by Kumud Gandhi – Founder of The Cooking Academy cookery scgool in Rickmansworth Hertfordshire


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