Do 'food swings' cause mood swings?

Do 'food swings' cause mood swings?


Do 'food swings' cause mood swings?

Mood swings could be due to ‘food swings’. Fad diets, starvation techniques, junk food binges could spiral you into depression — a dank, dismal, dull space to be in. A low-carb diet could also drain energy and raise irritability and anxiety.

A recent study, employing 15000 candidates, from sunny Spain throws a shining light in this darkness. It concludes: eating fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, beans keep us happy and staves off depression.

Food for thought

Think deeply and you’ll realise that certain foods transcend taste yet leave you sweetly satisfied. List out such foods and have two to four of the listed foods each day. Here’s what my list includes:

Yoghurt: It eases digestion and cools irritation.

Sweet potatoes: Steamed and eaten with their jackets, they contain the mood-boosting Vitamin B6, while also satisfying  the ‘sweet tooth’.

 Paneer/cheese: They promote a sated feeling of wellbeing; their zinc content shoos away depression.

Sandwich & tea: Thinly layered with olive oil sandwiching sliced tomatoes, whole wheat bread downed with hot lemongrass tea feels complete. The whole grain satisfies, lycopen-rich tomatoes cheer, while the herbal tea eases tension and stress.

 Fresh fruits: Chopped bananas, papaya, watermelon, pineapple, apple, orange and sweet lime are some of the fruits that elevate energy and bust constipation. Bananas, especially, settle nerves with their comforting Vitamin B.

 Green plate: Spinach sautéed with garlic, ginger, salt, a great pick-me-up abristle with folates, uplifts red blood cells and immune system and, well, wellness prevails.
Warm comfort: Hot brown rice and rajma settle anxiety and bring warm comfort. Red and white beans contain magnesium that banishes fatigue.
 Beet it: Beetroots vanquish lows with uridine, folate and magnesium.
 Sweet effect: Chocolate soothes the furrowed brow.
 Fish factor: Fish clears brain fog.
Cheer to the spirit
Some foods, like anti-depressant drugs, increase the action of the happy serotonin in the brain. Activated serotonin helps one pay more attention to positive things, thus bringing cheer to our spirits. The serotonin could also be kept busy by cycling, walking, running and spending time in sunlight. There are indications that the ultra-violet rays present in
sunlight rouse depressed people and increase calcium absorption in the elderly, while simultaneously relieving headaches and fatigue.

Depressiveness is a stress response, a hypersensitivity that makes you feel out of place, wronged, pressurised, and crushed under your own reactive feelings. There’s a chronic need to be accepted and appreciated and the most innocuous remark or offhand tone can trigger the chain-stress response of hurt-distress-despair. It’s important to be with a doctor, healer, friends where judgment is zero and comfort level 10. After all, everybody enjoys a place where one can feel safe, secure, accepted, a place one can take refuge in for years to come.

To be in a happy place, it’s important that we cultivate healthy habits, not just in terms of food, but also our lifestyle. For instance, it’s important to take the full course of a prescribed medicine. And it is important to practise a lifelong, parallel course of meditation, reading thought-elevating literature, repeating and writing positive affirmations. These practices alter the very activity of neurons and release different neurochemicals that cause positive long-term changes in the brain. Since neuroscience has yet to identify them, let’s call them the ‘nirvana neurochemicals’.

Every person, depressed or not, needs something good and true to believe in and hold on to. There’s a beautiful affirmation fashioned for exactly this purpose:
I take refuge in the circle of good people I’m surrounded by.
I take refuge in the earth’s rock-strong stability beneath my feet.
I take refuge in the sun’s steady sweet radiance on my skin.
I take refuge in the rain’s consistent quenching coolness in my throat.
I take refuge in the air’s inexhaustible oxygen of aliveness in my lungs.
I take refuge in my eternal self-calming and healing my body and mind.
As I draw a deep breath of happiness, I know I am blessed to be so loved and cherished.