Pasta dripping with homemade tomato sauce (or gravy depending on how your family identifies with it), sprinkled with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese is one of the most comforting foods from my childhood that I can imagine. Served with a side of crusty, buttery garlic bread, the memory alone makes my mouth water.
Eating pasta made from semolina (wheat) flour along with white bread dripping with dairy butter will produce a lonely, frustrated, angry and complaining attitude. Surprised? How could a meal that brings back such fond memories actually produce such horrible emotions? It is all about the ingredients.
Before we get to the recipes that promote a good mood, this article will teach you:
How The Gut Plays A Role In Our Emotions
What Ingredients Are The Bad Guys?
How I Can Help You Change Your Mood With Food
What Ingredients Are The Good Guys?
Recipes To Promote A Good Mood
Let's get started!
HOW THE GUT PLAYS A ROLE IN OUR EMOTIONS
Have you heard of the gut-brain axis? The gut-brain axis is the information highway in our body that allows our brain and gut to communicate. This is a relatively new concept, a little more than 20 years old, but it is a powerful new way to understand how our emotions are dictated by what we eat.
Anxious? Depressed? Sad? Stressed? These are emotions we all feel at certain points in our lives or during the day. We may think that the reason we are feeling this way is due to something happening to us. For example, working for a micro-managing boss or losing a loved one or being constantly surrounded by bad news, such as with the pandemic.
Emotions are a healthy outlet but what we eat contributes to how we feel. Initially, researchers believed that our emotions played a role in how our gut operated. For example, if you were nervous before giving a presentation and your gut was feeling queasy, we would say it is because of the anxiety that the gut is feeling queasy. Turns out it is the other way around.
Here is how it works. Our gut houses trillions of bacteria, both good and bad. It is important to maintain this delicate balance so our body can fight illness and disease. Anything can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, including the food we eat. When the gut becomes unbalanced, it tells the brain it is unbalanced and our mood changes.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE THE BAD GUYS?
For example, let's say a person is used to eating processed food that can be easily microwaved or comes from a restaurant. The processed food contains chemicals, artificial ingredients, added sugar, low fiber and low nutrients. This type of food damages the good bacteria in our gut, resulting in the bad bacteria taking over.
When the bad bacteria takes over, it can result in a variety of moods:
1) Highly emotional and unable to cope with stress
2) Abnormally sensitive
4) Avoiding social situations
(Source: Frontiers In Integrative Neuroscience)
Once you are aware of how specific ingredients and lifestyle choices impact how others react to situations, you can predict how they will react to you or in any situation. Just observe how they eat. Do you have family members or co-workers or friends who eat:
Chips and Processed Snacks
Non-organic Fruits and Vegetables
Packaged Cookies and Cakes
Meat, Chicken, Fish or Pork from Factory Farms
Frozen Prepackaged Meals
Anyone eating the above are more likely to be moody, sad, depressed, angry, frustrated and feel like the world is against them. These foods promote an unhealthy balance in our gut. The further we get away from the source of our food and the more chemicals we eat, our gut reacts with reduced good bacteria.
HOW I CAN HELP YOU CHANGE YOUR MOOD WITH FOOD
Do you recognize yourself in the above examples? Do you often feel sad, anxious, depressed, angry and wonder why others don't see things your way? You gut is imbalanced. Even if you don't relate to some of the above moods, there are other symptoms that your gut is imbalanced.
Does any of this sound like you?
👉Diarrhea and/or constipation
👉Bloating and gas
👉Congestion, coughing, wheezing
👉Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues
👉Headaches and migraines
👉Acne and itchy skin
👉Tired all the time
👉Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you said yes to just one of the above, your body is telling you something is not right. Symptoms are the only way your body can tell you it needs help. Discovering the root cause of your symptoms and how to get eliminate them can be confusing and hard! I am here to help.
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist obsessed with teaching people just like you how to heal their gut so you can stop suffering and get back to living!
I offer a FREE 30 minute strategy session where we will talk about your specific symptoms and how the Simply Great Health program can help.
How would eliminating your symptoms improve your life? You could:
✅Be more present with your children
✅Focus at work
✅Have more energy
✅Stop running to the bathroom
✅Workout without fear of an accident or farting
✅Restore your confidence
✅Be able to cook healthy meals for you and your family
✅Take an active vacation
✅Reclaim your life!
Simply Great Health is a customized 5 Step plan that heals your body and fits your busy lifestyle.
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE THE GOOD GUYS?
In order to restore balance in the gut, it is important to eat foods that are full of fiber, nutrients and free of chemicals. Fiber is one of the most important ingredients for our gut. Fiber produces butyrate, which is a short-chain fatty acid that keeps the gut balanced, helps create energy and keeps the immune system strong. (Source: Livestrong)
Fiber needs to come from our food. If you are following a low-carbohydrate, high protein lifestyle, you are not going to get enough fiber. Butyrate is found in oats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. We should be eating at least 8 to 12 grams of fiber at every meal. Most Americans eat way less than this.
Foods that are organic, as close to their original source and appropriate for your lifestyle means you need to start thinking about the choices you make when you go to the grocery store or restaurants. A lot of people don't like to cook, feel they don't have the time or prefer to order take out. If that is your situation, here are a couple of things to keep in mind to eat foods that will support a healthy gut.
Find organic eateries in your local area. It is the best way to ensure you are getting food that is going to help your gut get balanced.
If organic restaurants are not available, try to find Farm to Table restaurants. Then you can eat foods that are in season and don't have to travel too far, which means they are higher in nutrients.
Use an organic food delivery subscription. They come with instructions on how to cook or can simply be heated up.
Try something new. There are so many products to buy that are fast and organic. It's not hard to find anymore. Trader Joe's, Costco and every large grocery store in the country will have some offering of organic and easy to cook products.
If you want to have a healthy gut and be able to react to situations more calmly, making some lifestyle changes are necessary.
RECIPES TO PROMOTE A GOOD MOOD
If you like to cook, this section is for you! I've compiled a bunch of recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner that contain ingredients that will balance your gut and put you in a good mood. Just knowing how to do create a good mood with food is powerful! With this knowledge, you can create a good mood proactively!
For example, let's say you are on your way to a family gathering that is going to create stress and anxiety. Make a side dish or dessert that can put you (and maybe others) in a good mood!
Do you have a big meeting with your boss or presentation to give to a large group? Eat a solid breakfast and make lunch to bring with you that promotes a calm and rational mood. It can be that simple!
The foods to promote a good mood focus on fruits and vegetables. You can still eat meat, if you prefer, but it will promote negative feelings even if it is organic. Making meat the side dish to your meal is highly recommended when you want to promote a good mood.
Want to start the day in a good mood and enthusiastic about the day? Focus on eating avocados, blueberries, spinach and broccoli. Plus, look to incorporate the following mushrooms: reishi, cordyceps and chaga. They can be bought as powders to add to coffee or tea or taken as a supplement. Recipes to try are below. Simply click on the name of the recipe to be brought to it.
Lunchtime is all about resetting our mood for the rest of the day. Remaining calm and rational helps us get through the rest of the day. Focus on eating cooked tomatoes, apples, pears, pineapples, sweet potatoes, beets, kidney beans, black beans, asparagus, sprouted lentils, quinoa, cauliflower and carrots. Recipes to try are below. Simply click on the name of the recipe to be brought to it.
To get ready for bedtime, promoting a peaceful and patient mood helps. Eating cucumbers, zucchini, romaine lettuce, oranges, grapes and vegetable soups, walnuts. Recipes to try are below. Simply click on the name of the recipe to be brought to it.
I hope you enjoyed learning about how you can change your mood by eating certain foods. Remember, fast food, chips, snacks, ready made meals and take out will make your gut imbalanced and create moodiness. Taking some time to plan meals that are high in fiber by either cooking them or finding restaurants that are closer to the food source, will help balance your gut and create a happy mood.
Do you think you will work on changing your mood by eating different foods? Let me know by leaving a comment below.