Our great-grandmothers had little doubt that food influenced mood. Now there is plenty of research to prove that this is so. Food affects our mood, our brain and our body. However, since our great-grandmothers’ day food has significantly changed.
Nowadays, simple, basic foods are loaded with harmful chemicals such as pesticides, colouring, flavouring and antibiotics, as well as being genetically modified.
This means it can be difficult to make healthy choices when we’re menu planning and shopping. Unless we choose a simple organic diet, we may find ourselves reading labels on cans and packaged goods. Fruits and vegetables do not come with a label listing the pesticides they’ve been sprayed with. The choice is organic or not.
As you will see from the five foods below, some that were once considered to be super-foods can in fact be harmful to our health and increase our stress levels. Others, that were relatively harmless comfort foods, are loaded with sugar and chemicals that we would be wise to avoid.
We only have one body. It’s worth taking care of it. As we do so, we will be making a positive impact on our overall well-being and our ability to handle stress appropriately.
Here are just five foods, listing the impact they can have on our well-being.
These comfort fast food delights, are laden with saturated fats, salt and refined carbohydrates, all of which can cause energy spikes and crashes, affect cognitive functioning and cause us to feel dull and foggy. Not to mention adding inches to the waistline. For the short amount of satisfaction, perhaps they’re not worth the indulgence! Alternatives could be baked potatoes or baked chips/fries.
- Deli Meats
Deli-meats are loaded with chemicals – preservatives, colourings and other additives. These can cause bloating, headaches, weight gain and mood swings. Alternative could be slices of roasted meats.
Omega 3 fatty acids are mood enhancers. Margarine contains large quantities of Omega 6 fatty acids that block Omega 3, and so affect our moods. Alternative could be to buy butter or coconut oil.
- Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
Sugar and artificial sweeteners cause sugar highs followed by the inevitable crashes. They are contained in baked and canned goods, breads, yoghurt and many savoury sauces. Sugar crashes can lead to depression, anxiety and irritability – as well as weight gain. Alternative could be maple syrup; which contains minerals and anti-oxidants.
- Fruits and Vegetables
Non-organic fruits and vegetables are sprayed with highly toxic pesticides (neurotoxins) that can act on the nervous system and affect mental health. Alternative can be to eat organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
By cleaning up our diets and making healthy choices, we will significantly impact our overall well-being, live with the knowledge that we are caring for ourselves and that we matter.
Wishing you abundant health and a delicious healthy diet,