Did you know you can eat to alleviate mood swings? Well, you can. Mood swings are one of the most elusive conditions to diagnose and treat, as they can arise from a whole slew of causes, say the experts at Medicine Net.
The causes range from something as simple as lack of sleep to life-threatening conditions like brain tumors! Since mood swings are difficult to measure, most people tend to brush it off as psychological. Women often downplay it for fear of being called “emotional” or “over-sensitive.”
Foods that alter mood swings
If your mood swings are violent and frequent, you might need to do more than just to eat to alleviate mood swings. You may need to seek professional help.
In this article, we are focusing on mood swings from common causes, like minor hormonal imbalances, and specific foods to treat mood swings.
To understand why we are able to eat to alleviate mood swings or the foods that help with mood swings, we must first understand what causes them in the first place.
Serotonin is a hormone responsible for regulating mood, sleep, and appetite. Like all other hormones, serotonin has a complicated relationship with all other hormones, one of which is estrogen – a hormone that regulates the production of serotonin.
As a woman goes through her menstrual cycle, the level of estrogen in her body rises and falls naturally. Higher levels of estrogen often mean higher levels of serotonin, which, in turn, result in better moods.
Before we go any further, let me clarify that this does not mean that we should aim for astronomical levels of estrogen and serotonin, since too much estrogen is linked to breast cancer!
There is a healthy balance for everything. The only takeaway from this is that mood swings might be a result of abnormally low estrogen.
If you are dieting and avoiding fatty food, or exercising vigorously, your mood swings might be caused by low estrogen. Women going through menopause can also have low or fluctuating estrogen levels, causing your moods to go a bit crazy.
If this sounds like you, maybe you should learn what to eat to alleviate mood swings.
Avoid the sugar roller coaster
Another common cause for mood swings is the sugar high. When you eat simple carbs, like sugar, your body breaks it down into energy very quickly, resulting in a ‘sugar rush’ that makes you feel energized.
Blood sugar triggers the release of insulin, a hormone that grabs the excess sugar and stores it in your body for later use, which results in a drop in your blood sugar, leaving you feeling down.
The higher the amount of sugar in your bloodstream, the more insulin is released, resulting in a nastier crash later on. This whole process may cause your mood to fluctuate throughout the day. In light of this, this is a good reason to eat to alleviate mood swings.
Aim for a holistic picture
Mood swings have a lot to do with hormones, and the world of hormones is still something science has not yet fully grasped, the best route to go about it is to lead a good, healthy, balanced life.
Studies show a link between serotonin levels and many healthy habits, like spending time outdoors and getting sufficient exercise.
7 Foods to Eat to Alleviate Mood Swings
If you must pick an oil, sesame is one of the best. It’s has a high ratio of ‘good fats’ (monounsaturated or polyunsaturated) compared to the ‘bad fats’ (saturated).
Since most cases of low estrogen result from a diet with too little fat, add fat back in with one of the healthiest options available.
Add a slice of avocado whenever you’re eating a sandwich or hamburger to take advantage of its high monounsaturated content – and not to mention the delicious, creamy texture! Avocados are a game changer for me, so I recommend them to anyone wanting to eat to alleviate mood swings.
Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein and heart-healthy fats. With protein, you also feel full longer, making nuts a great snack to lift your mood!
Did you hear? Eggs are no longer bad for you! The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee published new guidelines that no longer suggests a consumption limit for dietary cholesterol. This means egg yolks are a healthy source of healthy fats!
We should always pick brown rice over white rice, but you can go one step further and choose black rice instead.
Not only is it high in essential amino acids like lysine and tryptophan (which your body cannot produce and must be absorbed from food), it also contains more antioxidants than blueberries!
Known as one of the superfoods, sweet potatoes are a complex carb. Your body spends longer digesting it, making for a slower release of energy.
On top of that, for women going through menopause, sweet potatoes also give you the building blocks necessary for your body to produce more estrogen.
Make quinoa your best friend. This versatile food can substitute cereal or rice, and is high in protein, good fats, and fiber! It’s so good that The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations made it the International Food of 2013!
What Will You Eat to Alleviate Mood Swings?
While these foods can help boost your estrogen, and therefore serotonin, levels, remember that there is no easy fix. The best way to balance your hormones is to help your body achieve a healthy balance in all other aspects, including diet, activity, and rest.
Keeping stress under control is also important in keeping your hormones in check, so make sure you take a time to relax and treat yourself well!
You can read more about this topic at Medical News Today.
Image source: Max Pixel