Everyone makes the odd bitchy comment now and again…it’s totally normal. But if every morning you find yourself snapping at the bus-driver and telling your long suffering man he’s a loser, it may be time to rethink your diet.
Your diet at the moment could be making you mean. Food isn’t just something that fills your stomach. Food causes biological and chemical changes in your body and has the power to affect how you think, feel and behave.
So, ditch your inner bitch and indulge in some fast-track nutrition therapy before you start losing mates and lovers.
Organic cereal may help you skip out the door but before you can say ‘smoko’, you get the cranky comedown. Hello crossness, and the inability to talk without shouting. Why? Because natural versions of our cereal bowl favourites don’t have as many added vitamins like magnesium. If you miss out on this ‘keep calm and carry on nutrient’, health experts say you’ll wind up with a super short fuse as the morning goes on because your brain’s chill-out signals will be running slow.
Choose your breakfast cereals carefully, and go for ones like All Bran, which tend to be packed with mood stabilisers such as folic acid and B vitamins. Then throw in a banana or some Brazil nuts to up your magnesium levels. Your weekend fry up could keep your food rage at bay, too. Grilled sausages and bacon are packed with protein, which also keeps you full. Baked beans contain folic acids while fried eggs are full of ‘spring in your step’ vitamin B. Not a bad start to your diet, eh?
Eating sushi isn’t what you want for lunch. The key ingredient is white rice. When your meal is based on refined carbs your blood sugar levels soon crash, making you fidgety. Plus, when the grain is removed to make carbs white, B vitamins (needed to produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter that helps you deal with stress) get lost.
Go for sashimi, the raw fish only sushi, which is packed with protein to keep you full and avoid sugar crashes. Alternatively, get your vitamin B boost from a wholemeal braed sandwich. Fill with meat, cheese or eggs for a protein punch. The best filler is turkey…it’s rich in tryptophan which is the booster of your happiness levels…a bit like Prozac, but tastier.
Flavoured yoghurts may be your stomachs BFF, but they’ll also keep your frown firmly put. Many contain as much sugar as a milk chocolate bar and may make you edgy. And low fat potato chips are full of artificial colourings. These have a negative effect on your brain, resulting in your body not absorbing the right kinds of nutrients from good foods, leaving you grumpy.
Stabilise your mood with unsweetened yoghurt topped with protein filled walnuts. Potato chip lovers should invest in a popcorn machine, because the cinema treat is full of fibre, which is another good mood mate. Dark chocolate does the trick too. A few chunks will sort you out, thanks to its main ingredient, cocoa. It contains antioxidant qualities that have been shown to improve blood flow in the brain, which gets rid of that short fuse.
The worst food you can have at dinner time is the one thing most of us want. A meal high in saturated fat. That’s burgers, curries and lasagne. These all make you sluggish and grumpy as they stop you from thinking clearly and limit your ability to do physical activity. So you’ll be snapping at your dinner date rather than snogging them. What your insides need is good fats, known as omega 3’s (found only in fish oil and almonds). It has been proved that omega 3 food can make you less of a angry person. They help form the membranes of nerve cells, allowing them to function better.
Go for omega 3 filled prawns rather than chicken as part of your plate. Or go Italian and roast some veggies in olive oil, another great source of the best fat in town, as well as a stress smoother. If you like to finish your evening meal with a pudding, whip up a supper time smoothie. Simply chuck a handfull of blackberries, a banana, a teaspoon of honey, half a tub of natural yoghurt, a squeeze of lemon and flaked almonds into a blender. Blitz, then enjoy…safe in the knowledge that this vitamin rich sweet treat will send nutrients zooming around your system, helping your body send serotonin, the happy hormome, on its way to do good.
by Susan Floyd