Food & Mood
Is it really related?
So, we sat down and talked to Kristen, a qualified nutritionist (BSc (Hons) to discuss food and mood!
Is food and mood related?
Food and mood is definitely related on many levels. When we feel tired, this has an effect on our hormones and encourages us to eat more than we usually do. Foods, especially carbohydrate-dense choices have been shown in many research studies to release happy hormones like serotonin and lead to an uplift in our mood. In women especially, there is a large connection with eating and mood. As women, we tend to ‘treat’ a bad mood by grabbing for comfort food; ice cream, crisps, chocolate and desserts.
What are safe and sustainable ways we can have a healthier, more nutritious packed diet?
The topic of sustainable eating has become more and more relevant moving with food trends particularly in the last decade. We are becoming more educated on where we are getting our food from, how it is sourced, and most importantly its effect on the planet.
We have seen a massive increase globally in those choosing a plant-based diet in recent years as well as awareness of the benefits of consuming more plant-based foods. The huge variety of foods that we are so lucky to have access to nowadays allows us to eat more sustainably and safely. Aiming to eat a large variety of plant-based foods ensures you are getting a range of different nutrients into your diet each day. Eating seasonal foods like fruit and veg is also a great way to eat more sustainably, as well as this, seasonal fruits and veg have also more nutrients than foods forced to grow when they aren’t in season.
What do you think about ‘calorie counting on menu’s’ – good or bad idea? (new change in the UK)
Listing calories on menus are definitely helpful for those trying to lose weight or track their progress for example. When many of us are on a weight loss plan, the prospect of eating out is not welcomed due to the ingredients, energy content of meals and how these might affect our progress. Listing calories allows many people to eat out and make choices that they can fit into their regime comfortably. Listing of calories also creates awareness for the wider population of their food choices too and allows the consumer to be more aware of the meals with which they are consuming. The practice of ‘mindful eating’ is becoming much more popular now with the wider public and we are making more informed and educated choices on our meals, so this is definitely a step in the right direction especially in helping lower the obesity rates of the nation.
Why is food prep so important, what are the benefits?
Food prep is a great habit and discipline to build, regardless of your body goals. I know personally that when I carry food prep, it motivates me, allows me to stick to my goals much better, makes me less inclined to eat unhealthy foods on the go such as meal deals, and saves money and time. Planning your meals so that they are meeting all your macro-nutrient requirements is also great to ensure you are getting in all the right sort of fuel for your daily routine and exercise.
Why checking the label/ ingredients list is important when food shopping?
With the boom of new products arriving on the markets with the label of ‘low calorie’, ‘low fat’, ‘gluten-free’ and so on, now more than ever we need to be checking ingredients lists. Many ingredients that we are seeing such as sweeteners can be damaging to health, lead to problems like anxiety, indigestion, hyperactivity and many more. Other ingredients such as E numbers, hidden chemicals, nasty sugars and salts can also be found in places where we least expect them.
Protecting our health by knowing exactly what we are putting into our bodies is so important. Of course, everything is ok in moderation, but when we are consuming nasty ingredients consistently without knowing we could be causing damage to our long term health. As well as this, there has been a large increase in people with food allergies, intolerances and digestive issues over the past few years caused by specific ingredients. If you are attempting to food or additive, checking the ingredients lists of your foods is important here also in order to prevent illness, reactions, bloating or cramping.
What is your go to meal?
Falafel wrap with lots of hummus, tzatziki, and fresh veg!
Your top 5 speedy breakfast … GO!
- Egg Spinach and tomato omelette
- Peanut butter and cinnamon porridge
- Chia seed pudding with cashew milk
- Soya yoghurt
- Peanut butter and nuts!
Thank you Kristen Stavridis Nutritionist (BDC (Hons) Nutrition)