2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Q&A: Can Food Help Mood?

Click here for the Health Tip link.

Q: Are there foods I can eat to help my mood swings?

A: Yes. Although scientists can’t seem to agree on precisely how food affects mood, most people at one time or another turn to food to feel better.

Certain foods can increase the amount of serotonin, endorphins, and other mood-altering nerve chemicals the brain produces. Your overall diet is important to look at too. Skipping meals and overusing of caffeine can cause havoc with mood, as can eating junky foods.

A few suggestions:

When you’re feeling especially tense or stressed, eat complex carbohydrate-rich foods, which are good relaxers. Have a whole-wheat bagel for breakfast or a bowl of garbanzo beans or brown rice with veggies for lunch or dinner. Add a carbohydrate-rich snack to your day, such as whole-grain crackers with peanut butter. Carbs are called “comfort foods” for a good reason.

If you’re feeling down and your energy level is on the low side, try adding more lean, high-protein foods like salmon or turkey breast to your diet. These foods can improve mood by making you more alert and enhancing your energy level. Remember this rule: carbohydrates calm, proteins perk.

Watch carefully your intake of sugars other than those from whole fruits. Added sugars are found everywhere–in cereal, pastry, candy, carbonated beverages, and all manner of prepared foods like ketchup, canned vegetables, and yogurt. After an initial jolt of energy from the sugar entering your body, you’ll fall into a slump afterward, called the sugar blues. Eliminate all added sugar and see if your mood swings don’t improve after a week or two.

To heighten your stress-buffering serotonin levels and improve your mood and your overall resilience, look to the omega-3 fats found in cold-water fish, flaxseed, and walnuts. Sprinkle walnuts on salads. Try to eat tuna, trout, mackerel, or salmon twice a week or take a couple of fish oil capsules every day. Flax seed oil is a fine substitute.

Many nutritionally oriented doctors believe that a diet low in vitamin B-6 can contribute to an inadequate manufacture of serotonin and other brain chemicals. To boost your B-6, eat more poultry, whole grains, bananas, avocados, and especially dark green leafy vegetables. Taking a good B-complex vitamin is a great way to ensure you’re covered.

And remember, what you eat is only one factor in improving mood. Getting regular exercise and enough sleep, not drinking too much alcohol, and not smoking are essential to mood and overall well-being.

Leave a Comment


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Upcoming Workshops


**Winter Solstice Celebration: An evening of Acupuncture and Shamanic Healing
Tuesday, December 17, 5:45–7:30pm
Hosted by Katie Oberlin, HTCP and Mari Stecker, LAc

Course Fee: $75.00

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to enter the stillpoint of the Winter Solstice, reflect on the lessons of 2019, and set intentions for the new year. This will be an evening of individual and group healing, ceremony, and celebration. More →

Recent Health Tips

  • Ten Drugs Doctors Should Consider De-Prescribing

    Physicians use the word polypharmacy when a patient is taking five or more prescription drugs daily. A recent survey showed that half of women Medicare recipients were taking five or more drugs daily, and 12% of them were taking ten (!) or more. New patients frequently arrive at WholeHealth Chicago carrying bags stuffed like piñatas with prescription drugs and nutritional supplements, the latter recommended by Read More

  • Toxic Metals, Heart Disease, and Chelation Therapy

    In last week’s Health Tip I reviewed the well-researched health dangers of environmental toxic metals (also called heavy metals). They’ve always been a serious health risk, but with the Trump Administration’s recent rollbacks of clean air and water regulations we can expect even more trouble ahead. Statisticians predict an astonishing 160,000 unnecessary deaths over the next decade from the reversals of clean air and water Read More

  • Heavy Metal Toxicity and Your Health

    For those who were otherwise preoccupied that day long ago in high school chemistry, the heavy metals refer to a group of especially dense metals or metal-like substances (called metalloids) found in the environment. These metals–specifically lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum–can all be absorbed by your body and stored there. Our environment is already quite toxic (Trump’s EPA deregulations aren’t helping) and it’s getting Read More

This month, save 20% off all Metagenics Medical Foods

UltraMeal
UltraInflamX
UltraClear