Mood swings are a natural feature of menstrual cycles and menopause due to changes in hormonal levels. They can also result from stress, work, illness, lack of sleep or an unhealthy diet. If you suffer from mood swings, you know that they make life very difficult and can cause you to overeat, alienate friends and co-workers, and simply feel miserable most of the time.
Your diet can be an important factor in controlling mood swings, and a diet high in sugar and simple carbohydrates is often the culprit. Switching to a low GI diet, with more lean proteins and complex carbohydrates can help, as can these mood leveling foods:
Studies have shown that calcium can help to reduce mood swings, particularly when they are a result of PMS. In one study, 9 out of 10 women reported a reduction of mood swings after taking calcium supplements. One of the best natural sources of calcium is milk and milk products such as yogurt and cheese.
Salmon is packed with nutrients, including omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium and vitamin B6, all important for elevating your mood. Omega 3 is important to brain function, and can improve concentration and memory as well as mood swings. It can also improve your body’s response to insulin, which reduces blood sugar peaks. Salmon is one of the best sources of omega 3.
3. Soy Products
Soy products like tofu, soy milk and soy beans have a very low GI value, so they release energy slowly, helping you to avoid the highs and lows of a sugar rush. Soy also contains calcium, B vitamins and omega 3, all nutrients that are important for energy levels and your mood. On top of this, soy contains phytoestrogens which may help reduce the symptoms of menopause and PMS, including mood swings, by balancing hormone levels.
4. Whole Grains
Whole grains are a valuable source of complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide energy, and complex carbohydrates provide it at a slow, steady rate. Whole grains are also nutritious and contain zinc, magnesium and B vitamins, which can help to regulate your mood. Deficiencies in any of these can cause mood swings.
5. Leafy, Dark Green Vegetables
Leafy greens have one of the highest ratios of nutrients per ounce of any food. They provide a range of B vitamins, which are needed to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin in your brain. These neurotransmitters are responsible for elevating anxiety and stress levels and can have a big effect on your mood. Studies have shown that an increase in any of the B vitamins, such as niacin, folate or B6 can help with memory, mood and energy. Dark green vegetables also contain vitamin C which may also improve mood swings.
Mood swings are unpleasant and can disrupt your life and the lives of those around you. Many mood swings can be improved by the right diet. Eating plenty of these foods, as well as lean protein and complex carbohydrates, can help you to find an equilibrium in your life.