What you eat directly affects how much energy you have. These foods stabilize emotions and prevent mood swings – and they’re especially helpful when you’re coping with lack of sleep. I’ve been paying attention to what I eat and how I feel after, and I’m learning that eating food for energy and emotional health is rally important.
It’s not just what you eat, it’s how you eat. “I learned early on that setting a table is so much more than just laying down knives and forks,” says independent design professional Peri Wolfman. “It is creating a setting for food and conversation, setting a mood and an aura that lingers long after what was served and who said what was forgotten.”
6 Foods for Energy and Emotional Stability
What you eat affects how you look and feel, which directly affects how you interact with others. The bonus: buying fresh, delicious veggies and fruits and preparing them with care and attention – along with a nice glass of red wine and good music – can soothe your body and soul. Make sure you snack regularly, as it gives your body a consistent flow of energy. Snacking keeps your blood sugar level stable and your brain fed.
1. Sardines for good moods and increased mental performance
Sardines aren’t just a “good mood food”, they can improve your mental performance. Sardines are also a low contaminant fish, high in both Vitamin D and Omega-3’s. “The fats in dairy, meats and oils are important for the production of acetylcholine, which is crucial for memory formation and general neural integrity,” writes Dr Pierce Howard in The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. Salmon, char, haddock, shrimp, and rainbow trout are other healthy ways to prevent mood swings because they’re high in Omega-3 oils.
If you’re not fond of sardines or salmon – or you’re allergic – try Kind Plus’s Almond Cashew + Omega-3 Gluten Free Bars. They’re wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and have a low glycemic index. These energy bars are a good source of fiber, and contain no hydrogenated oils or trans fats. As far as foods for energy go, they’re right up there!
2. Skim milk to decrease depression
Low levels of folic acid and vitamin B are connected to depression, though doctors haven’t nailed down the exact link. They do know that depressed people have lower levels of folate and vitamin B. Skim milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and eggs are high in B, and can stabilize emotions. These energy foods will boost your immune system because they’re rich in folate and vitamin B, in addition to stabilizing your emotions.
In my article about sleep and introverts, Dr Pierce Howard says dairy products also promote the production of serotonin, which will help you sleep better.
3. Edamame to keep blood sugar levels stable
Going out for sushi? Order edamame. Commonly found in China and Japan, edamame is baby soybeans served whole. You eat the beans, not the pods (though many people eat the pods, too!). Edamame is high in protein, low in fat, and delicious – and since it helps stabilize sugar levels, it can improve your mood. Edamame is one of those foods for energy that tastes great, and the bonus is that edamame stabilizes emotions, too.
If preparing these types of food for energy is too much work, you might think about the 5 Hour Energy Orange Drink. It’s packed with B-vitamins, amino acids, and nutrients. This energy drink doesn’t have sugar or herbal stimulants, and only contains four calories. It’s not a food for energy, but the nutrients will help stabilize your emotions.
As much caffeine as a cup of the leading premium coffee
4. Blackberries to increase antioxidant levels
Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries are high in polyphenols, which are a category of flavonoids. Research shows that these berries can reverse some effects of age-related brain decline; other scientists found that flavonoids work with vitamin C to prevent that vitamin’s breakdown and boost the fight against free radicals. Berries also guard against macular degeneration, various cancers, and brain cell loss.
5. Beans, legumes and soy to build healthy brain cells
Black beans, soybeans, split peas and tofu are among the “bean and pea” family of foods that fight disease. Beans contain high amounts of thiamine, a B-vitamin key in building healthy brain cells and improving cognitive function. They’re also full of soluble fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar and helps prevent mood swings. Next time you eat bean and rice, notice how you feel and think. I’m positive you’ll discover that beans are foods for energy and to stabilize emotions.
6. Ground flaxseed to stabilize your moods
Whole flax seeds aren’t as good as ground flax – and make sure you keep it in your fridge or freezer. It stays fresh longer. I love flax in my muffins and oatmeal, but I’ve also sprinkled it in my yogurt and cereal. Ground flaxseed boasts Omega-3’s, which sharpen minds, stabilize moods, and triggers the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that is linked to positive emotions, and can help treat depression naturally.
The Pure Bar Organic Raw Fruit and Nut Bars is a great way to combine healthy nutrition with a delicious taste. The variety pack as Chocolate Brownie, Wild Blueberry, Banana Coconut and Dark Chocolate Berry organic energy bars, made with 100% certified organic ingredients. They contain only fruits and nuts, and are the perfect snack if you’re looking for gluten free, kosher or vegan products. The ingredients are simple, and this food for energy and stabilized emotions offer balanced nutrition with moderate fiber, protein and natural sugars from fruit.
Other foods for energy and to stabilize emotions are sunflower seeds (folic acid), spinach (lots of vitamins), and brussel sprouts (again, lots of vitamins to help you achieve your health goals).
How does food make you feel?
When you’re researching and experimenting with different types of foods for energy and emotional stability, pay close attention to how you feel after you eat. I’ve recently noticed how lethargic and sad I feel after eating a few cookies and potato chips. I’m tired of feeling tired, so I’m cutting out those foods. Instead, I chew gum, drink diet soda pop, and eat fresh fruit! I’m 100% aware that 66% of my food choices are unhealthy, but I feel so much better.
If you can’t remember how different foods affect your energy levels or moods, keep a journal. You won’t regret it – you’ll learn a great deal about yourself! And that will help you get better sleep, improve your mood, and stabilize your emotions.
Source: The Owner’s Manual for the Brain by Pierce Howard, PhD.