It’s Time For A Mood Diet; Here’s What It’s All About
There is anxiety, anger, irritation, happiness, stress, and even nostalgia that make individuals navigate their actions in varied forms. However, one habit that remains common is – Emotional eating.
The mood is an instinctive emotion that has the potential to make you feel your optimum best. Yet, it can make you go through a dysfunctional enthusiasm that can absorb levels of hormone serotonin catering to sleep, digestion, or a genetic predisposition. While it can scale an eager purpose, it does not take time for it to fall into a descending spiral on survival mechanisms.
As the world grows into the pandemic phase, people today are experiencing a mix of emotions that are compromised within the four walls of a house. There is anxiety, anger, irritation, happiness, stress, and even nostalgia that make individuals navigate their actions in varied forms. However, one habit that remains common is – Emotional eating.
This is where diet plays an essential role to balance the catharsis of a depleting healthy gut. With the number of varied choices available in our country, a diet can easily run into variations that can cater to a successful ‘Mood Diet’.
Today, we have access to a variety of foods that contain more fiber and nutrients compared to conventional foods that have alternate satiation. It’s safe to say that cravings can be good with substitute food options that uplift emotions and mental well-being.
So, how do we practice this new age phenomenon of a Mood Diet?
Consumers who are working from home are constantly looking for eating options to explore. Professionals have their dietary preferences in check and homemakers want to explore the best for their family. This is where reassurance becomes essential making the relationship between mood and food come alive with sufficient vigor.
Any kind of emotional eating; positive or negative has always been associated with an unhealthy diet. This is where the mindset change comes into play. The concept of a Mood Diet marries the daily nutrient requirements with the unconscious food cravings that emerge from shifting temperaments. Keeping this concept in mind, Marriott On Wheels takes the lead to create some enjoyable cuisines that satisfy mood-related hunger while you are in the comfort of your home.
Listed here are the preferred food categories that make for the best ‘Mood Diet’ with an adequate nutrient value and science:
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of essential fats that you must obtain through your diet because your body can’t produce them on its own.
Fatty fish like Sardine, Salmon, Tuna, King Mackerel are rich in two types of omega-3s fatty acids—that are linked to lower levels of depression. Omega-3s play key roles in brain development and cell signaling.
Chocolate is rich in many mood-boosting compounds. It releases a cascade of feel-good compounds, such as caffeine & theobromine. Chocolate has a very high hedonic rating, meaning that its pleasurable taste, & texture, promote a good mood because milk chocolate contains added ingredients like sugar and fat. It’s best to opt for dark chocolate which is high in flavonoids and low in added sugar.
Foods like kimchi, yogurt, kefir, pickles, Apple Cider Vinegar, tempeh, kombucha, and sauerkraut may improve gut health and mood in totality. The fermentation process allows live bacteria to thrive in foods that are then able to convert sugars into alcohol and acids.
During this process, probiotics are created, and these live microbes support the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and may increase serotonin levels.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects many facets of human behavior. Up to 90% of your body’s serotonin is produced by your gut microbiome or the collection of healthy bacteria in your gut.
However, Beer & Wine are alcoholic fermented drinks that have a significant effect on boosting the mood.
Fruits and vegetables are linked to lower rates of depression. Berries pack a wide range of antioxidants and phenolic compounds, which play a key role in reducing oxidative stress — an imbalance of harmful compounds in your body. They are particularly high in anthocyanins, a pigment that gives certain berries their purple-blue color.
NUTS AND SEEDS
Nuts and seeds are high in plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and fiber. Additionally, they provide amino acids responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin. Moreover, nuts and seeds are a large component of both the Mind and Mediterranean diets, which may support a healthy brain.
The caffeine in coffee prevents a naturally occurring compound called adenosine from attaching to brain receptors that promote tiredness, thereby increasing alertness and attention. Moreover, it increases the release of mood-boosting neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine.
Coffee in any form boosts the mood – Cold Coffee, Cappuccino, Espresso, or perhaps Tiramisu.
No matter what challenges your day brings, it's easier to face the world when your spirits are high. And it's hard to be in a good mood when you're feeling hungry. So do eat well but when you make the next food choice for the day, ask yourself, is this part of my mood diet, or should I swap this for something better.
(Himanshu Taneja is the Culinary Director, South Asia, Marriott International)