Few things affect our state of mind, aka our mood, as profoundly as food. Women being propelled by some mysterious hormonal force to eat chocolate during PMS is one good example. There’s just something in that chocolate that makes them feel so good!
Aside from the emotional ties around food, such as associating it with celebration or entertainment, there is also the physiological side that affects our mood. We’ve all seen children throwing fits in the cereal aisles or at the checkout stand where all the sweets have been placed for impulse buying. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen such outbursts in the broccoli aisle.
People crave almost instinctively comfort foods which are high in carbohydrates, which the body immediately converts into sugar in the bloodstream upon consumption. Consuming processed and refined foods which contain exorbitant amounts of sugars and artificial ingredients and practically no dietary fiber renders the eater into a blood sugar nightmare.
Even cooked starches that some consider healthy such as potatoes, rice and pasta are converted into simple sugars quickly in the body. This gives an immediate burst of false energy and a short-lived sense of well being, followed by a nasty letdown and what some call ‘self induced hypoglycemia.’
In order to feel better after the letdown phase, which can make people feel exhausted, cranky and unable to focus, the body compels one to simply eat more of the substance that gave it that happy rush in the first place. Now we see how we get set up for addictions. Ever tried to be in a good mood, feel jubilant about life or get lots of work done when you are in the throes of caffeine withdrawal?