Foods can affect how we feel and our feelings can influence the foods we choose. For example, eating chocolate is linked with pleasure and reward. Other food and mood effects can be because of the type of the food and drinks we choose, e.g. food or drinks high in caffeine can make people feel jittery or anxious.
One reason why food can have an effect on mood is because of the structure of the brain - 60% of the dry weight of the brain is made up of unsaturated fats. These are found in nuts, seeds, olives, oily fish, rapeseed and vegetable oils.
If your diet is low in unsaturated fats, your brain produces fewer of the chemicals it needs to control mood. Eating enough of the right kind of food is therefore important.
“As a rule plenty of fruits and vegetables and wholegrain cereal foods, with some protein foods, including fatty fish, will support a good supply of nutrients for good health and good mood” The British Dietetic Association
To determine whether your food has an effect on your mood:
- Answer the questions on the Food and Mood: The link questionnaire. Your answers will show whether you need to change your diet to improve your mood.
- Use the Food and Mood diary to find out whether when, and what you eat and drink will have an effect on how you feel. Remember to write down your symptoms and feelings.
- Read the How food affects Mood leaflet. It gives information about which foods can have an effect on your mood.
- If necessary, use the Food and Mood: Step by step progress chart to make changes to your diet. For the best results, try to achieve all of the recommendations in a step-wise manner. Try to make a one change every week.
1.Don’t stop taking any prescribed medication.
2.Continue to attend appointments with Healthcare staff.
Further resources can be found on the right.