Quite surprisingly, everyday foods can affect people’s mood quite profoundly. The link between food and mood is complex; nutritional deficiencies, adverse or allergic reactions and the glucose level in the bloodstream can all have an effect on a person’s mental state.
The brain produces potent chemicals called neurotransmitters which are made out of nutrients from food. As a general rule, neurotransmitters are produced from amino acids, which are the building blocks of the proteins in the foods that you eat.
The manufacture and release of these neurotransmitters can be altered to some extent naturally by taking certain foods, using herbal supplements and going for homeopathic (including biochemic tissue salts) remedies.
Causes of mood swings
Any specific cause and effect is difficult to define, as age, sex and any medications you may be taking are factors that can also affect the chemical reactions of the brain.
Still, causes and Common Triggers of Mood Swings are:
- unbalanced life-style with too much stress
- troubled or lack of sleep
- malnutrition – unhealthy diets lacking in the necessary vitamins and nutrients
- smoking, drug abuse & alcohol abuse
- Hormonal changes like those occurring during and after pregnancy, pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), post-partum depression and menopause. In teenagers, they could be hormonal changes related to puberty.
- chemical imbalance in the brain including conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety
- hyperactivity or hyperactivity/inattentiveness such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Asperger syndrome
- hypoglycemia and anemia
Here are some of the ways; nutrition can help in your mood changes/swings
1) Milk & Eggs – An amino acid called tryptophan is found in such protein rich foods. Tryptophan is a component of a soothing neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin is needed for normal sleep, and some experts think that it may play a role in controlling certain types of depression.
2) Sugars & starches – It has been claimed that meals rich in carbohydrates (sugars & starches) help to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, making a person feel calm and drowsy. May be that’s the reason why people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) often have a craving for sugary carbohydrates through out the dark winters.
3) Chocolate – Chocolate usually gives instant life to the spirits and acts an anti-depressant. It is mainly due to phenylethylamine, a chemical in cocoa, and occurs naturally in the brain and is allegedly released at times of emotional arousal. Chocolate also contains the stimulants theobromine and caffeine, which increase alertness.
4) B vitamins – Deficiency in one of several B vitamins can also cause a change in mood. Vegetarians and vegans are prone to vitamin B12 deficiency, while alcoholics are deficient in both thiamin & B12. Rich sources of B vitamins include beans, brown rice, egg yolks, fish, nuts, soya beans, dairy products, fortified with B12 soya milk, yeast extract and breakfast cereals.
5) Irregular eating habits – This drops down your body glucose levels and irritation and wakefulness are usually associated symptoms of this.
Herbal supplements & Homeopathic Remedies for mood swings
There are a number of natural herbal and homeopathic remedies that have been shown to optimize nervous system health and promote balanced mood and peacefulness.
1) Homeopathic remedies like Nux vom, Chamomilla, and Lycopodium are used as cellular nutrients for the nervous system and brain to support calmed mood and balanced emotions; when the emotional reaction seems out of proportion to the situation or event; and are meant for individuals who are said to be ‘highly strung’ or volatile. They reduce feelings of frustration and discontent; relieve nighttime tension, including night terrors and sleep talking; and reduce angry emotions and is especially suited for stressed, workaholic personalities. These 3 basically have the ability to address emotions causing anger, irritability and temper outbursts. You may get more info on these remedies here
2) Biochemic tissue salts like Kali. Phosphoricum & Nat. sulphuricum; and homeopathic remedies such as Tarentula & Hyoscyamus niger are suited to those who become introverted and solitary, tense, and uncommunicative when unwell; who tend to have rapid extreme mood swings, are irritable and slightly hysterical. These remedies reduce mood swings, calm temper and anger outbursts and agitation, balance extreme emotional highs, and eliminate uncharacteristic hyper behavior. More info on these biochemic salts can be had here
3) Homeopathic biochemic tissue salts like Natrium sulphate, Kalium phosphate and Natrium phosphate ward off those common feelings of discouragement and dismay; are excellent nerve tonics and natural calmatives, helping to soothe nerves and lessen the feeling of ‘being on edge’; and support the healthy brain and nervous system by promoting equilibrium at a cellular level. They lessen common feelings of the blues and promote healthy, balanced moods and support the therapeutic effects of other remedies by promoting brain and neurotransmitter efficiency. You may get more on these here
4) Herbal supplements and remedies like St. John’s Wort and Passion Flower have been traditionally used for centuries to balance mood and safely support routine calm and mental equilibrium. Both support a reasonable positive mental attitude, maintain a well-adjusted outlook and positive temperament, and support healthy sleep patterns and a healthy balanced appetite. You may get more info on these here
5) For premenstrual syndrome (PMS), herbal remedies that are generally recommended contain ingredients such as Fennel, Pulsatilla and Melissa which help to naturally reduce the effects of premenstrual syndrome and support health. Don Quai is also a very effective Chinese herb which helps to restore hormonal balance and promote female reproductive health – thereby reducing the occurrence of pre-menstrual symptoms.
6) For menopause, many women are now turning to the use of natural herbal and homeopathic remedies to counteract these symptoms and nature has a medicine chest of ingredients that suit this purpose. Black cohosh is one such herbal ingredient that is well know for its ability to support estrogen balance in the body and treat a number of menopause related symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. Other highly successful ingredients for the treatment of menopausal symptoms include pasque flower which supports female health and sooths the nervous system, and Dong Quai which works to support the balance of female hormones while treating many of the symptoms related to PMS and menopause.
7) Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Homeopathic remedies & biochemic tissue salts like Calc carb, Alumina, Aurum met, Nat mur, & Kali phos relieve weather-related sadness; suit those individuals that tend to feel tired when it is colder and have a general dislike to cold environments; address general sluggishness and the feeling of wanting to ‘curl up and hibernate’; calm temperament; promote an easy-going, positive emotional outlook; and help beat the winter blues and overcome grief in the holidays.