Food Tip Down in the dumps? Don’t reach for a box of cookies. Unhealthy eating can make a bad mood worse. Take a walk instead.
If you’re concerned about your diet or weight, forget seeking solace in a pint of fudge ripple ice cream — it will only make you feel worse. Research shows that for women who worry about their body shape, pigging out when we’re in a bad mood can drag us down even further. “I talk to my clients about the benefits of healthy eating for a number of reasons, including long-lasting energy and healthy blood sugar levels,” says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, MEd, RD, CSSD, director of wellness coaching at the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. According to Jamieson-Petonic, nutritious foods like salmon, walnuts and whole grains help increase serotonin levels — the feel-good hormone that benefits your mood and sense of well-being. Bingeing on junk food can lower serotonin production and, with it, your mood, she explains. Rather than seeking a better mood with junk food, get moving instead. A 10-minute burst of brisk exercise can give you a noticeable lift.