You wonder what the hell is wrong with you.
Why are you so cranky?
You don’t want to be short-tempered and downright mean.
But sometimes your fuse is short, really short, and you don’t know what to do.
You don’t want to go the Prozac route. And you wonder if murkier problems could be looming. Your doctor would laugh in your face—since when is crankiness a disease?
You aren’t doomed to a lifetime of grumpiness.
You get to be a detective, and you will learn to read your body’s clues.
And the best part is you can change without taking drugs.
Read the following signs. They are red flags from your body, highlighting where your diet is messing up your mood.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
Don’t ignore these clues.
Everyone knows that diets affect waistlines. There is much more to the story — your mind affects your digestion, which then causes changes in your mood.
This isn’t a new concept. Alternative medicines like TCM and Ayurveda diagnose diseases by observing your tongue, nails, hair and pulse. A physical sign like peeling fingernails can indicate a nutritional deficiency — which can make you glum.
Because the sources of a bad mood are much harder to pinpoint, we often forget the mind-body connection.
Here are ten ways to recognize and act on the red flags your body throws to get you to pay attention:
1. Your skin looks like crap.
Blemishes come from inflammation because your immune system fires up against outside attackers. Often imbalances in hormones, like excess estrogen, cause inflammation. And this also will make you angry as hell. And yes, your diet can cause hormonal imbalances.
2. Your fingernails peel and crack.
What’s up with your crappy nails? In Ayurveda, dry, cracking nails are a sign of improper absorption of nutrients in the colon. Your nails need the right nutritional balance to grow strong. When you lack essential nutrients, you’ll also feel short tempered or glum.
3. When you get hungry, you want to kill someone.
Do you turn into a hangry (hungry + angry) maniac before you eat? This is a sign that you are eating quick-burning sugars, or you aren’t eating regularly. If you feel hangry often, take a look at your diet. Are you scarfing down processed foods like pastries or candy? Even so-called “healthy” foods like bagels cause blood sugar slumps and a monster mood. Nibble on a mix of whole grains, healthy fats, and proteins at regular intervals.
4. You crave sweet or salty foods. A lot.
If you often crave certain foods, especially concentrated sources of a certain taste, like salty or sweet, you may have a deficiency in your diet. And you will feel cranky as hell if you don’t get the nutrients you need.
5. You catch colds easily.
Do you catch colds more often than you should? Your diet is not fortifying your immune system. So you are weak and run down. No wonder you get cranky. Certain foods, especially mushrooms and cruciferous vegetables, improve our immune system.
6. You enter a food coma after eating.
You feel sleepy, sluggish and achy a lot. Finishing a meal, you enter a food coma. Junk food makes you feel like crap — both physically and mentally. A crappy diet can overwhelm your body and your mind. If junk foods aren’t the culprit, you are overeating, or you have food allergies.
7. Sh** – you gotta run to the toilet again.
And you have those pesky pains in your tummy. Did you know that the same neurotransmitter, serotonin, lives both in our GI tracts and in our brains? Ninety percent live in our tummies. Imagine you suddenly get tummy troubles like pain and bloating. At the same time, you feel lethargic and blue. Your tummy troubles affect your happiness hormone levels and make you feel glum.
If your GI tract is acting crazy, it is probably inflamed. In ground-breaking recent news, depression and inflammation were linked. Try to decrease inflammation with your diet to boost your mood. It’s not as hard as you’d think.
8. There’s a bizarre white coating on your tongue.
Open up and say, “Aaaah.” Is your tongue covered with a fuzzy coating? (Stop and look in a mirror.) In Eastern medicines, a fuzzy coating is a sign of buildup, aka sludge in your GI tract. The sludge forms when food isn’t digested or assimilated. Your GI tract should run like a fine-tuned engine. And food powers your body. Studies link leaky guts with depression and anxiety. Changes in your gut bacteria exacerbate depression.
9. You frequently morph from the energizer bunny to a lazy dwarf.
When you eat processed carbs or sugar, the high you experience results from a “sugar” in your bloodstream rush. Your pancreas secretes insulin in massive quantities to regulate your blood sugar. The low comes when your blood sugar drops a couple hours later. High levels of insulin can cause depression and moodiness.
And there’s more….
People with diabetes have double the risk of depression. Insulin resistance develops after insulin has been high for a prolonged period. Insulin resistance is associated with depression.
10. You poop like an old man.
Most people think constipation is for the elderly. But did you know that constipation often coexists with depression? Do you have at least one bowel movement per day? High stress, anxiety, and depression are all linked to constipation. Why? The “fight or flight” response diverts blood away from the GI tract to the periphery. Our bodies think they may need to run from a lion or a falling tree. Digestion and elimination slow down. Chronic stress affects both your bowels and your mood.
Do you recognize more than two of these ten signs?
What now? You need to make changes.
It’s remarkably easy. And you won’t have to become a sprout-eating hippie.
How To Tweak Your Diet To Improve Your Mood
Eat More Of The Following To Banish Inflammation
Have you heard the hype about Omega-3 Fatty Acids? Omega-3s combat inflammation and lower rates of depression, anxiety, and stress. You can find Omega 3s in walnuts, flax, chia and oily fish like salmon.
Choose grass-fed milk and meat because they are high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Turmeric is one of nature’s powerful anti-inflammatories. It combats inflammation better than many drugs. Take 1/2 teaspoon of the powder two times per day.
Try this anti-inflammatory ginger tea: Boil 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger with three cups of water, turn off heat, filter and drink throughout the day.
Eat To Boost Your Energy (Even If You Are Lazy)
Simplify your meals to include vegetables, whole grains and high-quality protein. Examples are sautéed vegetables, brown rice with wild salmon, or tempeh.
Add variety to your diet by eating grains like oats, quinoa, brown rice and whole wheat.
Choose fruits, especially berries, to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Stop wasting your money on fast foods. And watch your medical bills decrease.
Listen to your body. When you get diarrhea or stomach aches after eating, eliminate the culprits. Raw carrots, eggplants, peppers, dairy or wheat are common culprits.
Eat More Veggies and Spices To Boost Your Happiness
Choose plant-based proteins. When you have the choice, go for the hummus and veggies over a steak. Eating less meat and more fruits and vegetables is even proven to improve moods. This recent study found that vegans have lower levels of stress and anxiety than omnivores and vegetarians.
Eat veggies at least three times per week. This study found that eating vegetables three times per week cut the odds of developing depression by 60%. You can definitely eat vegetables three times per week.
Spice up your diet to spice up your mood. Cloves, oregano, cinnamon, and nutmeg increase levels of serotonin, the happiness and well-being neurotransmitter. Those mood-boosting compounds are also found in apples, berries, grapes, kale, onions, and green tea.
Cut out hormonal disruptors. Environmental chemicals such as BPA in the food supply mimic your hormones. BPA is used in the linings of many food products, including canned goods.
Don’t take my word for it.
You aren’t doomed to a lifetime of gloominess. You can become happier, healthier and even fitter. Start with a simple step like eating a salad with your lunch every day. You don’t have to become a vegan to feel happier.
All this information is worthless if you stare at your navel and wish you were different. So don’t be lazy.
Long-term changes that boost your health will make you happier.
Start to observe yourself, and be your own detective and health advocate.
We all deserve to be happy and healthy. But you must take an active role in your happiness.
You know it’s true.
When you are happier and healthier, you make the world a better place.
Start with one simple change. How about oatmeal for breakfast?
Again, make the world a happier place, just one bite at a time.
Featured photo credit: http://picjumbo.com via picjumbo.com