Food and Mood


Ever wonder why sometime we crave for chocolate or sugary stuff when we are sad,stressed or when we feel pessimistic? Studies shown that our mood does affect our food choice and vice versa. What we eat has a profound effect on how we feel now and later! Check out this article by British dietetic association that comments regarding "food and mood" Any opinion or experience regarding food choices and Mood?

Lawrence Loy
11 days ago

6 answers


Dark chocolate made with a high percentage of unsweetened chocolate (+70%) contains sufficient theobromine to relax your big, broad muscles which also constrain your blood vessels. It also boosts your serotonin (the feel good hormone). If you blood pressure drops and you feel relaxed and your mood is elevated, the residual sugar in the chocolate will also give you a bit of an energy spike to incrementally enhance your overall feeling a well being.

Terry Wakefield
11 days ago
Great explaination. What is your opinion regarding chocolate and our brain. Any association? Thanks - Lawrence 11 days ago
T is a vasolilator and diuretic and thus tends to lower BP. - David E. Marcinko 10 days ago
David E. Marcinko MBBS-MD DPM MBA MEd CMP® Thank you for the explanation! - Chun 6 days ago

According to studies - Foods and beverages affect mood and behavior, even in the short term. Research studies that investigate the best overall dietary patterns for good mental health invariably arrive at a conclusion: the foods and beverages that support optimal physical health are the same ones that support optimal mental health.

Ref - 

Hitesh Mathpal
7 days ago
Makes sense, so not sure why psychiatric practitioners are not promoting basic nutrition advice along with the array of neuro-psychiatric drugs they prescribe... - Sam 7 days ago
Great article with lots of supporting studies! Thanks for the sharring! - Lawrence 7 days ago
Thanks. It seems like increase consumption of healthier food does promote better mood and less anxiety. - Chun 6 days ago

In my case chocolate is not doing immediate help in changing moods. While for some reason Thai food (like tom yam, thai ice tea) improve it practically immediately. I assume it comes for combination of smell, light spiceness, and tongue feeling.
Seems it can be very specific to person body metabolism specifics - for example one of my friends was saying he falling asleep from coffee, but stays awake from tea.

Andrey Zolotavin
11 days ago
True enough different body perceive different stuff. What is your experience regarding the type of food that affects your mood. For example, which food you prefered when you are happy and when you are sad? - Lawrence 11 days ago
When sad, tired , upset - do go for Thai (as above) or Indian, lot of smelly spices and tastes usually improving it. When happy - variety of foods, but it is rather on spot decisions. To clarify - I'm not particular patriot of specific food only, prefer variety . - Andrey 10 days ago
Got to try it out! - Chun 10 days ago

According to the Harvard University "The research regarding dietary factors and depression is still inconclusive," says Patricia Chocano-Bedoya, a visiting scientist in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. But there have been hints that food may play a role in depression!!! further studies are needed!

Chun Wei
11 days ago
Agreed; many thanks. - David E. Marcinko 10 days ago
Noted. Thanks. As you have stated, what are the scientific hint of food may play a role in depression? - Lawrence 10 days ago

Many patients of mine reach for sugary or simple carbs under stressful conditions or to satiate their soul. Rare that one would reach for beans or steak for filling up one's emotional void. I have also seen patients who tell me they look for textural foods to eat, perhaps crunchy items, to appease mood issues. Best course of action is to go for a walk!!

Sam Grief
7 days ago
Great insight! - Lawrence 7 days ago

At home, we all live by the same great guidelines: healthy variety in reasonable quantity.

Treat day is Sunday afternoon + 1 other day: an ice cream cone, cookie, a piece of cake.

Always 3 good meals plus healthy snacks (apples, cheese stick, peanut butter +)

Wendy Harrington
7 days ago
Thanks for replying. What snack would you recommend for different type of mood. For example when some one is facing anxiety problem? - Lawrence 7 days ago
Any herbal tea will likely soothe a person's anxiety, but I would defer to those more knowledgeable. I wish there would be food products with anxiolytic properties... - Sam 6 days ago
I try not to use food to help emotions but am conscious of not making them worse (e.g., sugar.) I'd probably offer something like yogurt (probiotics) or a cruncy apple with peanut butter. - Wendy 6 days ago

Have some input?