Foods & Anger: Lose Your Short Fuse!

Anger

If you’re in a bad mood can you blame the food?

Yes it’s true, growing research over the last two decades has linked food and nutrition to anger and aggression. While these findings are controversial they have also paved the way for new and promising ways to help us temper our tongues, reverse our rage, and calm the savage beast within all of us.

Make no mistake, this concept has rarely discussed openly until recently. This news should not highlight and build a “Twinkie defense” or foster lack of ownership in how we behave. Rather, it is another piece of a puzzle that explores anti-social behavior which is more commonly attributed to either genetics, the influence of disease, trauma or psychosocial factors.

Many have received traditional treatments that involve medications and therapy but have rarely been exposed to how food can help improve symptoms of anger.

Take a close look at your diet to keep these mood busting foods in check and curtail your consumption for a complete mood make-over and get one step closer to health and happiness!

SUGAR OVERLOAD: if you are eating more than 10% of your calories from sweets routinely, you may have become very sensitive to the effects of a high sugar diet.  That means if you need 2000 calories a day to maintain your weight than no more than 50g should be coming from sugar. Note, one soda contains almost 40 grams!   Sugar dependency is real and promotes cravings for more as well as from comforting starchy carbs which disrupt your metabolism and mood.

Consequence: Look forward to reactive low blood sugar with feelings of irritability, restlessness, frustration and low energy. Cravings for sugar and starchy foods will kick in. You may grab them to help you feel better but unfortunately the effects are short lasting, lead to weight gain, further sugar metabolism problems and more discomfort.

FAT SABOTAGE: Excessive fat intake is easy unless you put some thought into planning meal choices.  A fast food diet will deliver lots of unhealthy fat that can impact your mood in a big way. Watch out for how frequently you eat fried foods and burgers, watch choices at take out and other restaurant chains. These venues are known to have menu items that may contain trans fats or other fats which have been associated with aggression.  Common offenders include a variety of laden appetizers and snacks, loaded salads, dressings, desserts and cocktails.

Consequence:  Brain neurons need a balance between healthy fats and omega 3 for proper development and functioning. This is a critical step for growing brains where neuro-development continues through age 21.  After that and throughout adulthood, a diet that contains unhealthy fats will promote inflammation, attack nerve cells and disrupt communications between cells. Over time this can impact memory, performance, enjoyment and coping with stress.

NUTRIENT KNOCK-OUT:  Super calorie laden processed foods wipe out nutrients in two ways. One is by diminishing the value of the food by super saturating it in calories. This may mean you need to eat 2-4 times the serving size (also 2-4 x the calories) in order to hit the nutrient mark. The other way leaches nutrients from processing methods. Nutrient losses from fresh whole food sources can occur from mechanical mixing, heating and squeezing the food into preformed perfect shapes.This increases toxic by-products and impacts the way your brain functions.

Consequence: Less than optimum levels of key vitamins and minerals have been found in persons with anger, aggression, depression, violence and even suicide.  Additionally, acting impulsively and being overly sensitive to criticism have also been noted. These “sub-clinical” vitamin and mineral deficiencies were related to vitamin C, some B vitamins (thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid and B6) plus iron, magnesium and manganese.

DIRTY FOODS: Processed foods are warehouses for additives that may not be the best for you or your mood.  Take hard look at the food label to key into whether you are eating a dirty food.  Check out foods that come in a box or bottle, contain 5 or more ingredients or have words that are hard to pronounce, chances are that it may be a dirty food.

Consequence: Foods sensitivities are real and researchers have discovered that they may be capable of producing aggression. This is linked to various food additives that include artificial colors, preservatives and flavoring agents. These additives have been implicated independently with childhood hyperactivity, not only for those with food allergies or ADHD.

Eat Healthy!  Be Happy!

Nicolette M. Pace

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