Mood Swing Inducing Foods to Avoid

By Helen Sanders

If you had to name one cause of mood-swings in women, what instantly comes into your mind?

Would you be surprised if I said foods can determine the way you feel?

Believe me it’s true, what we eat can affect our hormone levels and it’s no secret they play a big part in controlling our emotions.

This can be particularly poignant at sensitive times of the month. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) also impacts hormone levels. Feelings of anxiety, sadness, and irritability are all familiar mood-swings experienced because of this.

You may not be able to change the fact you are going to have a period, but you can control the intensity of symptoms.

I would like to share with you seven mood-swing inducing foods you should try to avoid to give you some relief and make PMS a little easier to cope with.

mood swing inducing foods to avoid

#1 Artificial Sweetener

If you are watching your weight you might think sweeteners are a clever option. However, these low calorie alternatives to sugar are actually not the healthiest choice and will also put you in a bad mood.

It’s not just what you add to your coffee, sweeteners are supplemented into many diet foods and sodas.

Aspartame is a widely used sugar substitute that experts suggest can reduce levels of the “happy” hormones serotonin and dopamine in the body.

If your levels go too low you will find yourself with appetite issues and feelings of irritation and anger.

Instead, look for natural alternatives to processed sugar such as honey.

#2 Bagels

Many grain-based foods such as bagels, bread and pasta contain a protein called gluten.

There is increasing evidence that gluten is linked to change of emotions and anxiety.

In fact experts have acknowledged gluten sensitivity is related to serious psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and clinical depression.

Ditch the bagels and switch to gluten-free alternatives to ensure mood-swings are kept to a minimum.

#3 Cookies

Does PMS ever make you crave sugary foods?

Foods such as cookies, candy bars and muffins all contain high amounts of sugar. In this case, too much is never a good thing.

Increased sugar levels in the blood cause a spike in energy. This may give you a short term feel good factor, but you will soon come crashing back down to earth.

The negative impact of too much sugar means you will experience headaches, feel tired and be downright miserable.

If you need a sweet treat, fruit is a great option.

#4 Wine

For those over 21, having a nice glass of wine at the end of a busy day seems like a great way to relax.  However, it will also cause your hormones to go haywire.

Drinking alcohol increases estrogen levels which could put everything out of balance. This will exacerbate mood-swings.

Although drinking alcohol is proven to elevate mood in the short term, as the effects wear off, an increased negativity will prevail.

Drinking alcohol in excess leads to headaches, anger, depression, and irritability which will not put you in a happy state of mind.

#5 French Fries

If your body is sending you into hormonal meltdown it will be craving all the things you know you shouldn’t have.

Before you polish off a portion of french fries, listen to this:

Trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils are bad for your health, period.

Fried foods such a french fries are full of trans fats which will put mood-swings into overdrive. Eating the wrong kind of fats increases your estrogen levels and enhances symptoms of PMS.

In fact, there is evidence which links dietary trans fats to an increased sense of irritation and aggression.

#6 Potato Chips

According to The Nielsen Global Snacking Survey potato chips are ranked as the number one go-to snack in US. 63% of the population opted for this when asked about their snack of choice.

However foods high in sodium really shouldn’t be your top choice if you want to be in a good mood.

Salt makes you retain water which will enhance the bloated feeling. If you feel extra sluggish then this alone will affect your mood.

Popcorn is a good alternative, but go natural with no extras.

#7 Deli Meats

Another food choice best avoided has to be processed deli meats.

They may sound like a great sandwich filler for lunch, but could send your mood into a downward spiral.

Deli meats such as luncheon or cured meats contain food additives which help to preserve the life of the meat.  It’s these additives that cause tetchiness, a negative frame of mind and even headaches.

If you can live without, then try fresh grilled meats instead.

Helen Sanders is chief editor at Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.


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