Feeling a bit down?
I wouldn’t be surprised if you automatically turn to your comfort foods like chocolate, ice-cream or cake for comfort after a long draining day or even when feeling slightly emotional. As a gluten free expert and diet coach, I can easily tell you from personal and client experience that these food choices can actually make you feel worse than you already do. And I’m not just talking about the physical – but emotionally!
Stop where you are. Take a moment to think about how you feel right now, check in with your emotional state. Give yourself a number out of 5 and rate yourself on a scale of happiness, gratitude and content. Write it down, we’ll come back to this later. 😉
According to numerous studies, your emotional state can also be adversely affected by foods, especially those filled with gluten.
Sugar can provide a temporary high by stimulating a brief upsurge of endorphins in our systems. Hence why chocolate and ice cream are so popular when your feeling down. Endorphins are the hormones responsible for boosting your mood. However, they can also cause a distinct and overwhelming crash in it’s levels after a few hours, so much so that you end up dependent on another sugary treat to boost you back to a high. Going from sugar highs to sugar lows in the long run only leads to abnormal glucagon and a lack of insulin control. If not corrected this can escalate to Type II diabetes. And if by chance you also have or happen to develop a sensitivity to gluten because of extensive exposure or sugary overdoses, you may eventually find yourself with even more unpleasant elements in your body, making you extremely vulnerable and susceptible to conditions like depression and anxiety attacks to mention a few.
But how can eating gluten affect my attitude or behaviour?
The effects to your emotional state can be traced to the irritation of the small intestine which is caused by the consumption of a non gluten free diet. This further precipitates poor nutrient absorption and encourages deficiencies in zinc, iron and B vitamin’s. If suffering from deficiencies like this your body naturally deteriorates neurological functions as well. When this occurs, you’re memory becomes flawed, your reactions get delayed, and your comprehension becomes unreliable. To add, neurotransmitters and hormones responsible for quick impulse relay between nerves will be fewer, causing behavioral changes and lapses. You may even experience headaches with seizures after a while.
Aggravating the situation, gluten-induced immune responses from non gluten free eating places pressure on your adrenal glands, encouraging the production of cortisol (stress hormone), which slowly breaks down bodily systems. You’ll soon find your reproductive organs being degraded in the aftermath, and along with that comes the levels of estrogen and progesterone, both directly affecting mood and energy.
Eating gluten may be causing you stress, lack in energy and a bad mood!
Now, store brought cakes and pastries are not the only dangerously non gluten free diet sources you should keep away from. But bountiful servings of carbohydrates in the form of bread and pasta is also discouraged as they fill you up with unwanted gluten as well as calories. And while these become comfort foods and they do make you feel good instantaneously, however on the flip side they will also make you feel lethargic, tired and drowsy. Have you ever felt this way after a heavy meal?
If you want a more effective and longer lasting shot of happiness, adopting a gluten free diet is highly recommended. Coming from personal and client experience when gluten is removed from our diets completely it is very common to see a rise in natural endorphins, happiness and health. Ensure your consuming foods like fresh (organic is best) of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish (Omega-3 Fatty Acid’s shoots up serotonin and dopamine levels). Along with the essential nutrient vitamins and minerals to support body function.
So, what did you give yourself out of 5 of on a scale of happiness, gratitude and content?
Start your self love treatment today and give yourself a TLC dose of positivity – have a little YOU time. Eat lunch outside, listen to your favourite music, move your body and pleasure your mind. You’ll be surprised what some self love and loving food can do for you.
Love + Light to you,