I have been noticing this for a long time now. I noticed this with my daughter’s behavior. Usually she is very friendly, helping, disciplined and quick-witted child. But whenever her diet is off-track, her behavior comes off-track too. We start having problems disciplining her because she becomes more spirited, more adamant and more cranky .
This shouldn’t be a surprise because we adults get a similar effect if we don’t get to eat a healthy diet. It is just that we usually ignore the fact that our mood is affected by the type of food we eat .
So now whenever I get this feeling that my little toddler is not her usual-cute-self J I immediately take a look at how she’s been eating recently .Just about 99 % of times ,she ‘d not been eating regularly or I might have been less careful in giving her healthy and whole foods.A healthy balanced diet for the the whole family thus seems to be vital in having happier times all the way!
Top 5 ingredients I avoid to keep stress away:
1. Sugar – Sugar-filled juices, candy, desserts , all give a sugar high and then an energy crash. That crash brings in stress for adults and crankiness for young children. Once I saw small children having sodas and then wrecking havoc .
2. Saturated Fats – Staurated fats if taken in very high amounts, deposit subcutaneously , clog arteries , fog brain and more . Here is a nice article about Saturated Fats and Trans Fats Hydrogenated fats : Silent Killer
3. Processed Foods – Processed foods are leeched of all the nutrients and give empty calories. Too many processed foods in our diet can deprive us of important nutrition . A processed food based diet can lead to deficiencies and obesity.
4. Caffiene - Even chocolate and tea has caffiene . Children can get caffiene in form of chocolates. For a young child, a dark cocolate cookie or candy can add caffiene as well as sugar . If eaten in large amounts , drastic behavioural deviations can be noticed.
5. Preservatives /Additives – Additives or preservatives in food are mostly chemicals which can always have adverse side effects on physical or mental health in the long run .
For a long time now, I am strongly buying more and more natural and whole foods as much as possible. 1 key rule is -The ingredients we use to cook our meals should be least processed . For example, natural honey is several times better than using white or brown sugar. Anyways , sugar deserves another article from me J . Whole steamed grains are much better than using more processed flours.Homemade yogurt + fruits is way better than over the counter sweetened yogurts .
Other than avoiding above ingredients ,following are the ingredients I include in my family’s diet to make sure our brains are getting enough food to stay happy and healthy.
1. Good Fats : Omega-3s , Mono-Unsaturated fats are very good for our overall health. Nuts and seeds , Olive Oil, Canola Oil .
2. Fiber : Oatmeal is always our start of the day. I miss it the day I don’t eat it as a breakfast. Steamed veggies, legumes , nuts everything is a good example.
3. Water : Drink a lots and lots of water !
4. Veggies : Veggies including leafy greens are filled with pure nutrients we shouldn’t miss in our diet . So go for all the colors and enjoy the flavors ! Go for Organic vegetables whenever possible.
5. Whole Grains: I like the idea of steamed whole grains and mixing them in our recipes. Whole grain flours are good as well.Whole Grains are filled with fiber , protein ,complex carbs and foleic acid and so are quintessential to our daily diet.
So here is how I relate food to our behavior .Please share the ways in which you have noticed food has been affecting your family’s behavior positively or negatively.
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