No one’s ever ordered an unhappy meal. But, research shows that some popular foods can hurt your mood. Here are four of the worst offenders:
- Potato Chips. Psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Hibben says most chips are fried in oils that are loaded with omega-6 fatty acids. And, high levels of omega-6s cause hyperactivity, depression - even feelings of aggression. Plus, they block out mood-enhancing, brain-building omega-3 fatty acids. To handle your potato cravings, bake your own red or blue-skinned varieties. They’re packed with nutrients that boost your immune system, not your blue mood.
- Agave nectar. Dr. Drew Ramsey co-wrote The Happiness Diet. And he says many people think this sweetener’s healthy because studies show it doesn’t immediately raise blood sugar levels. But, agave’s high fructose content does increase the risk of metabolic syndrome – a condition that destabilizes our mood. That’s why your best bet for satisfying your sweet tooth is honey. It contains plant compounds that are good for your health.
- Bagels. That’s according to a study in the British Journal of Psychiatry. It found that people who ate the most refined carbohydrates - like the ones found in bagels - were 60% more likely to suffer from depression.
- Pumpkin seeds! Here’s the deal – raw seeds, or the ones you roast yourself are great. But the processed ones? Not so much. They’re often coated with a preservative called potassium bromate, which blocks iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid. And your thyroid is KEY to a balanced mood. In fact, the thyroid is one of the first thing psychiatrists check when evaluating a person for depression. So toast your own seeds!