Food and mood

Mental health charity MIND explores the relationship between what you eat and how you feel, including tips on how to incorporate healthy eating into your life.

To find out more please visit their site Mind website.

How can food affect mood?

Knowing what foods we should and shouldn’t be eating can be really confusing, especially when it feels like the advice changes regularly. However, evidence suggests that as well as affecting our physical health, what we eat may also affect the way we feel. Improving your diet may help to:

  • improve your mood
  • give you more energy
  • help you think more clearly.

How to manage your mood with food

Tips to help you explore the relationship between what you eat and how you feel can be found in the video below

YouTube video

Eating regularly

If your blood sugar drops you might feel tired, irritable and depressed. Eating regularly and choosing foods that release energy slowly will help to keep your sugar levels steady.

Slow-release energy foods include: pasta, rice, oats, wholegrain bread and cereals, nuts and seeds.

Quick tips:

  • Eating breakfast gets the day off to a good start.
  • Instead of eating a large lunch and dinner, try eating smaller portions spaced out more regularly throughout the day.
  • Avoid foods which make your blood sugar rise and fall rapidly, such as sweets, biscuits, sugary drinks, and alcohol.

Staying hydrated

If you don’t drink enough fluid, you may find it difficult to concentrate or think clearly. You might also start to feel constipated (which puts no one in a good mood).

Quick tips:

  • It’s recommended that you drink between 6–8 glasses of fluid a day.
  • Water is a cheap and healthy option.
  • Tea, coffee, juices and smoothies all count towards your intake (but be aware that these may also contain caffeine or sugar).

Getting your 5 a day

Vegetables and fruit contain a lot of the minerals, vitamins and fibre we need to keep us physically and mentally healthy.

Eating a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables every day means you’ll get a good range of nutrients.

Quick tips:

  • Fresh, frozen, tinned, dried and juiced (one glass) fruits and vegetables all count towards your 5 a day.
  • As a general rule, one portion is about a handful, small bowl or a small glass.