I am going to share such an interesting research study with you. But before I do, think about this question:
When you snack, are you inclined to snack more on chocolates and/or crisps than on fruit?
How about your kids? More fruit or more chocolates and/or crisps?
100 students at Cardiff University were involved in this study. First they were asked to complete an online questionnaire that was designed to check how they were feeling emotionally and physically. Then they were randomly assigned to one of 2 groups. Group 1 ate chocolate and/or crisps daily in the mid-afternoon for 10 days. Group 2 ate fruit for the same 10 days, at the same time each day. At the end of the 10 days, they completed the questionnaire again.
The results were fascinating – consumption of fruit was associated with lower anxiety, depression, and emotional distress than consumption of crisps/chocolate. Similarly, scores for physical symptoms, cognitive difficulties, and fatigue were greater in the crisps/chocolate group.
Sometimes when we are feeling low physically or emotionally we look in the wrong places for the reason why. It could simply be caused by our eating habits. A huge amount of excellent research shows that what we consume affects our limbic system which is the emotional head-office of our body and also involved in motivation, learning and memory.
Here are seven foods to avoid that can contribute to anxiety and depression.
- Refined sugar
- Artificial sweeteners
- Processed food
- Hydrogenated oils
- Foods high in sodium
Remove these products from the family’s diet – and keep a mood log for the first 3 weeks. You might be astonished (in a ‘wow, this is amazing’ way) by what happens when you do this. There is a high chance that many complaints that you or your kids have grappled with will go away or be significantly reduced!
Oh and by the way, keep yourself in a great mood over the holidays by purposefully balancing the chocolate/crisps snacks with fresh fruit. I had some watermelon today – it was yummy!
Happy Holidays Everyone!