Food-Mood Connection: How You Eat Can Effect How You Handle Stress

food mood

We’re increasingly seeing a clear connection between the foods we eat and how we respond to stress.

The following article points out a number of ways food plays a role in how our bodies respond physiologically to the stresses of every day life.

Many of us turn to high sugar or high carbohydrate foods to cope with stress.  The problem is that this sets up a roller coaster of hormonal events that never really help the body adapt and in fact can add to the stress level.  David Ludwig, a professor of pediatrics and nutrition at Harvard University says:

“There can be a bit of a vicious cycle…When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but often times those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses.”

The good news is that there are some foods that can make us more resilient to stress.  One of the best cited in the article is fish oils.

Researcher Joe Hibbein of the National Institutes of Health says:

“One of the most basic ways that omega-3s help to regulate mood is by quieting down the [body’s] response to inflammation…Omega-3s make your stress system more flexible.”

For those of you craving sweets, the article does point out that dark chocolate can help boost mood and sustain clear thinking, so if you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, dark chocolate is your best bet.

Enjoy the article.

Stress-Busting Diet: 8 Foods That May Boost Resilience : The Salt : NPR.

Be well.


Michael Lenz RPh, is a partner in Fallon Wellness Pharmacy of Saratoga.  He has over 15 years experience in custom compounding.  Michael has received extensive training in Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) and Adrenal Fatigue.  He is an advocate for healthy eating and proper nutritional supplementation, and speaks frequently on the subjects of hormone health, nutrition and wellness.  Michael is currently enrolled in the Institute For Functional Medicine’s Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner Program.  He lives in Saratoga Springs, NY with his wife and 4 children.



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