Mood swings are commonly experienced as unpleasant and disruptive experiences. During the menopause transition, your hormones will be on a constant rollercoaster ride and your body and mind are often the ones that pay the price. The resultant mood swings can make women feel on top of the world one moment, and then down in the dumps the next, often for little or no reason at all. In some moments, it is common to feel and urge for comfort food, but if you want to try and minimize your mood swings then you should instead aim to consume foods that are known to be healthy for your mind and body.
What Is a Good Snack to Eat during Menopausal Mood Swings?
It is the fluctuation in hormones that is often to blame for making a women's mood temperamental. Therefore balancing these hormones is crucial to balancing your mood. It is important you eat a balanced diet with foods that will improve hormone levels and help stabilize your mood.
Nuts and seeds
For hormones to be produced efficiently and properly the body needs essential fatty acids. Nuts and seeds are high in these fatty acids, so they make for good mood-lifters. For a delicious trail mix, lightly toast cinnamon sprinkled walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.
Beans are a good source of protein and contain a high amount of tryptophan, an amino acid. Once consumed, the brain converts tryptophan into serotonin — serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is referred to as “the feel-good hormone”, because of its mood enhancing properties. Beans are also full of soluble fiber that slows the absorption of sugar. Combine black beans with diced tomatoes for a healthy snack.
Bananas are also high in tryptophan and can increase serotonin levels. Try mixing two bananas with milk to create a healthy smoothie that is sure to satisfy your hunger and your desire for comfort food.
The natural sugar in fruits like melon, pears, apples, and peach will go directly into your system. Avoid artificial sweets and sugary drinks, and eat these fruits instead to instantly boost your mood in a natural way.
Dark chocolate boosts the production of chemicals produced in the brain that can diminish pain sensations, enhance pleasure, and create an overall sense of well-being. Dark chocolate also contains tryptophan, a nutrient that it is commonly sold as a standalone supplement because it is thought to reduce depression.
If you're looking to improve your mood, try and include a greater number of foods that will increase serotonin levels into your diet. It is also important to exercise regularly and sleep for the recommended 7 to 8 hours per night. To find out how to handle mood swings, follow this link.
- Amin, Zenab, Turhan Canli, and C. Neill Epperson. "Effects of Estrogen-Serotonin Interactions on Mood and Cognition". Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev 2005; 4; 43.
- Dr. Love, Susan, and Karen Lindsey. Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Molecular Psychiatry.(n.d)."Estrogen Promotes Gender Difference in Brain's Response to Stress". Retrieved from Psychiatry. www.psycheducation.org.
- The Health Center.(n.d)."Adult Mood Swings". Retrieved from www.thehealthcenter.info.