Food and Mood for Men

I wanted to post about a topic that I hold pretty dear, which is the relationship between your mental functioning and your mood – two things that are probably affecting your well-being, and possibly your relationship.

How you eat and take care of yourself is a reflection of the way that you respect yourself (or not), and take interest in the quality of you life. Failing to eat the right foods and not exercise will lead to obesity, other cardiovascular problems, and depression, anxiety and more stress.

Now, I am not a dietician or nutritionist, and please seek out that information as you need it. These are merely suggestions designed to improve your well-being, and not to cure your depression, anxiety or other ailments. These are suggestions from a friend to a friend.

Here’s some basic things that you can be doing to improve your mood, and thus your energy, health and relationship (both with your wife or girlfriend, and with yourself):

1. Take Omega-3 fatty acids: either cold water fish or flax oil capsules work well. Eat lots of fish, specifically wild salmon, sardines, tuna, etc., or if you are fishy on fish, take flax oil in flaxseed, oil or capsule form.

2. Stop smoking: smoking is related to cardiovascular problems, cancer, blah, blah, blah. And, it is linked to depression in those that have been studied. Plus, it decreases your ability or desire to exercise, another power antidepressant.

3. Your blood sugar: if you are like me, you may be the type of person that is prone to feel horrible after a carbohydrate crash. Bad moods, irritability, hunger and the like come after this carb crash, so if you think that this may be you, talk with a doctor or a naturopathic physician about this.

4. Eat protein: you need protein for sustained energy, and should pair this with carbs at every meal. 

5. Eat complex carbohydrates: choose 100% whole grains, such as whole wheat, spelt, kamut, brown rice and quinoa, that release glucose slowly into your blood stream so that you don’t end up crashing two hours later and craving more of the same carbs. 

6. Watch the alcohol: this is a depressant, and may be keeping you down and depressed. Also it seems to elate you in the beginning, it then sets in and depresses your system. I have found it also affects sleep, and on less sleep, depression or fatigue is more likely to kick in, making it worse.

7. Watch the fats: fats will make you feel sluggish. If you don;t believe me, go to Burger King and get a value meal, and then come back and comment on this post.

8. Watch the refined carbohydrates: almost everything in our society now is made up of these things. They include donuts, white bread, candy, cookies, energy drinks like Red Bull, sodas, Gatorade, baked goods, chips, tortillas, hamburger or hot dog buns, and any refined corn and white flour products that you can think of. These things will crash your blood sugar quickly, and work in the opposite way of the complex carboyhydrates (above). They also promote obesity, as well as a host of other health risks. Steer clear of these for optimal health, and you’ll be happier. 

These are the things that have worked for me, and I’ll bet these things will help you feel better if you stop some of them. Good luck!

Jason

About Jason

As "The Man That Men Will Talk To," Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC is a private practice counselor and psychotherapist for men and couples in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. He works with struggling men to find happiness in their lives, and with their wives.
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