The connection between what you eat and how you feel
By Aditi Raman Shridhar
Until last year, a bowl of chocolate ice-cream was my happy mood drug. It didn’t matter whether there was a blazing hot sun outside or snowfall. A good day or a bad day, a success in life or a failure – the chocolate flavor ice-cream was the go-to dish for me. On a really bad day, a vanilla wafer topping or may be a cherry would suffice for the losses.
Out of eagerness, I recommended this to every friend I knew. I almost believed that only a chocolate ice-cream had some chemical properties that could make anyone happy. But I was wrong. The day my friend Donna came over to my house, depressed and dejected, I offered her a bowl of my mood drug – the chocolate ice-cream. First, she spitted it out because, apparently, she doesn’t like chocolate flavor, and second, she started coughing. A glass of hot water had to be brought to soothe her throat.
It was honestly the very first time in my life when I realized that this particular ice-cream works only for me and not everyone else. I went to the doctor to get a blood test and of course – the blood sugar came high. Years and years of consumption of the ice-cream. What else was I expecting?
Anyhow, the revelation blew my mind. I recalled how my mother used to enjoy the chocolate ice-cream as well and would eat it on every occasion – to celebrate happiness or tide over an aching moment. I inherited the habit. That’s all.
Many people choose a particular dish to arouse a particular mood. For some it is something hot, for others cold, for some sweet, for others salty or sour. The dish in itself is not the stimulant for any feeling. It is our mental association with the dish that causes the stimulation of a particular mood, emotion or feeling inside us. These habits are cultivated early on, especially in childhood and especially in the way we see our parents responding to different foods. The habit is very cultural and very much an inheritance from our elders.
As interesting as this is, the foods we create a liking for are not necessarily always good for us. The amount of consumption of the food and the properties of the food have a huge effect on our bodies. Ever since I realized what the ice-cream was doing to me (raising my blood sugar, giving me acne and causing cold and cough issues), I couldn’t enjoy it the way I used to. Six months later, ice-cream is completely out of my diet. By the time we are adults, it is therefore, important that we realize what our food is doing to our body. Chances are they will still indicate what’s wrong with eating them by your mood.
Ice-cream is now a strict no-no for me. It doesn’t do anything now for my mood.
The vibration of Food
While it is common sense that every food has some nutritional value and energy that it provides to our bodies, I am talking about a different vibration here – the emotional vibration.
Every food has a vibration of its own, irrespective of how mentally associate we associate with it. Every food has an emotional frequency that directly impacts our mood.
For example, a goat or chicken that is cut and sold to you carries the vibration of pain and remorse of the animal that got killed. The vibration enters our bodies too. If you are an experienced meditator, you would be able to identify the subtle shift in your mood and energy field after consuming a non-vegetarian dish. Symptoms could be a low feeling or of irritation or a general fatigue across your body. On the other hand, a fresh fruit plucked from the tree and consumed offers a very pure vibration. There is a feeling of peace, harmony, abundance and care that Nature provides to you. The energy quality is such that you will feel up and about, happy, fresh and very energetic, and clean.
Friends and family members who sometimes ask me for advice on diet or for a solution to their low mood, often have to answer one question first. I always ask them what they ate that day and the previous day. And I ask them to eat a high vibration dish instantly, before we talk further on their subject.
Water, milk, sugar, vegetables, fruits, animals, packed dishes, restaurant food, everything has a vibrational quality. Not only is the effect of every food physical, but also mental and spiritual. In India, sages and yogis do not consume any non-vegetarian items only for this reason. They also avoid anything available in the markets and also avoid dishes prepared in someone else’s home. They prefer to cook themselves and eat at home.
The reason for avoiding dishes prepared in restaurants and in other people’s houses is that vibration of the environment and the person cooking the food also enters the food. On days when my cook feels sick or unhappy and sad, I instantly ask her not to cook for me that day. This is because her low emotions will enter the food she makes and directly affect me when I consume it. Any person cooking in any household must be happy and joyful and buoyant while cooking.
Skeptics may not believe this theory but those that do can use the research findings done in various laboratories and universities around the world, on the connection between food and mood. Of course, there are many more factors that contribute to good or bad health, but Food is a major contributor and both in value of its nutrition and energy vibrations.
A 2014 study in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity that used data from the Nurses’ Health study found an association between depression and a diet rich in sugar-sweetened soft drinks, refined grains and red meat. Similarly, a 2018 meta-analysis published in the European Journal of Nutrition suggested that high consumption of meat could be associated with risk of developing depression.
Interestingly, there is consistent evidence for a Mediterranean-style dietary pattern and lower risk of depression, quotes the European Journal. A Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, whole grains, and lean protein such as chicken and fish, and low in red meat and unhealthy fats. Research determines that this diet has also been associated with lower blood pressure, better cognitive function, and lower incidence of diabetes and cardiovascular events. This is also true for Indian dietary habits. The Indian diet consists of all the healthy variables of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and all other essential vitamins and minerals, usually in one whole meal. There is evidence of longevity in families which follow a pure Indian diet and especially those bless their food before eating. Putting holy vibrations in the water and food before consuming them is an old tradition in India. Although this habit is fading away, but there is still a lot of awareness on it and many young Indians are adopting it.
Assess and raise your food’s energy
In almost every culture, food has long played a dual physical and spiritual role, and with that, many rules have been handed down. The Jewish tradition forbids eating pork, the Hindus forbid eating beef, and many Native American tribes prohibit eating foods that are not sacred.
Therefore, raising your energy through food means not only including high vibration foods but also removing a few that are low in energy.
The best way of assessing what food is good for you or not is by checking how you feel after eating it. Your intuitive-self communicates to you very clearly in terms of emotions and physical energy. You can either feel addicted to something or uplifted by something. There can be freshness and buoyancy or discomfort. There can be pleasurable sensations but perhaps there is a hidden bad health factor related to a food, so checking if the sensation is occurring out of a mindless habit or is it really good for your body is important. (such as the one I used to have with ice-creams).
Besides this, always add some pure vibrations to whatever you consume by mentally sending love, blessings, high energy, good health and happiness to your food. You will find a significant shift in the mood after every meal you take. Just try it.
Eating a balanced diet, regardless of which culture you belong, is the safest way to determine good health. Fruits and vegetables, legumes and plant proteins, less curries and spices, and lots of water are sure shot ways of raising the overall vibration of your meals. Eat well, Eat Pure. Until next week.
Aditi Raman Shridhar is an Indian journalist, therapist and health instructor.
The link between Food and Mood
Crunchy foods: Anger. Crunchy foods help us act out our anger in a safe way, providing us an outlet so we don’t have to deal with the people or circumstances causing us to be angry.
Salty foods: Fear. We crave salty foods because we want to have more “spice” in our lives but are too scared to take a risk.
High-gluten or wheat products: Comfort and safety. What’s more comforting than a warm cinnamon roll, mashed potatoes, or a bowl of pasta? Gluten products give us the comfort and safety we need in a non-threatening way. Has a cinnamon roll ever rejected you?
Sugar: Excitement. When we can’t provide excitement for ourselves, sugar does it for us; if we’re unable to allow someone else to share joy with us, we can use sugar as a substitute playmate.
Dairy (milk, ice cream, fatty cheese): Love. Our first food was milk—mother’s milk. Rich, sugary, and/or fatty dairy products represent the unconditional love we received—or were supposed to receive—during infancy. We crave dairy products and foods when we desire unconditional love and protection and can’t find it in our everyday lives.
Chocolate: Sexual drive. We’re all sensual, sexual beings. Eating chocolate is a safe way to feel sensual when our life lacks romance. It’s also a substitute for the sex and physical love we need but might be too frightened to obtain.
Alcohol: Acceptance. If you don’t feel accepted for who you really are, or worse, if you were punished for being yourself when you were young, alcohol can provide the illusion of self-acceptance. It can also protect you from the perceived dangers of intimacy. The sugar in alcohol can serve as a substitute for excitement. The corn in alcohol can buffer feelings of failure, and grain alcohol can give us the warm feelings we might lack in our relationships.
Corn: Success. We all want to be and to feel successful. Eating corn or corn products can not only momentarily imbue us with a sense of professional success, but also cushion us from deep-seated feelings of insecurity and failure.
Fatty foods: Shame. Fatty foods hide our internal shame. They also cocoon us in a bubble of shame (fat) so we’re safe from other people. After all, letting someone in close might make us feel even worse about ourselves.