Skip to main content

Foods That Affect How You Look and Feel

Margaret Minnicks is a health-conscious person who researches the health benefits of foods and drinks.

Mac and cheese: a comfort food for a lot of people.

Mac and cheese: a comfort food for a lot of people.

Research has proven that what you eat affects how you look and feel. Substances in food react with chemicals in your brain. Those reactions can make you feel tired, depressed, anxious, happy, alert and energetic.

Deficiencies in certain nutrients can also cause a range of emotional disturbances. Or you may be sensitive to some chemicals used in preparing or preserving foods.

You should be aware of how food affects your feelings since by changing the way you eat, you can give your mood the boost it really needs.

Certain Foods For Certain Days

Studies have revealed that there is a definite link between food preferences and personality traits.

Results indicated that positive people tend to prefer "milk type" foods. Those with pessimistic outlooks prefer sour or vinegary tasting foods.

Take notice of the foods that comfort you when you are nervous or depressed.

Scientists agree that you are what you eat. Studies show that a high protein, low carbohydrate meal will produce sharper wits than a high carbohydrate one. Within hours after eating certain foods, you might notice changes in your attention span, memory, and mood. In fact, some foods have such an impact they can be compared to drugs.


Look at your diet and determine when your mood changed

Has anyone ever offered you a banana to cheer you up? They were not trying to make a monkey out of you. Bananas have been found to contain a chemical that is a mild mood enhancer.

Carrots may be a mild sexual stimulant for women and sexual relaxant for men. The main importance of carrots is as a source of vitamin A. One carrot stick yields only 20 calories.

Have you ever wondered why chocolates are given on Valentine's Day? When you are in love your brain a releases a chemical into your system. It is the same chemical that is found in chocolates. That's why when you are not getting real kisses, your body may crave chocolate ones.


Alcohol can make you feel euphoric at first. Shortly thereafter, a strong depressant reaction sets in and you are fatigued and down.

Too much alcohol can trigger a deficit of B-complex vitamin which increases depression.


Sweet, sugary snacks can give you an immediate surge of energy, but the effect is temporary. Nutritionist Annemarie Colbin, the author of Dynamics of Food and Healing, adds that sugar is a leading cause of depression, confusion, forgetfulness and poor concentration.

Teachers all over the country agree that the days following Halloween and Easter are the worst for pupils to concentrate and be alert in class. They have given up thinking that these will be productive days.

Parents are advised to provide well-balanced diets high in protein to compensate for the sweets eaten by their children. They are better off eating a piece of chicken followed by a slice of cake that just eating a candy bar alone.


Low levels of B complex vitamins which are linked to mood can lead to depression, fatigue, insomnia and mood shifts. Whole grain cereals, fish, poultry, wheat germs and green leafy vegetables are good sources.

Scroll to Continue

Vitamin C helps combat the harmful effects of stress. Citrus fruits containing the vitamins are energizing for the body. Studies suggest choline found in eggs, liver, and chicken soup can make you feel alert and improve memory.


Too little calcium, iron, potassium or magnesium can make you tired and irritable. To improve your mood, add calcium with low-fat dairy products, salmon, green leafy vegetables; iron with shellfish, lean meat, dried fish, potassium with bananas, melons, potatoes, and magnesium with whole grain bread, nuts and fruits.

After eating those foods mentioned, you are bound to feel much better.

Milk soothes nerves and helps you sleep better.

Milk soothes nerves and helps you sleep better.


Foods such as fish, poultry, meat, and cheese are excellent "wake up" foods.

Protein foods contain amino acids which affect brain chemicals. Those can influence how you feel. Many may help make you feel relaxed and at ease.


A wonderful source of energy comes from complex carbohydrates found in whole grain breads and cereals, fresh fruit and vegetables.

You should start your day with food high in carbohydrates to lift your blood sugar after an overnight drop. Because they're used so efficiently by the body all day long, carbohydrates eaten early in the morning can actually help you avoid the 4:00 p.m. slump.

Eat grapes to stay alert.

Eat grapes to stay alert.

Top Mood Boosting Foods



Improve circulating that can lead to listlessness and confused thinking


Prevent fatigue


Necessary for alertness because they are high in vitamin A, C and B complex


Soothes nerves and promotes sound sleep since it is high in calcium


High in vitamin C content, combat physical and mental weakness

Wheat Germ

Contains vitamins B and E, vital for a calm feeling.


For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Which one of the following foods contains a chemical that is a mild mood enhancer.?
    • apple
    • grapefruit
    • banana
  2. The day following which holiday are children likely to be non-productive?
    • Mother's Day
    • Father's Day
    • Halloween
  3. Which type of food do pessimistic people craze?
    • sour and vinegary foods
    • sugary foods
    • milk products

Answer Key

  1. banana
  2. Halloween
  3. sour and vinegary foods


Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 28, 2011:

suziecat7, yes food is a mood enhancer and so is color.

suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on March 19, 2011:

Interesting Hub. I have to say I never really thought of food as a mood enhancer. But it's true. Thanks for the enjoyable read.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 15, 2011:

einron, thanks for reading and responding. I am glad you found the article interesting.

einron from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA on March 15, 2011:

Very interesting and good hub! I do enjoy food and the roles they play.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 15, 2011:

Marcella Glenn; Thanks for reading and responding.

Marcella Glenn from PA on March 15, 2011:

Yes, food does play a role in moods, and chow you feel. Excellent hub!

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 15, 2011:

Tamarajo, thanks for reading and posting your comment about my article about food moods.

Tamarajo on March 15, 2011:

I enjoyed your article about how food affects mood and sometimes behavior.

Good and useful information.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 15, 2011:

Just Ask Susan and Dave, thanks for your comments about this article. Yes, different foods can affect our moods. We would be wise to monitor how our mood changes and determine which foods contributed to the mood swing.

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on March 15, 2011:

revmjm: Great hub very usful information thank you. Observing our bodies for what effects us and how is always good to do.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on March 15, 2011:

Very interesting hub! A few of these foods I knew about but the carrot one was very interesting. I think lately I need to load up on minerals as I am so tired lately. Thanks so much for the great information!

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 15, 2011:

RevLady, thank you for reading and responding and for the suggestion. One hub on how colors affect your moods coming up. I will write it and post it later today. Then I'll share my AdSense earnings with you. (smile)

RevLady from Lantana, Florida on March 15, 2011:

Very interesting content which I have found personally to be true. How about a hub on colors which also play a role in moods. Just a thought. Voted up and useful!

Love and hugs.

Forever His

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 14, 2011:

Thanks, capncrunch, you have spoken well. Thanks for reading and responding.

capncrunch from New Orleans on March 14, 2011:

Somehow we all know that foods can alter our moods but we seem to ignore those factors. In this fast paced society we live in we use too many excuses not to eat foods that are better for us. Most of us are familiar with the hypo's and the hyper's, but what about all the other feelings we can experience. Great hub

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on March 14, 2011:

amontoyasa, oh yes! Some foods will make us feel better and some foods will make us feel worse. Begin to monitor your mood after eating certain foods and see if you don't recognize a difference in your mood. Keep me posted.

amontoyasa on March 14, 2011:

I never knew that food can play a big role on how I feel. Thanks for this I will pay close attention to what I eat and what my family eats.

Related Articles