Did you now that the food you eat influences your brain chemistry and your mood? What you eat directly and indirectly affects how you feel in a variety of ways. When you consume too few of the essential nutrients, it your nerves function differently, and you may experience changes in your mood, appetite, and other behaviors. Other dietary variables that can affect your mood include blood sugar levels, fat intake, vitamin and mineral levels, alcohol, and caffeine. Some of the mood changes resulting from diet include fatigue, 'the blues,' and P-M-S. Not only the food itself, but what's added to the food also can affect your mood. Some artificial food additives or dyes can cause allergic reactions that can cause headaches and irritability and, in the most severe cases, even death. Some people abuse food as a way of dealing with their emotions. They may develop eating disorders in which they consciously starve themselves or binge and purge their meals. Others eat in response to a mood, rather than in response to hunger. Anxiety, worries, tension, stress, and fear are common causes of emotional eating. Food sometimes replaces love or fun, or it's used as a reward or punishment. To find out whether something you're eating may be triggering certain moods, or to get help with an eating disorder or lifestyle eating change, contact a healthcare professional. You can find out not only about what you're eating, but what's eating you!
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