Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eating wrong food can make us irritable and angry

If we see red at the drop of a hat, and temper is hijacking our life, researchers say we should take a closer look at what's on our plate. Trans fat and high sugar-laden fast food not only up our risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but also leave us vulnerable to angry outbursts and violent behavior.

The experts say that the body requires a balanced supply of nutrients - vitamins, minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium), protein, carbohydrate and fiber - for the metabolism to function smoothly and deal with daily stress triggers. Junk food, which is typically high in sugar, salt and oil is low in nutrients. Nutrient deficiency leaves a person hyperactive towards a stressor. They put it down to what the liver can break down. Each of our organs is associated with specific emotions.

The liver controls anger and joy. When we consume food that takes the liver greater effort to break down — greasy snacks, alcohol and meats — all the body's energy goes into this task, leaving us irritable. Nutritionists argue that sugar is the other enemy of happiness. Sugar-laden foods throw the body's insulin levels out of gear. As soon as we consume sweet, insulin levels spike to break down the glucose. Once done, the insulin remains in the bloodstream, leading to a further dip in blood sugar levels, setting you up for another craving. Feeling low and irritable sets the stage for aggressive behaviour. This is why our sugar craving should be met with foods rich in natural sugar like millets, brown rice, potatoes, etc.

Ayurveda has, for centuries, discussed the link between food, body and mind. Our constitution, according to this belief system, can be classified into three types: Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (water). Foods high in acidic properties (papads, pickle) when consumed in excess, lead to an imbalance in Pitta, which could lead to irritation or anger.
Water emerges as the saviour. Even mild dehydration (the condition when the body loses more fluid than it gains) can affect concentration levels and our ability to think clearly and control moods.
Water makes up over two thirds of the human body, and when its normal levels are reduced, it upsets the balance of minerals like salts and sugars, affecting the way it functions.


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