Is your child constantly throwing tantrums, and not in the mood to do homework or even play outside? Parents need to know that certain foods can affect their child’s moods.
Research has shown that some foods that your child eat have a mood-altering effect. This is why you should give them a well-balanced diet with a focus on the nutrients that they need. You should also limit the sources of refined, sweet and processed foods as much as possible.
Read on to find out the most common foods that can alter your child’s behavior and mood:
- Artificial sweeteners and sugar
The USDA reported that an average child below 12 years of age consumes about 49 pounds of sugar yearly. This is a surprisingly huge amount of sugar that can lead to diabetes. High sugar consumption contributes to the fluctuation of the blood sugar level.
The irregularity of the blood sugar level then leads to mood disorder symptoms. There are findings that sugar affects the hormone production. Studies have shown that kids with high fiber and low sugar diet have better moods, attention span and short-term memory.
- Refined grains
Sugar is not the only one that can affect the brain health. Refined grains inflame the gut. When this occurs, the secretion of the “happy hormone” serotonin may be disrupted since 95 percent of its production is taking place in the gastrointestinal tract.
The more inflamed the guts, the more the mental health suffers. This can lead to mood disorders. Prioritize giving your child whole wheat oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, fruits and vegetables rather than processed foods and white bread.
- Fast food
Fast foods are the number one cause of obesity in the United States. After eating high-calorie foods such as fries, burger and soda, there is an influx of dopamine (hormone activating the brain’s reward system) that makes children crave for these foods again and again.
Kids who love fast foods are lacking in key nutrients because fast foods don’t contain them, only calories. On the other hand, children who eat fruits, vegetables and healthy fats get their needed nutrients and antioxidants.
Children who eat fast foods all the time have a higher risk of deficiencies in many nutrients. They are also prone to poor digestion, sleep disturbances and depression.
- Processed foods
Processed foods are known as a contributing factor in many diseases due to their lack in nutrients and high in trans fat. Aside from that they contain preservatives, including nitrites, nitrates and sodium benzoate that may cause some behavioral issues in children. There are studies that have proven that consumption of trans fat lead to 48 percent increase chances of developing depression.
Dairies, including cheese, milk, frozen desserts, butter, ice cream, milk, and other milk-containing products are a top cause of behavior and mood issues in children. Some kids have lactose intolerance that may cause mood swings.
The protein in milk known as casein is difficult to digest, especially for kids. During digestion, receptors create antibodies. This triggers the immune system to work harder, which may add stress to the body.
Priscilla Austin writes, educates and conducts researches on nutrition, child’s development and cognitive health as well as medications for heroin addiction. When free, Priscilla spends time with her two lovely daughters, who are 5 and 8 years old.