Can a Bad Meal Set You in a Bad Mood? Relation Between Food and Mood

Posted: 27 Mar, 2020 Contributor: Shraddha Thakur

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There will always be at least one person in your office who always seems to be in a bad mood. Maybe they are in a bad mood for some reason you might not understand, but sometimes food is the reason for a person's foul mood. But is this true? Can food really affect your mood? As a matter of fact, it can.

There is a certain relationship between the food you eat and the mood you possess, and vice-versa. Let us plot an example in front you; It’s a hot day, the temperature is 45 degrees and you are struggling massively in this heat. Slowly your energy and mood both start to fall. Meanwhile, somebody offers you a freshly cut, juicy watermelon and you start feeling relaxed and better all of a sudden. That’s how good food can control your mood in no time.

Another time, when you are hungry and you decide to try something from a new restaurant which ultimately doesn’t taste good or makes you feel unwell. This will affect your mood in a distinctly negative way. So, psychologically, there is a cross-connection between bad food and bad mood which could be understood by these examples.

Now, as we understand the connection between food and moods, let's discuss this ultimate connection with the help of science.

Science Behind Bad Food and Bad Mood

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Apart from the connection with food, our mood is also related with the health of our gut. What we eat can easily affect our gut health, and therefore our mood as well. Especially foods that contain chemical additives and ultra-processed foods, affects our gut environment and the microbiomes in it. When we consider the connection between the brain and the gut, it’s important to know that 90% of serotonin receptors are located in the gut. That means, however, the environment of your gut is, it will be reflected in your mood.

You would agree that an upset stomach would ruin your happy day and that it has negative effects on how you are feeling. This is why bad food can put you in a bad mood.

You must have heard about foods that are good for treating depression. Have you ever thought that how something as generic as food can treat something as complicated as human psychology? Well it can. Also, apart from its positive effect, it can conversely ruin the good mood you may have been in.

Foods That Can Ruin Your Mood

According to a recent study, if you follow a balanced, natural diet, you can stay away from some depression-related health issues. So, when food can affect a clinical disorder, then it, of course, can affect your regular mood. Here are some foods that can put you in a bad mood.

Excessive Coffee

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We know that this first option would have confused you a little. Coffee? Something that we drink-up to refresh ourselves? Technically, yes. It does boost our energy and our mood will feel fresher as a result of drinking it. But, slowly as the caffeine kick starts wearing off, you will start to feel lousier. Your energy levels will fall and with low energy, your mood definitely will not allow you to cheer up or show enthusiasm. So, do not overdo your coffee for the sake of your good mood.

Fried Food or Foods with Excess Oil


Freshly fried Pakoras with hot Chai on a rainy evening. Who will refrain from that? They, of course, can cheer anyone up. But just imagine if you eat 10-20 pieces of them in a go. Your good mood will not remain the same and you can feel bloated as a result of the reacting stomach acids.

 The same goes for any other dish that is cooked in

excessive bad oils. It will not be good when it will reach your gut. Hence resulting in it ruining your mood.

Processed Foods or Packaged Foods

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Processed food, like white bread, tinned goods, burgers and potato chips are the foods that are highly inflammatory. And these foods can directly affect the emotional balance of your system. They make you feel full instantly. But after some time your energy crashes and you start to feel even worse than just hungry.

Foods with Processed Sugar

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Sugar is energizing, we all know that. It will provide you with the calories that you can utilize in your day-to-day work. Foods like baked goods, carbonated drinks and other sugary snacks are great for short indulgences, but they can also boost your unhappy emotions too. The carbohydrates, sugar and cholesterol in them can lead to a sudden downfall in your mood.

Always try to avoid foods with heavy sugar content, or you can learn to prepare your sweets with alternatives such as honey, jagray or coconut sugar. For more information concerning sweet alternative, take a look at this blog post discussing 5 Natural and Healthier Alternatives to Your Processed Sugar

Excessively Spicy Food

Indian taste buds love spicy food. But how would you feel if the spice exceeds the level of your pleasure, it will burn a hole in your heart and make you feel worse than before you ate. Spicy food then will be no more of an enjoyment and just the thought of it can begin to make you feel worse. The answer: enjoy spicy food, but in a certain moderation where it won’t do any damage to your gut or your mood.

Stale/ Long stored food

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A fresh vegetable salad can amp-up your mood. One that was made using produce that wasn’t fresh however can spoil your mood instantly. The longer the food stays in the refrigerator, the fewer nutrients it will possess and less tasty it will be. You definitely would not pay for something stale and tasteless so don’t settle for eating it at any time. Buy fresh organic food from the market and then eat home-made meals.

No Food At All

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It won’t be just eating that will spoil your mood. Sometimes, not eating at all is also capable of knocking you out of a good mood. There is a reason that the word 'Hangry' was created.

Studies show that not eating your breakfast can lower your mood and energy during the day. So, eat breakfast, it will keep you active for longer than you expect.


Eating for pleasure and indulgence is not bad. But your body doesn't understand the theory of a restricted diet. It always craves for its favourite things, but not eating right can have seriously negative effects on your mood. So, eat your favourite food, just make the correct choice and enjoy everything in moderation.

At OMKITCHEN, we never compromise on the 'Food and Mood' theory. Our experts are trained to cook amazing dishes that are healthy and bursting with nutritional value. Less oil and reduced spice is our mantra, and you will love the taste of our home-style desserts with natural sweeteners. Our food is made fresh to order with quality ingredients that can easily uplift your topsy-turvy mood and set you up smiling for the rest of the day.

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