Food Is Mood

What you eat and drink can be mood-altering. One easy way to demonstrate the connection is to remember what happens to normally lively children with steady emotions after the various holiday periods and Hallowe’en: the sudden intake of more sugary treats causes them to become noticeably more excitable. It affects their mood – they are either more hyper, or some may be more prone to crying. A common assumption is that excessive sugar being fed to them had that effect. It’s not so much their character – it’s their diet that needs tweaking! 

Ever heard of a person’s personality as being “dyspeptic”? It’s my thought that what is being described as a moral issue or an issue of character is really a health situation that needs tending to. Feed that need, and the personality blossoms. 

Learn to recognize your cravings: like pain, they are a signal from your body that something is missing in your diet.

If you keep having the cravings, then you may be getting a version of what you need, but maybe not the best version. If you find the right nutritional element, the craving will disappear – you will be meeting your body’s nutritional requirements. 

I had been craving whipped cream sweetened with canned pineapple daily for a month. Here’s where internet research can become quite interesting. Realizing this habit did not make nutritional good sense and was not going to be healthy in the long run, I undertook a search on the internet: What nutrition was missing for me to crave whipped cream? And the overwhelming answer was that it was a calcium deficiency. As soon as I replaced the excessive quantities of sugar and fat with healthier, less fattening sources of calcium, the cravings for whipped cream evaporated within 24 hours. 

During the years when I was following and studying shiatsu therapy – aka acupressure, “acupuncture without needles”, my teacher taught me that shiatsu and acupuncture’s opinions are that various foods affect some organs more than others and this becomes noticeable when various meridians become more sensitive. You are taught to recognize what mood imbalance you can expect that day, depending on what diagnostic meridian point is more sensitive than others. 

My shiatsu teacher worked with psychologists by pressing the diagnostic meridian points of the patients and reporting to the therapist what emotion was prevalent – anger? fear? sadness? worry? etc. This meant that it became easier for the patient to recognize what situation troubled them the most and made the psychologist more effective at treating them. 

I found this out in my case. I was still suffering from migraines related to the gallbladder meridian in acupuncture and shiatsu. When I went in for a shiatsu treatment, the first thing my therapist did was discover what emotion was prevalent (out of balance) that day and focus on that. In my case, it was always: gallbladder, gallbladder, gallbladder! One particular day, I nearly jumped off the mat when he touched my heart meridian, a normally painless meridian.

When my therapist commented: “You are suffering a great sadness these days,” I was able to agree – it was the 23rd anniversary of my father’s passing. Obviously, I had not come to terms in a healthy manner with that event. My therapist worked that meridian and provoked an even stronger reaction. Ever since then, I have had a much healthier, more emotionally serene reaction.

A Mexican doctor pointed out that his country had among the lowest stomach cancer rates in the world. He attributed this to the raw nopal cactus leaves contained in this population’s favorite green smoothie, the licuado verde (also containing fresh raw cilantro, celery, pineapple, ginger, spinach and orange juice). 

Anecdotally, I was told that one particular oriental country has the highest stomach cancer rates in the world. Their heavily salted and concentrated sauces are part of the national cuisine.

This country, I was told, purchases the nopal cactus leaf harvests in Mexico, processes them and ships them to that country, where nopal cactus powder capsules are sold in health food stores for stomach conditions. 

Drinking healthier: Mexico prepares drinks that consist of 1/3 fresh fruit or vegetable, perhaps herbs, spice or a similar flavor enhancer, sugar – if fruit – and ice. Replacing the refined sugar with a slice of a very sweet fruit will sweeten the drink more healthily by adding vitamins, minerals and fiber.

If we don’t eat enough fiber or overeat, we can easily feel sluggish, out of sorts, and much less energetic—not a happy camper! 

Make life easier on yourself: instead of worrying about how you will perform when faced with daily challenging or stressful situations, don’t strain your brain so much!

Be kind to yourself: Lighten and improve what you eat and drink, creating a body function that benefits from optimal nutrition and the feelings of ease, calm, and serenity that a healthy diet generates.


  • Carla Piringer

    Related to noted medical professionals, afflicted with an inherited excruciating migraine condition, the author followed traditional medical and alternative therapies, now living migraine-free for over 35 years. She now shares her doctor-recommended method in her book to inspire sufferers to find significant pain relief.

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