The food you eat is important to how you feel – not just physically, but emotionally as well.  Certain foods can affect your bipolar moods, according to research I have done for my website devoted to bipolar disorder.

 

Bipolar disorder is a neurological illness; that is, it involves the brain.  Specifically, it involves the neuroreceptors of the brain.  What does this have to do with food?  If your body has the nourishment it needs, your brain can function more effectively.

 

What does food have to do with your bipolar moods?  The food you eat can affect how you feel.  For example, too much sugar, chocolate, or caffeine, can make someone with bipolar disorder feel "manicky."  Then when they come down from their "high," they can feel depressed, or out of energy.

 

On the other hand, foods such as fruits and vegetables, fish, and whole grains may help to maintain bipolar stability, as they are healthier.  They give more natural energy, as well, without the depressive "crash" afterwards (like sugar, chocolate, or caffeine).

 

Eating habits that benefit most people with bipolar disorder include three meals a day at approximately the same time every day.  An option to this would be six smaller meals spaced out evenly throughout the course of the day.

 

This keeps keep blood sugar more even – it keeps it from rising or falling dramatically, which can affect bipolar mood swings.

 

It is also important to get enough vitamins and minerals.  The right levels of B-vitamins (including folic acid), vitamin C and zinc are thought to help stabilize mood.

 

NOTE:  Although taking vitamins and supplements are important, they are never to be used INSTEAD OF bipolar medications, but always IN ADDITION TO bipolar medications.  Never go off your bipolar medications without the direct supervision of your doctor.

 

If you notice that certain foods seem to be causing mood swings, avoid those foods for a week and see if you notice a change in your moods.

 

What you drink is as important as what you eat.  If you drink too much coffee, for instance, it can cause you to feel anxious, nervous, and to have mood swings.  Alcohol is a depressant and can cause your bipolar depression to worsen.  In addition, it can cause disruption in sleep patterns and interfere with your bipolar medication.

 

Some bipolar medications can cause weight gain, so it may be tempting to go on a crash diet to lose that weight.  Doctors advise against this, because if you eliminate anything from your diet (even fat), it may have negative consequences for your mood and general health.