The majority of people don’t understand the affect that hunger can have on your mood. Most joke about it as though it were some excuse to use for crabby or irritable behaviour. But nutritionists, and scientists, have now begun to realise the role that hungry can have on our moods.

“When blood sugar is low the hypothalamus is triggered and levels of several hormones such as growth hormone, leptin and ghrelin are affected. This imbalance then causes a shift in neurotransmitters and suppresses serotonin receptors,” explains Marjorie Nolan, a spokeswoman for the US Dietetic Association. Serotonin is pivotal as it regulates mood and appetite – if this hormone is suppressed the result can range from anger to extreme frustration. Skipping a meal may not be a big deal to you, but everyone is different and, as such, ‘hanger’ (anger associated with hungriness) should be taken seriously.
It’s important to keep in mind that hunger is one of our primary responses, reminding us to nourish our bodies in order for it to create energy and function properly. It’s no wonder that when one gets hungry – extremely so – it dominates not only our thinking, but our moods.
The good thing is that once you are aware that you fall into the category of getting hangry once hunger sets in – you can do something about it!

Ensure that you are getting enough protein and healthy fats in your diet. While protein not only feeds your muscles, it also leaves you feeling fuller for longer as do healthy fats. Nolan recommends eating a combination of complex cards and protein every three hours.

Author: Justine Olivier

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