We have all experienced food effecting us in different ways .
Yes it is indeed a fact that food affects our mood. Junk food will equal a junk mood, and probably anxiety, brain fog and depression along with it. However, there are some foods that are full of nutrients that will supply your body with great energy, moods, and clarity.
Hormones and Neurotransmitters
Neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and oxitocin are our feel good, pleasure hormones. These neurotransmitters are made from what we eat, so if you are not eating a healthy, balanced diet then your hormones and neurotransmitters will not be made correctly.
If you experience these symptoms below, you might have a neurotransmitter and hormone imbalance
- Low energy
- Lack of focus and motivation
- Craving for alcohol and sugar
- Sleep problems
- Anxiety and Depression
- Racing mind
Balanced hormones and neurotransmitters =
For balanced hormones and neurotransmitters
- Eat protein, healthy fat, slow burning carb, and vegetable at each meal
- Stabilize your blood sugar by eating every 4-6 hours with protein and fat each meal
- Avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and gluten
- Deep breathing for at least five minutes every day
- Doing some kind of movement each day
The good news is, we can balance our hormones and neurotransmitters with food and even some herbs for extreme cases. Below are some wonderful foods that support hormone and neurotransmitter production and will give you a mood boost when you are in need:
Mood Boosting Foods
Cacao helps to boost serotonin and contains endorphin Anandamide which is considered the “bliss chemical.” It also contains many chemicals that enhance physical and mental well-being, including alkaloids, proteins, magnesium, and beta-carotene. The combination of these ingredients makes raw chocolate the best mood boosting superfood. I love doing the raw cacao powder in baking and making delicious chocolate drinks and teas. Try these out: Healthy Hot Chocolate, Raw Brownies.
Blueberries are rich in the flavonoid anti-oxidant anthocyanin which has been shown to protect some of the major regions in the brain that control dopamine secretions. This powerful berry will flood your body with antioxidants that will detoxify and neutralize toxins and imbalances that may be causing low energy and mood swings. Starting your day with a berry smoothie will give you a serious energy boost. I love the combination of cacao and blueberries for an amazing snack or dessert!
Now this one may sound weird, but perhaps the most powerful mood boosting food around! Science now suggests that the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract may have a great influence on your brain activity and mood every single day. In the immune system, bacteria can influence the expression of certain chemicals that inhibit or promote inflammation. Researchers have found that microbes ACTIVELY CONTRIBUTE to the endocrine system and immune system. Basically, the bacteria you have control and contribute to every single function in your body.
What is truly amazing is that this bacteria also makes your “pleasure and happy” neurotransmitters. Studies have shown that babies and children that cry constantly and have colic is often caused by a lack of healthy bacteria in the body. Giving these children some probiotics dramatically improves the colic. Check out this study:
“Dr. Gregor Reid, from the University of Western Ontario, commented on Lyte’s research. He said that while the idea seems “almost surreal”, Lyte supports the concept with studies to back up the claim. Body Ecology Products provide amazing probiotics supplement and probiotic liquids.
Microbes both synthesize and respond to neurochemicals. And this affects the both the immune system and the brain, including psychology. Dr. Reid adds that many of the probiotic strains that we already eat in traditionally fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kefir, kimchee, and yogurt, are producing neurochemicals.”(1)
All of these foods are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. When you think Omega 3, think of good moods and emotional stability. Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial to support brain function and overall sense of well being. So much so that many cases of depression and post postpartum depression have been linked to a deficiency of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Healthy brain cells and nerve cells depend on omega-3s because the nervous system is made mostly of fat. The signals that travel through our body—feelings, thoughts, commands to our bodies, depend on certain nutrients and especially Omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are one of the basic building blocks of the brain. Brain cell membranes are about 20 percent fatty acids and they seem to be crucial for keeping brain signals moving smoothly. Doctors call this class of fat “essential” because, unlike many nutrients, our bodies cannot produce it. We can get it only from very specific parts of our diets.
If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, taking higher levels of Omega-3 for a period of time can be extremely beneficial.
Herbs to Boost Mood
Stress is the number one enemy that imbalances your hormones and kills your mood. Check out this post on adaptogens for herbs that will put a pep your step! And this post to learn ways to control your stress and not let is effect your health.