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GOOD MOOD FOOD: Would You Like One Simple Way to Give Your Brain All the Nutrients it Needs?

Linking nutrition to mental health is a new + developing field in Psychology.

It's called Nutritional Psychology.

Traditionally we think of eating well to keep our bodies healthy but we seem to have missed the link of eating well to keep our brains functioning well.

A huge body of evidence now exists that finds that diet is as important to mental health as it is to physical health.

A healthy diet is protective and an unhealthy diet is a risk factor for depression and anxiety,” says Felice Jacka, President of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research. 

“Diet is potentially the most powerful intervention we have. By helping people shape their diets, we can improve their mental health” (Dr Drew Ramsey).

”No matter where you are on the spectrum of mental health, food is an essential part of your treatment plan,” Ramsey says. “ If you are on medications they are going to work better if you are eating a brain-healthy diet of nutrient-dense foods”.

Good nutrition is crucial for brain health then.



Real food nourishes our brains + becomes the protein + enzymes + tissue + neurotransmitters that transfers + processes information controlling every function of our bodies + every feeling we have.

So, we have incredible power + control over our mental health using foods + nutrients.

I know from my own experience though how hard it is to always hit every nutritional goal when life gets busy or emotions are overwhelming.



Of course the ideal is to eat an amazing diet but skip a few meals because we are tired or wired + grab a quick take away when anything will do is sometimes the reality.

Eating high-quality proteins + plenty of the freshest vegetables + fruit + good fats is the best way to fuel your brain.



Your brain needs lots of amino acids (from meat + eggs + fish + seeds + nuts) to make your mood neurotransmitters - Serotonin + GABA + Tyrosine + Acetylcholine.

Eating foods that are naturally high in the nutrients that contain amino acids is a wonderful way to start taking care of your brain + your mental health.

Keep eating your anti-oxidants in fresh + bright + colourful fruit + vegetables. Keep eating foods high in good Omega oils (Salmon + Tuna + Mackerel + Walnuts + Flax seeds).

Don’t forget to eat lots of probiotic + prebiotic foods - the gut-brain axis is vital.

Fill yourself up with nutritious foods + your mental + physical health will be transformed.

BALANCED MOOD FOODS

Some great foods to balance your neurotransmitters  to fuel + balance your mood:

Grass-fed Beef + Chicken + Turkey + Pork + Eggs + Dairy + Salmon + Pistachios + Almonds + Yogurt + Tofu + Hummus + Cashew Nuts + Walnuts + Hummus + Tahini + Turmeric + Oats + Brown Rice + Whole Grains + Lentils + Quinoa + Chia + Dark Leafy Greens + Cauliflower + Avocado + Peas + Broccoli + Sweet Potato + Blueberries + Pineapple + Banana + Mango + Pineapple + Apricots + Citrus fruits + Red berries + Dark Chocolate + Green Tea

SMOOTHIE: Almond Milk + Ground Flaxseed + Plain Yogurt + Frozen Blueberries
SNACK: Cashews + Almonds + Dark Chocolate
DRINK: Green Tea



FOODS FOR ANXIETY

Some great foods to produce lots of GABA + calm your anxiety:
Almonds + Oats + Walnuts + Halibut + Yogurt + Whole grains + Brown rice + Lentils + Broccoli + Spinach + Avocado + Quinoa + Chia + Banana + Citrus fruits + Berries + Green Tea

SMOOTHIE: Almond milk + Plain Yogurt + Oats + Banana + Frozen Summer Berries
SNACK: Almonds + Walnuts + Dark Chocolate
DRINK: Green Tea

FOODS FOR A HAPPY MOOD

Some great foods full of naturally occurring tryptophan to make serotonin + lift your mood:

Salmon + Turkey + Eggs + Cashew Nuts + Walnuts + Yogurt + Oats + Tahini + Hummus + Dairy + Peas + Spinach + Sweet Potato + Quinoa + Chia + Blueberries + Pineapple + Dark Chocolate

SMOOTHIE: Almond milk + Oats + Cashew Nut Butter + Plain Yogurt + Banana
SNACK: Cashews + Walnuts + Dark Chocolate
DRINK: Hot Milk

FOODS FOR FANTASTIC ENERGY

Some great foods full of amino acids + vitamin B to boost your energy:

Grass-fed Beef + Chicken + Pork + Eggs + Dairy + Salmon + Pistachios + Almonds + Tofu + Hummus + Mushrooms + Quinoa + Chia + Dark Leafy Greens + Sweet Potato + Peppers + Beetroot + Carrots + Cauliflower + Avocado + Oranges + Apricots + Mangos + Papaya

SMOOTHIE: Almond Milk + Ground Flaxseed + Kale + Lime + Plain Yogurt + Frozen Pineapple
SNACK: Pistachios + Almonds + Dark Chocolate
DRINK: Coffee :)

Nutrients for brain health is something we all really need to start thinking about and prioritising as way of managing our mental wellbeing.

They are a vital part of our self-care toolkit.

Like we’ve all come to know that plenty of Vitamin D3 helps to lift the symptoms of SAD (Seasonally Affective Disorder). A deficiency in Vitamin D3 affects how our brain works.

Would you like one simple way for you to give your brain all the nutrients it needs?
“A brain supplement a day keeps the counsellor away”


When our brain needs nourishment we get a few clues.

Do you recognise any of these feelings?

Low + flat + depressed
Anxious + nervous + stressed
Have unwanted, repetitive negative thoughts
Low self-esteem + poor self-confidence
Always tired + feel exhausted
Overwhelmed + burned out
Stuck + tearful
Numb + have no joy in our life
Have low energy + no enthusiasm or motivation
Find concentration + focus + remembering more difficult
Can’t get to sleep or have disrupted sleep


How does it sound to you if I were to say that everything you do affects your brain?

And your brain affects everything you do?

Either positively or negatively.

We are good at taking care of ourselves and knowing what to do if we have a physical illness or injury. We maybe take a pain killer, have a rest, apply cream or heat or cold, drink fluids and sometimes we will take a supplement: Vitamin C for recovering from illness; Glucosamine chondroitin for our joints.

Thoughts and emotions are the product of our brains responses and one big reason for our feelings of prolonged emotional distress is malfunctions in our brain chemistry. These can be caused by vital nutritional deficiencies + aspects of our lifestyle.

These are not just inevitable characteristics of our personality. It’s not “Just who you are”.

They are the result of the high or low levels of the 4 mood transmitters in our brain.

You might have heard of them?

The 4 mood transmitters:
1 Serotonin   2 Dopamine   3 GABA   4 Acetylcholine

If they are abundant + balanced our brain works at full power and we can live our best life.

If our Serotonin levels are good we feel positive + confident + sleep well;

but if they are low we feel negative + obsessive + worried + have bad sleep patterns

If our Dopamine levels are good we feel energised + alert + joyful;

but if they are low we feel flat + stuck + sensitive + unenthusiastic about life

If our GABA levels are good we feel relaxed + cope well with stress;

but if they are low we feel anxious + wired + stressed + burned out + overwhelmed

If our Acetylcholine levels are good we feel energetic + concentrate easily + process information well;

but if they are low we feel tired + have difficulty focusing + remembering things.

For these 4 mood transmitters our body needs particular ingredients to make each of them.

Serotonin needs the amino acid Tryptophan.
For Dopamine we need the amino acid Tyrosine.
For GABA we need the amino acid Glutamine.
And for Acetylcholine we need Carnitine.

 And Tryptophan, Tyrosine, Glutamine and Carnitine all need particular vitamins + minerals + omega oils to combine together to make Serotonin + Dopamine + GABA + Acetylcholine.

A little bit like a cake needs eggs + flour + butter + sugar to rise.


The main reasons we run low on mood transmitters are:

Being used up too quickly
Not being replenished
Genetic glitches

Our levels of acute (trauma) or chronic (ongoing,long term) stressors have a huge impact on our mood transmitters. Their supply is used up so quickly as we cope with the stress in our lives that we can’t restore them quickly enough leaving us feeling out of sorts and not ourselves.

Our brain is misfiring.

It hasn’t got the fuel that it needs to function fully effectively.

So to rebuild fuel supplies we can try a few lifestyle changes:

We can slow down making a little time for some rest + relaxation + breathing + yoga + quiet time + meditation + visualisation + daylight + sleep into our lives.

And you can also help yourself replenish the levels by eating good mood foods full of high quality proteins + plenty of fresh fruit + vegetables.

Over time we all develop patterns of eating and it’s inevitable that a few food groups are missed. We all have our favourites (avocados). And our dislikes (sprouts). It’s completely normal.
So it also follows that we get low in a few vitamins and minerals. Like Vitamin D in the winter.

All topped up by a supplement to fill in the gaps we all have in our diets.


Would you like one simple way for you to give your brain all the nutrients you need?

To help you make sure that your brain has all the ingredients you need for the perfect mood transmitter recipe why not have a look at 360 ME: 

(click the images for more information)

To help you make sure that your brain has all the ingredients you need for the perfect mood transmitter recipe we have included them all together in 360 ME.

Would you like one simple way for you to give your brain all the nutrients you need?

Take care,
Evelyn