Going into the new decade of the 2020s all the thinking in mental health research is looking at the impact of nutrients on your brain.
Nutrients for brain health is something we all really need to start thinking about and prioritising as way of managing our mental wellbeing. 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.
“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
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 we can also help ourselves replenish the levels by eating good mood foods full of high quality proteins + plenty of fresh fruit + vegetables.
All topped up by a supplement to fill in the gaps we all have in our diets. 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.
And just to make sure that we have all the ingredients we need for the perfect mood transmitter recipe we have included them all together in 360 ME.