mood and food

This is one of the most popular questions a nutritionist is asked.  How can i improve my mood?   This topic is vast and i always stress that disciplinary practices like meditation and deep breathing exercises or physical movement exercises like Tai Chi are excellent for calming the mind and enhancing mood.  Even 10 minutes spent in a guided meditation in the morning which you can select from the internet keeps your mood elevated for most of the day.  When it comes to food, it gets complicated.  All foods which enhance brain function like fish oils usually help.  B12 or a Multi-B supplement brings relief to most people.  They feel calmer and sharper at the same time.  Some people do not absorb the amino acid tryptophan from their food and this leads to not making enough serotonin, the feel good hormone.  In fact most nutritionists are constantly trying to revamp people’s dietary habits so that they actually ABSORB all the nutrients that they are eating which often dramatically improves mood.  Practices like drinking plenty of water but away from meals, taking digestive enzymes or digestive bitters at meals; and very importantly keeping blood sugar steady all day by eating breakfast consistently and planning healthy nutrient rich low glycemic load (not index) meals along with strategic snacking.  Having a healthy amount of stomach acid at mealtime is ideal for starting the digestive cascade of events needed to digest and absorb the nutrients in all foods eaten.  When the stomach acid is not at the correct pH which is a common North American problem, all the other players in the digestive cascade get compromised including the liver, gall bladder, pancreas and small intestine.  This is why there is really no one miracle food for a happy brain; it is the sum total of high quality macro and micro nutrients found in whole foods and the ability to absorb these nutrients that matters most.  For more tips check out Patrick Holford’s site under “eat your way to happiness”

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