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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