Thursday, December 6, 2012

Does Food Effect Your Mood Or Your Energy?

Absolutely! There is evidence that changing your diet can alter your metabolism and brain chemistry, ultimately affecting your energy level and mood.

The challenge:  Eat only raw organic natural fruits, vegetables nuts and seeds for 30 days.  Eat as much as you want but monitor your energy levels.  You will most likely notice that after day 3 your energy starts to pick up and after day 5 you will feel like a whole new person!  

Getting Started
Foods boost energy in three ways: by providing sufficient nutrients and calories, by delivering stimulants like cayenne pepper to fire up your digestion, and by pushing the metabolism to burn fuel more efficiently. Most of our green smoothie recipes  contain a combination of dark leafy green vegetables and fuit.  These combined help to stabilize blood sugar and trigger feel-good brain chemicals, such as serotonin.  Find recipes by keying "smoothie" into the search box above.
Many nutritionist tout the eating of carbs however, carbs have a tendency to cause major spikes and dips in blood sugar and serotonin levels which also tend to lead to fatigue and can cause extensive mood swings.
Avoid dry packaged, processed and prepared non nutritious foods in favor of raw natural fruits, vegetables nuts, seeds and sprouted grains that your body recognizes as food and can use to optimally feed and heal your body.
This is the key to balnced emotions and enhanced energy levels.

Cashews, Almonds, and Hazelnuts
These nuts are not only rich in protein, but they also contain magnesium, a mineral that plays a vital role in converting sugar into energy. Research suggests magnesium deficiency can drain your energy. Magnesium is also found in dark leafy green vegetables and in some types of fish, including halibut.

Brazil Nuts
Add Brazil nuts to the mix for a helpful dose of selenium, which may be a natural mood booster. Studies have reported a link between low selenium and poorer moods. This mineral also occurs in smaller amounts in seafood, beans, and whole sprouted grains.  

Meat & Fish
I am not a meat eater and I suggest moderation if you do eat meat.  Most people eat way to much.  2 oz of meat (about the size of your palm once or twice a week is more than  adequate for nutrition.  If you are going to eat meat particularly on a daily basis, choose grass fed, free range and organic lean meats where possible.  Skinless chicken, and turkey are healthy sources of protein, including the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine boosts levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, brain chemicals that can help you feel more alert and focused. Meats also contain vitamin B-12, which may combat insomnia and depression. 
If you are like me and you prefer to not eat meat, you may wish to supplement vitamin B-12.  All other nutrients can be found in abundance by consuming a varied vegetarian/vegan diet.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Studies suggest this substance may protect against depression. While the extent of the link is uncertain, omega-3 fatty acids offer a wide range of other benefits, including heart health. Besides fish, sources of omega-3 include nuts and leafy, dark green vegetables.

Dark Leafy Greens
These and a variety of herbs and spices should be the bulk of your diet for advanced nutrition.  They carry a large amount of folate and chlorophyl (light absorbed into plants).  Deficiency of folate and chlorophyl are large sources of mood swings and depression. Dark leafy green vegetables, including spinach, kale, brocolli, romaine lettuce are high in both folate and cholorphyl. Legumes, nuts, and citrus fruits are also good sources of folate.

Fiber is an energy stabilizer. It slows digestion, providing a more steady supply of energy throughout the day. Boost your fiber intake by eating beans, whole fruits and vegetables.  These are insoluble fiber sources.  One of the best soluble fiber sources that needs to be supplemented into the diet is psyllium husks.

Dehydration and fatigue go hand-in-hand. Mild dehydration can slow the metabolism and sap your energy as well as cause a host of other irregular symptoms such as dissyness or foggy brain syndrome. The solution is simple -- drink plenty of water at regular intervals.  If you wait to drink until you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.  A good rule of thumb is to drink a minimum of 8 oz of water every hour

Last but certainly not to be forgotten...
Vitamin D3
If you are not getting at least 30 minutes of direct sunshine each day, you are most likely deficient in vitamin D3 and may need to consider a supplement.  Vitamin D3 is directly related to emotional and physical balance.  Without it many people fight depression, anxiety, joint and muscle aches and pains.

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