Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Good Mood Foods!





Diet can and does affect every aspect of your health – including your mood!  These simple dietary adjustments can be made to help improve you mood and overall well being.




Cut Out Bad Mood Foods!
Commercial processing of foods strips it of vital nutrients necessary for whole body health and healthy brain-body communication, leaving very little for our body to squeak by on.  A diet high in carbs and sugary foods and devoid of other nutrients leads to dangerous spikes in our blood sugar that results in mood highs and lows, and dangerous blood sugar imbalances.  Processed foods often have preservatives, colors, and other chemicals added to them.  In an effort to clean out these chemicals our liver and detoxification system is often taxed and over burdened, and these additives and even be toxic to us.

 - Processed, packaged, boxed, and canned foods, especially those with added ingredients that  were probably made in a lab
- Fast food
- “Diet” foods
- White bread, white rice/pasta/sugar/baked goods/bagels, and soda
- Low protein/high carbohydrate foods
- Sugar-laden cereals, bars, juices and snacks
- Fried, hydrogenated and trans-fats
 - Processed soy products and other processed “imitation” foods
 - Drugs, and foods with drugs/antibiotics in them
 - Excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption

Eat Plenty of Protein
- High protein foods: fish, chicken, beef, lamb, eggs, humus (try to source organic grass-fed meats and dairy whenever possible)
- Moderate-Protein foods:  Nutritional yeast, seeds, nuts, beans, and yogurt.
- Include protein in every meal to balance blood sugar, reduce mood and energy swings, and improve mood overall.  
- Especially important at breakfast– if you do not have time to cook or make food, your naturopathic  doctor can recommend a nutritional or protein shake to have in the morning.
 - Proteins are composed of strings of amino acids, which are the building blocks of our body’s “feel-good” molecules. 



Include Vitamin and Mineral Rich Whole Foods
- Colorful vegetables and fruits, dark leafy greens (at every meal and for snacking!)
- Nuts, seeds, butter, meat from grass-fed animals, cod liver oil, small whole fish, nutritional yeast, 100% whole grains- gluten free (like quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, teff, etc)

Vitamins and minerals provide necessary building blocks, co-factors, and catalysts to biochemical reactions throughout the body.  These reactions keep us healthy and happy.  Calcium, magnesium, vitamins D, A, and the B vitamins are especially important for a sense of well-being and energy throughout the day. 


Healthy Fats
- Oils (olive, walnut, coconut, avocado, sesame), nuts, seeds, nut butters (except peanut butter), butter, eggs, meat and organ meats from grass-fed animals, cod liver oil, fish oil, whole fish.
 - Decrease oxidation of healthy oils by storing cooking oils and nuts in the fridge, and cooking with oils that are heat stable.  Good oils for cooking are virgin coconut oil and avocado oil.

Healthy fats increase the availability of amino acids to our brain and nervous system.  Every cell in our body is composed of a membrane made of fats, and the cells of our brain and nervous system are especially fat-rich!  Our brain cells NEED fat for communication with the rest of our body.  It is important to distinguish good fats from bad fats for health.  Bad fats include trans-fats, hydrogenated, and oxidized oils, and the oils that have been fried multiple times.  These are commonly found in fast food, deep fried, and processed foods.  Grass-fed animal products contain a healthier fat profile than grain fed animal products do.  Unless it is specifically labeled at grain fed, free range, or organic than it is not. 




Sources:
Weston Price Foundation
The Mood Cure, Julia Ross
Opiod Peptides Derived from Food Proteins- Zioudrou, Christine, et. Al.