Thursday, February 16, 2012

Moods and Foods

A  diet rich in wholefoods benefits not only our body physically but mentally and emotionally as well...
Recent studies have shown that what we eat influences our moods and psychological behaviours — a link that represents an exciting new frontier for personal health and happiness. Choosing to eat foods that are fresh, with a high nutrient value of vitamins and minerals can be a recipe for success!

Nutritional factors can have a significant impact on brain function, which can result, if deficiencies or imbalances occur, in numerous mental aberrations, such as depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, autism, bulimia, anorexia and bi-polar disorder.
Linus Pauling Ph.D., a two-time Nobel Prize winner, summed up this perspective well: "It is now recognised by leading workers in the field that behaviour is determined by the functioning of the brain, and that the functioning of the brain is dependent on its composition and its structure" ... ....Read more here...

And the composition and structure of the brain is largely determined by what types of foods and nutrients we ingest, 
for example Vitamins can have a significant impact on brain health:
  • A deficiency of B6 is associated with agitation, insomnia, irritability, convulsions, depression, anxiety, confusion and brainwave abnormalities.

  • Vitamin E, for example, plays a significant role in preventing the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by reducing oxidative stress in the brain.
  • Vitamin D might help relieve mood disorders because it seems to increase the amounts of serotonin, one of the neurotransmitters responsible for mood.
  • Some of the most common foods to cause mood and mental disturbances are sugar, milk and other dairy products - think of chocolate!
As well as the main Minerals that are connected to moods and behaviour:

  •   Iron, Magnesium and Zinc
And Spices and Herbal Medicines can also play a part in stimulating brain function:

But a good start and convenient course of action is paying attention to our Diet and include foods such as:
  • Cranberries and Blueberries, which are a rich source of antioxidants

  • Beets and Cabbages, which contain substances that can destroy the enzymes that lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease

  • Spinach, which helps with the cognitive action of the brain

  • Fish oil and oily fish contain large amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are involved in metabolic processes in the brain, helping to increase the content of “good” cholesterol and reducing the number of “bad” cholesterol.
As the saying goes: 'We are what we eat' and if we understand this connection between food, mind and mood, it is easier to choose whole foods that will power our brain, control mood and increase feelings of motivation and overall happiness. :)


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