We've all heard that “you are what you eat” – but, in actuality, what you eat can affect you who you are.
Our bodies are delicate balances of chemicals, hormones and neurotransmitters. Food not only sustains life, it determines the quality of that life. Fruits and vegetables are integral sources of nutrients essential to balancing mood and improving mental acuity.
Boost Serotonin -It’s regarded by many as happiness chemical and sleep promoter, but this is an over simplification. Serotonin affects our sleep, sexual behavior, risk-taking, aggression, motivation, temperature regulation, exploratory behavior and eating.
The amino acid tryptophan and 5-OH tryptophan are the building blocks for serotin. Tryptophan an, essential amino acids (meaning our body can’t produce it but obtain it from foods), is abundant in following:
In addition to being a great source of potassium (which studies have found improves brain function), bananas are high in B6, a vitamin that increases serotonin and norepinephrine levels. Bananas also offer the mood-regulating relaxant tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for your lovely Thanksgiving turkey dinner afterglow.
Broccoli boasts impressive levels of folic acid (also known as Vitamin B9), an entity necessary for a number of bodily functions, including cell growth, the production of healthy red blood cells and mood regulation. According to Livestrong.com, “fruits and vegetables that contain folic acid can help to boost serotonin levels and improve mood.” If a person is deficient in folic acid, symptoms can range from diarrhea and a swollen tongue to headaches and mental depression.
Spinach -Like broccoli, spinach (and most leafy vegetables) contains a hefty dose of folic acid. Spinach is also a wonderful source of the mineral magnesium, a natural anxiety combatant. Without enough magnesium in your diet, you may find it hard to concentrate in addition to being fatigued and irritable.
Olives - Not all fats are created equal. Olives contain “healthy” fats, which are responsible for lower anxiety and anger levels. And the useful culinary ingredient olive oil provides the same benefits when eaten cold, as in salad dressings, or lightly heated below 170 degrees. Other fats are better for high heat cooking.
Berries -Deep colored vegetables like berries are steeped in complex carbohydrates, which supply glucose to the blood. This translates to higher body energy and elevated brain activity – combating depression and decreasing irritability.
Sweet potatoes -Like their more conventional spud counterparts, sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates. Carbs tend to have a calming effect on the human body, increasing serotonin levels.
Pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds.
Wheat flour, yoghurt.
Nuts all kinds.
Fresh fruits and vegetables hydrate and energize while being amazing sources of antioxidants. Full Circle is proud to offer a wide selection of locally-sourced, organic produce that keeps mind and body strong
Cut down on sugar – In the stress response, the body releases extra glucose from the liver, so it need to take less in. Despite this, when under pressure, we crave sugary foods!
Make a cup of green tea – A Japanese study has found that drinking five cups of green tea daily, compared with only one, significantly reduces psychological stress. It’s thought that the polyphenols in the drink reduces damaging effects of stress on the brain while stimulating the release of calming chemicals in the body.
Keep your starch intake steady – If you go for many hours your blood sugar drops, and this is thought to be contribute panic attacks, body keeps its systems going, and this excess causes shakiness and panic attack symptoms. If you suffer from them, eat something (preferably) starchy every three to four hours to keep your blood sugar steady. Eating carbohydrates at frequent intervals also help with PMT (premenstrual tension), reducing weepiness, aggression, and mood swings.