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Foods and Mood – why what you eat can affect your mood

Can you eat your way to a better mood? Does food really make that much difference?

Well yes actually. It does depend on how out of balance your nutrient levels are, as to how long it may take to feel the full benefits of a good diet and specific food choices, but yes it can help.

Your brain makes a serotonin (a “happy” neurotransmitter), which has a direct impact on your mood, anxiety levels and general feeling of happiness. Tryptophan from foods (such as turkey, eggs, cheese, bananas, nuts and seeds) is used by your brain to make serotonin. Exposure to sunlight also helps serotonin levels.

B12 deficiency can also be implicated in some cases of depression and anxiety, plus can lead to homocysteine building up in the blood (putting you at possible risk of heart disease), affect your memory and make you irritable. Low levels of stomach acid and intrinsic factor (stuff that makes B12 available for your body to use) should also be considered if B12 deficiency is suspected.
Some sources of B12: eggs, milk, liver and kidneys (if you can do them – not me!), beef, salmon, cheese.

Fibre is important for digestion – this is common knowledge, but it also affects the systems (such as digestion and others) that get the toxic by-products of body processes out of your body. Correct fibre feeds the good bacteria in your gut, which research has shown has a major impact on mental function. Fibre can also help with control of blood glucose levels.

Fibre to feed your good gut bugs: most vegetables (especially the tougher parts, like broccoli stems), onion, garlic, legumes (eg lentils, chickpeas), oats, barley, green leafy veg.

Have you fed your mood good food today?

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