Nutrition for Mood and Holiday CheerNutrition is an important key to increasing our sense of well-being. Improved nutrition affects the body’s chemical balances, so that we feel better physically. This also helps the chemical balances in the brain, so that our moods and the abilities to cope with stress improve. Making better choices about what we eat substantially affects us both mentally and physically.

When one thinks of proper eating habits, we think – Boring! Choosing better nutrition can appear complex, take more time and energy, and add more stress to our already hectic schedule. Also, it isn’t much fun avoiding junk food during the Holidays; but we need to try to be careful as much as we can. If we goof up one meal, then we need to make a more logical choice for at least the next couple of meals.

When I need to feel more vibrant, clear thinking, focused, energetic, and improve my overall sense of well-being, I concentrate on more high-protein meals. This helps because the amino acid, Tyrosine, reaches the brain and will raise the level of Serotonin, which is the important neurotransmitter in the physical and mental sense of well-being. (Remember how closely physical and mental are tied together.)

A meal high in carbohydrates can have a tranquilizing effect; though, we will also put on weight if it is eaten before bedtime. Tryptophan, which is also very tranquilizing, can be found in turkey, soy, brown rice, cottage cheese and peanuts – just to name a few.

When one thinks of proper eating habits, we think – Boring! Choosing better nutrition can appear complex, take more time and energy, and add more stress to our already hectic schedule.

Last week, after eating yogurt (high in protein) for lunch, I was able to work an eight hour day without taking a break. The very next day, I had spaghetti with tomatoes and basil (high in carbohydrates) and was ready to crawl under the desk for a nap. Obviously, the protein was better at giving me energy, and improving my mood.

I know how hard it is to limit the amount of sugar that we are taking into our bodies. It is a well-known fact that sugar can deplete the B vitamins in our system, not to mention the insulin havoc it causes. Eating whatever we want is fun, but it is all a matter of responsible choice. When we choose healthier foods, we will feel better, which ties in with improving our mood.

Many nutritional products of herbs and nutrients can be very beneficial for improving mental attitude. Such as, Vinpocetine , which has been shown to improve negative moods, by encouraging sufficient blood flow to the brain.

As another example: Kola Nut has been shown to produce a stronger state of euphoria and well being, than cocoa, tea, coffee, guarana and yerba maté.

Homeopathy can also help with maintaining balanced mood and dealing with stress. The motto for homeopathy is “like cures like”, in which the vibrational energy of the substance stimulates the body into healing itself.

Cortisol is a natural hormone that is released when we feel the effects of stress. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing can often result in a problem; a high level of Cortisol can cause depression. This buildup of Cortisol can be a consequence of continued stress. One homeopathic remedy, which neutralizes the high Cortisol level and helps my sense of well-being, is Ignatia Amara.

Bach’s Remedies are also good for elevating our moods. These are especially effective if taken on an empty stomach. Bach’s Rescue Remedy is a combination of seven floral essences that are very beneficial for calming and balancing mood.

Therapeutic touch is also a technique that helps us have a more positive attitude; particularly when concentration is placed on the heart chakra. (Chakras are energy centers in our bodies that work on the vibrational energy mode.) Clearing the heart chakra helps the body create more endorphins, which can release anxiety.

Which type of products are most effective? Everyone is different, and it is up to each person to find what works best for them. Also, remember to observe and be sensitive to the types of food you eat. Which ones make you feel energized and positive about life, in comparison to lethargic and negative? Keep a record, and with time you too will see how nutrition and eating habits can affect your moods and outlook on life.

[reprinted from Applied Health Journal No.14]

[Applied Health Publications are registered in the United States Library of Congress, ISSN: 1525-6359]