Do you experience fluctuations in mood? Are you prone to depression?
Does your energy change throughout the day, affecting your mental focus? Are you feeling unmotivated?
There are a number of nutritional imbalances that can contribute to how you are feeling. Let me introduce you to some mood food’s, essential for brain function and neurotransmitter production, that you can easily add to your green smoothie.
Nutrients for Neurotransmitters
For optimal brain function you need to provide your brain with the appropriate nutrition for neurotransmitter production. So what are neurotransmitters? They are the messengers between the ends of two nerves, the meeting place being the synapse. For your brain to work well you need your neurotransmitters to perform their job quickly and efficiently. Nerves need to communicate with each other extremely quickly, and if your neurotransmitters aren’t working, you function much slower.
Serotonin for mood regulation and depression prevention.
Serotonin is made from tryptophan being converted to 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan (5-HTP), which in turn is converted into serotonin, using the cofactors B3, B6, folate, iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C. Maintaining serotonin levels is essential for mood regulation and preventing depression.
Acetylcholine for memory, learning and attention span.
Production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine requires B5 and choline. Deficiencies in these nutrients could be contributing to that foggy feeling while you’re at work or studying.
Dopamine for mood, memory and motivation.
Your body requires the amino acid tyrosine for adequate production of dopamine. If you are feeling unmotivated, supporting your dopamine production may be the missing key.
Your brain requires omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids for optimal functioning. These essential fatty acids also help to reduce inflammation, a process indicated in most mental health conditions including depression. Controlling inflammation can slow the progression of these conditions worsening.
Blood Sugar Control
There is a direct link between mood and blood sugar balance. All carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose, and it is glucose that is the fuel for your brain. The more uneven your blood sugar supply the more uneven your mood. In addition to following a low glycemic, whole food diet, key nutrients for blood sugar control include chromium, vitamin C, folic acid, zinc and magnesium. Chromium in particular, is vital for keeping your blood sugar level stable as insulin, which clears glucose from the blood, cannot work properly in its absence.
So how can you top up what’s missing? Smoothies. Here is a guide to use to boost your green smoothie with some brain power.
Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, egg yolk
Parsley, spinach, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, apples, bananas, cinnamon, coriander
Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, raw cacao, almonds, cashews, bananas, beet greens, spinach, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds
Avocado, banana, sunflower seeds, walnuts, spinach
Lecithin, sunflowers seeds, egg
Chia seeds, algae