When you’re feeling sad, sugar and alcohol can feel really tempting. As explained by Harvard Health, food is fuel for our brain, affecting you it operates and how you feel. According to Dr. Eva Selhub, “Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress — the “waste” (free radicals) produced when the body uses oxygen, which can damage cells.” Consuming low-quality food, like processed, sugar loaded food and drinks harm the brain, promote inflammation and spike the blood sugar. It’s even possible that they promote depression. Serotonin, otherwise known as the ‘happy chemical, also works to regulate sleep, appetite, meditate mood and inhibit pain.
According to Dr. Eva Selhub in the Harvard Health article, “since about 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract, and your gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, or neurons, it makes sense that the inner workings of your digestive system don’t just help you digest food, but also guide your emotions. What’s more, the function of these neurons — and the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin — is highly influenced by the billions of “good” bacteria that make up your intestinal microbiome.”
The ‘good’ bacteria help to protect against toxins, help ease inflammation and increase the bioavailability of nutrients in foods consumed. Researchers have found that countries that eat larger amounts of fish have less rates of depression and other mood disorders. Omega-3 has been found to pass the blood brain barrier and interact with mood-related molecules in the brain! Omega-3 can also help decrease inflammation in the body whereas Omega-6 increases inflammation. An unbalanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids can lead to. On this SAD diet we intake more omega-6 than omega-3 tipping our bodies out of balance, with DHA and EPA intakes at less than 0.2 grams a day!
The American Heart Association recommends 0.9 grams of EPA/DHA a day, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends 0.5 grams to be healthy. To meet 1 gram a day you would need to eat 3 meals with salmon. EPA / DHA supports general mood and brain health, and provides fatty acids. they can be found in these foods
Tuna fish oils - capsules and chewable ( for kids)
Most fish (for dinner!)
Olprima DHA - Decreases inflammation
Cod Liver Oil
Calamari Omega-3 liquid
According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, “when the intestinal tract is populated by an overgrowth of candida and pathogenic fungi, these microorganisms produce neuro-toxins that can cause everything from attention deficit disorder (ADD) to autism. Also, when the gut is “leaky,” undigested proteins and compounds that have drug-like effects get into the bloodstream, often causing symptoms of mental illness.
Very often a return to stable mental health involves adopting a diet that can heal the gut and repopulate the digestive tract with friendly microorganisms, such as the GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) diet. Genetically modified foods, antibiotics, chlorinated and fluoridated water, and concentrated sweeteners can destroy beneficial gut bacteria.
Lacto-fermented foods rich in beneficial bacteria and gelatin-rich bone broth can help heal the gut and repopulate it with good bacteria.” These foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, pickles (in the refrigerated section), miso and more.
Sleep has become a major concern in modern times, with poor sleep being a sign of increased stress. Sleeping issues can occur from a pH imbalance, use of artificial light (computers, cell phones), electromagnetic fields, and even diet.
According to Sleep Foundation, “sufficient sleep, especially REM sleep, facilitates the brain’s processing of emotional information. During sleep, the brain works to evaluate and remember thoughts and memories, and it appears that a lack of sleep is especially harmful to the consolidation of positive emotional content. This can influence mood and emotional reactivity and is tied to mental health disorders and their severity, including the risk of suicidal ideas or behaviors3.
As a result, the traditional view, which held that sleep problems were a symptom of mental health disorders, is increasingly being called into question. Instead, we can work with you at Nutritest and Wellness to figure out why you’re having issues sleeping and help you ease negative mental health side effects.