Food & Mood

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Hi Green Team!

Last weekend I gave a presentation on ‘Mood Boosting Behaviors’ to a local support group called YANA – You Are Not Alone. In today’s world, we are bombarded with so much negativity on social media, television and newspapers, we can easily be negatively influenced.

Food also has apart to play on our moods.

When it comes to nutrition, sometimes we do not realize the power of foods and how they can affect our behaviors, mind-set, focus, memory moods and even performance. In the last 5-10 years, there is more emerging evidence about the connections between our how effectively our brains function in relation to our nutrition and lifestyles.

Green Balance represents all 5 Pillars of Health: Diet, Exercise, Hydration, Rest & Spiritual Development and within my practice the aim is to link all of these elements for a real representation of a healthy person.

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When you hear the saying, “you are what you eat”, this is most likely due to the fact that within our intestines resides over 100 billion the amount of human DNA we possess in bacterial form known as the microbiota. Yep, little living organisms make up our human body. Certain foods will feed these bacteria living inside. Food has a direct impact of feeding the symbiotic/ probiotic anti-inflammatory bacteria or the pathogenic inflammation causing bacteria within our guts. If we think about the foods we are putting into our bodies, they either feed disease or fight it.

Do I think this is something more people should know about? Yes, and I once wrote a 10,000 word research paper to prove it!

The good news is that we use the gut microbiota as a therapeutic way to tackle many of the leading causes of death and disease facing our society today such as obesity, immune conditions, inflammatory responses, and blood sugar issues.

Remarkably, these naturally occurring, ever-present commensal bacteria may be instrumental in how our brain develops, how we behave, react to stress, and respond to treatment for depression and anxiety (Foster, J. 2013)

 

Poor Eating Habits & Mood

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When we overeat, especially junk food, we are likely to eat excess calories which can be stored on the body as fat. Excess body fat puts strain on the circulatory system and organs to function effectively. These high calorie foods are low in nutrition and no benefit to the body and mind, but rather increase stress. Poor stress management leads to poor nutrition choices and the cycle repeats eventually attracting imbalances whereby the body starts to malfunction in some sort of way (genetic predisposition will most likely play a role here of what system is affected).

Sometimes emotional eating can be used to manage stress whether it is having a sugar binge, or eating excessive amounts, under eating or use of excessive stimulants like caffeine taking place of consuming high quality foods.

So, which Foods Help our Gut and our Mood?

We need to have a diet that removes inflammation, adds nutrient dense foods to soothe the gut and allows for more effective nutrient utilization.

Probiotic and prebiotic rich food are recommended to boost the immune system, allow proper absorption of minerals and vitamins like B12, K, while healing the gut and providing energy.

Fruits and vegetables rich in fibre act as prebiotic material to feed the healthy probiotic bacteria residing in our guts and allow it to flourish, probiotic rich kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut are all natural probiotics which add to the healthy population of these beneficial microbes.

Here’s a list to get started:

Bananas, green tea, berries, sea food, minimally processed grains, a cup of coffee only, turmeric, honey, legumes, whole foods, lemon water, and room temperature filtered water.

Start Moving!

Getting fresh oxygen flowing through the body increases your heart rate and improves motility in the digestive tract. Yoga is a wonderful practice for stress management as it works similarly and also strengthens the mind bringing a unified experience between body, mind and spirit.

Physical activity also boosts the ‘feel good’ hormone Serotonin.

Too much can contribute to stress however regular, moderate exercise can lower stress and improve stress management.

 

Love Yourself and …

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Positive affirmations are so powerful to train the mind to see you for who you are and accept yourself in the rawest states as well as the gloried states. Self-doubt and defeating thoughts are just not worth it really and within every hardship life is trying to show you the way to a new lesson.

Self-love allows for better, healthier choices and allows reductions in emotional eating, binging patters and addiction.

Try a Mirror Mantra

You are enough, I am enough. I love me and all that I am becoming along the way in all of my beautiful flaws that really are not flaws but perfect expression of my personality.

Try Journaling

Who knew that this could be so powerful to reduce stress and really allow a release of built up negative energy or emotion which again could lead to self-defeating behaviours and the perpetual cycles that become normal due to habit.  It allows an open and honest space to look at the habits from an outside perspective to really decide if you like it or not and if this is something that you want for your best self or that you do not.

  

While exercise and relation are super recharging for the body and mind, don’t forget that we truly are what we eat. From personal experience I can tell you how memory retention, communication, immune function, digestion can all be improved when using the gut as a therapeutic target.

 

Contact me today to learn more about how I can help you and your family make healthy changes in your life through my group and individual nutrition programs.

 

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