15 Feb Boost Your Brain: Smoothie Secrets for Mood Regulation and Depression
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.
How You Can Add These Nutrients to Your Smoothie?
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.
NUTRIENT GOOD SOURCES
|Zinc||Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, egg yolk|
|Chromium||Parsley, spinach, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, apples, bananas, cinnamon, coriander|
|Magnesium||Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, raw cacao, almonds, cashews, bananas, beet greens, spinach, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds|
|Vitamin B6||Avocado, banana, sunflower seeds, walnuts, spinach|
|Choline||Lecithin, sunflowers seeds, egg|
|Omega 3||Chia seeds, algae|
|Omega 6||Flaxseed, walnuts, hemp seed|
|Tryptophan||Sesame seeds, spirulina, spinach, eggs, banana, pumpkin seeds|
|Tyrosine||Spirulina, almonds, avocado, egg, pumpkin seeds, whey protein|
|Vitamin C||Parsley, oranges, spinach, citrus fruit, guava, aloe vera juice|
If you would like support with managing your moods call our clinic on 9339 1999 to book an appointment with NatMed’s Clinical Nutritionist, Amy Lloyd.