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Cassandra Everett - Fertility homeopath

Could what you eat be affecting your mood?

With the winter nearing its end and spring not quite in sight yet its no wonder many people feel down, mood wise, with the lack of light and sunshine.  Many therapists feel our mood is very much reflective of our nutritional wealth.  The old adage 'you are what you eat' has never seemed so true. From this we began to see the link between poor gut health and the neurotransmitters that we make which are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout the brain and body.  
This means that food without the right nutrients or poor absorption of food, often due to a lack of healthy gut flora or inflammation in the gut, means that the brain is simply not getting what it needs to make the healthy, happy neurotransmitters whose roles are many – but amongst them are our moods, our sleep patterns and responses to stressors.
If depression is lurking for you, here’s a re-cap. The main foods to make sure you have are:
Low GI carbohydrates -  we all need carbohydrates and diet without any will make us feel down - orange & yellow coloured root vegetables, beans, peas,  whole grains (these can be low gluten such as spelt, rice, rye, barley) are all good and should be eaten at least once a day.
Proteins – amino acids are the building blocks of life. A healthy body manufactures 12 of them and the other 8 we need to get from foods.

Combining plant foods such as beans, peas, nuts, seeds & grains can make a complete protein, Animal products are a source of complete protein but be careful about where you source them. Eggs (free range, organic is best), meat (must be organic if you want to keep synthetic hormones, drug residues etc out of your diet), fish and shellfish (wild-caught, not farmed as the lice, disease and skin issues in farmed fish are really quite alarming).
Omega 3 fatty acids – some people need to take these as fish oils as they can’t convert the fatty acid chains found in plants to the form we need for nutrition. The way I can tell for myself is if my nails are good. If they start to split easily then I take fish oils for a while. The recommended starting point is 1000mg daily but I often recommend more in times of hormonal change, pregnancy where we are building baby’s brain, developmental delay and perhaps in depression.
Food rich in B vitamins, ie: Almonds, spinach, squash, kidney beans, avocado, bananas, eggs, oats organic meats etc... – supplementation can be useful for certain pathologies such as Multiple Sclerosis, depression and other neurological issues.
Vitamin D – plant sourced is best or good old-fashioned sunshine – even a winter walk for 20 minutes helps.
Minerals, particularly selenium and zinc are needed. Amongst other benefits selenium improves mood and reduces anxiety and zinc helps in our taste perception – loss of appetite is often an issue in depression – what if eating a zinc food like oysters, which were part of our grandparents diets in Europe, were the solution?  An easy way to top up on Selenium is about 6-8 brazil nuts a day.

Hopefully a few tweaks to your diet will soon lift your mood ready for the spring thats just around the corner.

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