We are always eating – sometimes once day, sometimes six times a day or even more. Food has a major impact on how our day is lived – sometimes we feel great with energy to spare and then again we barely can get out of bed – we’re just too tired.
Most of us don’t make the connection between what we eat and how we feel – what is our mood like? Researchers have shown over the past decades that what we eat can and does effect our moods. Did you know that eating a diet high in carbohydrates, fats and sugars is the greatest sapper of our energy and also is most closely related to depression.
We know we don’t suffer from a Prozac deficiency but many of us suffer from an energy deficiency. And we want to change that.
Here are a few foods that can help you improve your level of energy and your mood.
First, the fats. We need both EPA (eicosapentaenoic) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in the foods we eat because our bodies do not make these essential omega-3 fats. They are anti-inflammatory, antioxidants and help build stronger cell membranes, especially in the brain. Eating 4 ozs. of fish, especially wild caught Alaskan Salmon, will provide you with up to 1700 mg of omega-3 oils that can ward off depression and anxiety. This was supported by an Ohio State University study of 68 healthy medical students.
Other protein sources of good omega-3s are grass-fed beef and lamb, and wild game. The recommended amount is 3 – 4 ozs three to four times a week. This meat can provide the amino acid building blocks needed by our bodies to help produce neurotransmitters that help keep us happy.
A particularly important amino acid is tyrosine, its a precursor to dopamine and helps generate higher levels of energy. Some foods that are rich in this amino acid are whey protein powder, cottage cheese, beans, peas and an old standby – skinless chicken breast.
We will explore more of the foods that can contribute to your sense of well-being in my next post. For now remember Eat to Live NOT Live to Eat. Dr. Reenah