One of my long time friends (whose initials are jw but shall remain nameless) is a bit of a sugarcarboholic and green isn’t her favorite food color. She also is in chronic pain and lacks energy. When I found this research I wanted to share itand I know she reads this blog.
The Chemistry of Joy
Our mood, outlook and energy levels are determined to a huge extent by the chemicals serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and their relationship to one another.
We feel good when they are in balance. Beta endorphins also create a feeling of well-being, connectedness to others, and emotional stability. They even help us tolerate pain.
If levels of norepinephrine and dopamine are low,people will slow down, sleep a lot, have trouble concentrating and find it hard to motivate themselves.They can have a “sluggish” depression.
On the other hand, people with high levels of norepinephrine and dopamine, and possibly low levels of serotonin often feel angry, resentful and despairing.They can be critical and demanding. This would be an “agitated ” depression.
A third kind of depression can occur with low levels of serotonin, which results in people feeling fearful , worried and inadequate. This is an “anxious” depression.
In the Kitchen by Peggy
Sluggish Depression – Eating to INCREASE norepinephrine and dopamine: Eat high quality proteins throughout the day, lean beef, low-fat meats and fish.
Agitated Depression – Eating to DECREASE norepinephrine and dopamine: eat the same as to increase serotonin but eat very small amounts of protein. A vegetarian diet would be good.
Anxious Depression – Eating to INCREASE serotonin: Increase carbs, eat tryptophan, which is in nuts, dairy, and meats. Eat regularly throughout the day. Get some protein, but not a large amount.
SUGAR (also alcohol) elevates beta endorphins, which may be why people have sugar cravings. This elevation only lasts a short time, because the body metabolizes it quickly. This results in a “low” that follows the sugar “high”, and you want more sugar! My friend (who shall remain nameless) can avoid this by eatingcomplex carbs and protein.
Cholesterol helps the brain make the chemicals we need. So if you are depressed, eat some fat: Halibut, salmon, grains and nuts that have omega 3 and animal fat with omega 6 are both needed in balance.
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Hopefully my friend will not only read this post but start to eat better. To make sure, I’ll suggest it for the book we are working on . . .
“Hacking Your Way to Happiness”(It’s a work in progress, just like my friend).
Pepsi was the beverage of choice because water was for bathing, not drinking.
The only edible food was brown and white (unless it contained copious amounts of sugar), green food should be reserved for insects or chimpanzees
Fruit was only safe to eat if it was in a pie.
If he had known that June 17 was National Eat Your Vegetables Day he would have celebrated with a loaf of french bread & butter downed it with a Pepsi and a cinnamon roll for desert.
On June 17 – National Eat Your Vitamins, Phytochemicals, Fiber, Potassium Day:
Take a vegetable to lunch
June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, and National Eat Your Vegetables Day is one more opportunity to remind everyone to continue with this part of a healthy diet.
Each vegetable has its own nutritional content though generally, they contain a little protein or fat and varying proportions of :
Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin B6, provitamins, dietary minerals and carbohydrates.
Phytochemicals, some of which have antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anticarcinogenic properties.
Fiber which is important for gastrointestinal function.
Essential nutrients that are necessary for healthy hair and skin.
Potassium may help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
When eating a diet consisting of the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, it may help
Lower the risk of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.
Decrease bone loss and protect against some cancers
It is recommended by the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, to consume 3 to 5 servings of vegetables per day. This recommendation may vary, however, depending on age and gender. For most vegetables, one serving is equivalent of 1/2 to 1 cup and can be eaten either raw or cooked.
It always “cracks me up” (figuratively speaking) when I see those signs for Chick Fil A. NOW here’s even better news . . . whether you are a cow OR a chicken . Listen to this Nutrition Facts short video on improving depression and anxiety through what you eat:
And for those of my blog readers who are too busy (or too depressed) to listen to the video here’s the conclusion:
“Vegetarians are significantly less depressed, anxious and stressed than even healthy meat eaters….” and “The complete restriction of flesh foods significantly reduced mood variability in omnivores…. Our results suggest that a vegetarian diet can reduce mood variability in omnivores. Perhaps eating less meat can help protect mood in omnivores, particularly important in those susceptible to mood disorders.
Signs of addiction: Constant cravings; Eating bowls of ice cream so that the amount of fudge sauce evenly lasts before the ice cream is gone; Quickly devouring the entire bag of candy in the car so no one will see; Making sure there’s no chocolate on your breath; Feeling guilty; Waking up every morning with determination that this day you will NOT eat sugar and carbohydrates.
I’ve known for years that I get the same neurochemical “high” from sugar and unrefined carbohydrates that a drug addict gets from drugs. Research has confirmed what I’ve long suspected. What I didn’t know is that my liver is suffering. Click here to hear what Dr. Oz has to say: