How many times do you hit snooze on that alarm before you actually roll out of bed? Staying in bed seems like a good idea even though it’s a beautiful morning full of promise. We’re tired and irritable and don’t know why.
Often times, we will try to fix that excessive tiredness with trying to get more sleep, drinking gallons of coffee and eating a small breakfast to get us going. Although all of these seem like they would be improving our mood and energy, but there’s still something missing.
Not everything that affects our mood is peripheral, our gut health can affect it too. If you are irritable, exhausted and starving, try fueling your body with nutrient-dense food. The right food can help create clarity in your life.
The “WHY” behind it
In order for us to function on a day-to-day basis, our brains and bodies (and souls) need quality fuel. One way to fuel our brains and bodies is through rich foods. By rich, we mean rich in nutrients… not rich in yummy sugars and carbs…
Food and has a direct impact on our mood.
To control our mood, neurotransmitters are our road map that will help guide us through mood regulation.
A neurotransmitter is like a radio station. The frequencies have to match up to be picked up by one specific radio station. They affect our thoughts, feelings and mood. When working properly, neurotransmitters will have either an excitative or a repressive effect.
Repressive neurotransmitters activate the receptor site and help your body regulate itself and relax. Excitative neurotransmitters help the body ramp up your energy. It’s important to have plenty of repressive neurotransmitters before ramping up the excitative neurotransmitters. They work together to keep each other in check. For example, when you have a spike in your energy (excitative), your body will regulate to the best of its ability (repressive) to avoid a sugar crash- NO suga for you… (just kidding! Seinfeld reference… “No soup for you!”)
In order for your body to manage your mood, your body needs a important chemicals to work together.
Serotonin (repressive) can have a thoughtful effect on emotion, mood and anxiety. It helps regulate sleep, wakefulness, eating, and perception.
Glycine, Taurine, GABA (repressive) slows down the neurons’ activities and helps avert your body from getting overly excited.
Norepinephrine, Dopamine (excitative) the happy chemical! This regulates your mood, physical and mental arousal. If there is a spike of norepinephrine, your heart rate and blood pressure may increase.
Some foods that can help you get the proper nutrition to build these neurotransmitters and regulate your mood include:
Prebiotics and Probiotics
We always say a healthy gut is a happy gut, which leads to an improved mood. The gut is a complex system and is mainly made up of serotonin, which we previously learned is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep, appetite and mood.
Incorporating prebiotics into your diet will help increase good bacteria that helps promote secretion of serotonin. When you have more probiotics in your diet, your gut will thank you. Having both prebiotics and probiotics in your system help the gut work in harmony.
Foods that are high in probiotics include:
- Fermented Veggies
- Miso Soup
Foods that are high in prebiotics include:
- Yacon Root
- Chicory Root
In order to create harmony in the gut, it’s important to try and incorporate prebiotics and probiotics on a day-to-day basis.
Some foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics:
Protein is a great source of nutrient rich food. Not only does it help build muscle; it also promotes a good mood because it contains amino acids.
Amino acids are the body of the neurotransmitters that are responsible for regulating thoughts and feelings.
Without amino acids, we can fall victim to compulsive thinking, exhaustion, depression, and anxiety. Now that’s not a Rowdy attitude at all!
Foods that are high in amino acids include:
- Lean beef
- Chicken breast
We all (may) know what it feels like to have a sugar crash. Some signs of a sugar crash can be a fluctuation in your energy. For example, you’re wound up, but then moments later you’re fatigued.
Carbohydrates can help prevent these foul sugar crashes. Nutrient rich carbs can help regulate blood sugar and provide sustained energy so you remain stocked for the rest of your day.
That’s not to say they don’t contain sugar; however, they have an abundance of worthy nutrients too. They provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are important for your health. Prevalent carbohydrates come from complex carbohydrates and have natural occurring sugars.
Complex carbohydrates include:
- Whole Grains
Another great element that you can incorporate into your diet is Omega-3s. These are known as the body’s natural anti-depressants and they are essential fats. Although, our bodies can’t make them from scratch, we can find them in certain foods such as:
- Nuts (especially walnuts)
- Flax Seeds
- Leafy Vegetables
Omega-3’s helps your cell membranes function and cab regulate hormones. They can also help with decreasing the risk of inflammation. Hallelujah!
When we are eating right; we are feeling good. When we are feeling good, we are full of energy!