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March Nutrition Tip: Food and Your ‘Tude

By March 15, 2014December 9th, 2014Legacy Sport & Wellness Blog

Attitude, that is.

What is the connection between what your eat and how you feel?  The vagus nerve is one of two cranial nerves which extend from the brain stem all the way to the abdomen and to the viscera (heart, lungs voicebox, stomach, ears, etc.).  Vagus nerves carry a wide assortment of signals to and from the brain.  This information from the nervous system to the brain tells the brain how the body is doing and brain in turn sends out info which governs a host of reflex responses.  The vagus nerves also transmit a variety of chemicals through the body and keep the digestive tract in working order, processing food and tracking what the body is getting out of the food.

The stomach has been called the second brain:  the food we eat has a huge impact on mood, thought, feelings and actions.

Four key neurotransmitters or mood regulating hormones are responsible for boosting our mood and balancing our brain chemistry.  If the food we eat is garbage, then so are our thoughts and feelings.  If the stomach is not able to extract nutrition from our food, even if the food is of high quality, then adequate levels of these neurotransmitters cannot be maintained.

Serotonin – relies on the amino acid tryptophan

Catecholamines (dopamine, noradrenaline and adrenaline) – require tyrosine

GABA/Cortisol – GABA is an amino acid, acting as a mood-regulating hormone; cortisol requires cholesterol for its production

Endorphins – need up to 15 of the 22 amino acids in order to be produced

The body also needs micronutrients like magnesium, vitamins B12, B6, D,  folic acid, calcium, zinc, C glutamine and the cleanest saturated fats available so that the amino acids can be changed into the different mood regulating hormones.

Brain and Mood Boosting Foods:  organic eggs, raw cheeses and butter • organic poultry and goat • organic organ meets from beef, chicken, venison and lamb • wild cod, halibut and salmon • shellfish like crab, lobster and prawns • organic spinach, chard, kale, broccoli, green peas, broad bean, seaweed,  Shiitake mushrooms • organic almonds, macadamia, pistachios, walnuts and chia seeds • organic avocado, kiwi, pineapple, strawberry, bananas, apples, oranges, blueberries, peaches • organic raw cocoa.

If you are always in a lousy mood, can’t think straight, are aggressive, can’t sleep, have OCD,  signs of dementia, Alzheimer’s or are depressed, think about this brain-stomach connection and eat some real, photo_35good food!


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