How to Improve Your Mood with Nutrition

Lately, there are many cases of chronic fatigue and panic disorders being reported. A few months ago, I met a client who shared with me how she had visited countless doctors and tried supplements and medications because her anxiety was so bad at that time. It is a fact that a person’s mood or state of mind can be greatly affected by internal and external factors. External factors such as crazy deadlines at work which cause stress, bad relationships that cause anger or sadness, receiving good news brightens the day and even the weather has a great impact on how we feel. Internal factors contribute immensely to how we feel as well. Our digestion, metabolism and overall body function determines our mood; how we feel from the inside out!

It’s no secret that what we eat greatly impacts our mental, physical and emotional health. The food we eat is our energy/ fuel. And just like a vehicle, we function better with clean fuel.  When we choose a healthy meal containing all the nutrients that the body requires to function better, we feel better, happier and optimistic. A diet containing healthy fats is advisable with protein and non-starchy vegetables providing the bulk of the calories as opposed to refined carbohydrates (sugars), as this will generally help to stabilize moods. On the other hand, when we choose to eat foods containing zero or low nutrients like simple carbohydrates, highly processed foods, we feel sluggish, tired, angry and hungry throughout the day.

As a nutritionist, I highly recommend a high good fat diet with lots of non-starchy veggies and other plant-based foods to my clients as they have been linked to improve moods. Most of the ingredients in these foods contain chemical compounds that have been shown to trigger the release of good-mood neurotransmitters (chemical messengers that help regulate mood) in the brain. Remember you are what you eat, digest and absorb so your digestive system is key and determine how you feel after you eat. Your gut plays a crucial role in digestion, metabolism and mental health. 80% of your immune system is in your gut and 90% of your neurotransmitters are produced in your gut. This is the reason why the gut is often referred to as the second brain because of how it significantly affects your mood and mental state. Therefore, maintaining a healthy gut is crucial for your digestion, overall health and wellbeing!

Licial wellness mood improving morning smoothie

This is my to go to; happy self recipe for the Best Day Ever!

·        1 ripe banana

·        1 tbsp Raw cacao powder (I get mine from the healthy u store)

·        Handful berries (any type that you can get;- I love blueberries and goji berries)

·        Aloe vera- small chunk; you can use aloe juice if you can’t find the plant.

·        Coconut water (Get from your local market. I  get mine from diamond plaza, zucchini Nairobi)

You may add 1 root ginger and Tsbp natural honey. Mix all ingredients and blend until smooth.

 

In conclusion, digestive problems are also on the increase. Compromised digestion has an impact on nutritional status. With age, stress and certain medications e.g. medications for acid reflux bloc necessary stomach acid. Our ability to digest food then declines and so we are unable to absorb as much from our food. This is a great topic for next month. If you have issues indigestion (bloating, wind, belching and stomach pains, then you might have less stomach acid and that can be corrected, please don’t take antacids as this will further block the production of HCL- hydrochloric acid which aids in digestion. Ensure you know what you are treating first!

Enjoy the smoothie and make today the best day ever!

 

Blessings