Let us talk about mood.
One of the most ground breaking books I have read in awhile is Dirty Genes by Dr. Ben Lynch.
He talks about our dirty genes and how they can impact nearly everything in our lives. It is our job to clean them up. Most people view genes as a permanent blueprint of who we are; although this is true, it does not me we can’t change them.
The seven “Dirty Genes” he talks about in the book can be putting you at risk for some nasty health challenges— but they also help to shape your personality, activating strengths as well as weaknesses.
Your goal is to work with diet, chemical exposure, and lifestyle to maximize the benefits while minimizing the drawbacks. My goal is to give you the tools you need to effectively sleep better, have a better mood, laser focus, and be at your ideal body weight without supplementing. I may suggest some supplements to take to enhance precursors in your body, but they are not required.
Serotonin is one of the brain’s most important neurotransmitters. It is commonly considered the “happy molecule” and is mainly associated with feelings of happiness, positive mood, mental calmness, and emotional balance.
Symptoms of having low Serotonin:
- Some days you’re blue and depressed, while other days you’re anxious.
- Experience a short temper
- Get headaches easily
- Feel grumpy
- Have negative thoughts
- Lack confidence
- Don’t “feel like it”
- Can’t get deep restful sleep
- Appetite is either too much or not at all
These are just a few things you experience if you are low in Serotonin. Serotonin is made in the gut. You will hear me talk a lot about gut health and how it is something you cannot ignore. Although Serotonin is well known as a brain neurotransmitter, it is estimated that 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. In fact, altered levels of serotonin have been linked to diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. Interesting, right?
So the good news is we can eat foods and take supplements to boost our serotonin levels. Here are some things to focus on.
Pre and Probiotics
- These 2 are essential for regulating your serotonin levels. I suggest taking a Probiotic on an empty stomach in the morning and Prebiotic right before bed (paired with glucose (honey)). This combo will lead to a restful nights sleep allowing your body to repair.
- I recommend Modere’s probiotic because of their encapsulation technology. Most probiotics claim to have several billion cells, however they get broken down in the stomach. These guarantee 5 billion cells, have prebiotic fiber that helps create an ideal environment for probiotics to colonize, are sugar free, and is my version on an adult pixy stick (Children can take them too) For $10 off click here
Dark Leafy Greens
- have you ever noticed how great you feel after a salad? Well leafy greens contain high amounts of Folate/B9 which encourage our Methylation Cycle to work properly
- Green vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, squash, and artichoke extract are great dark leafy greens to begin incorporating
- Delicious and packed with tyrosine, a precursor that helps the body produce dopamine (brain’s pleasure centre)
- Contain more folic acid than any other fruit.
- Packed with Omega-3
- Full of the fatty acids (which our bodies are unable to naturally produce)
- Help increase both dopamine and serotonin in the body
- Rich in potassium (which aids mood)
- Contain tryptophan, which increases Serotonin
- Are even considered an antidepressant for mild-to-moderate depression
So eat them bananas!!!
- Natural Stacks Serotonin Supplement
- Supports a positive mood
- Maintains healthy appetite & digestion
- Promotes calmness & sense of well-being
- Relieves stress & frustration
So we have gone over Serotonin and how essential it is to our well being. Lets not forget about GABA. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the brain’s most abundant “calming” neurotransmitter. While GABA is known primarily for its ability to put you in a relaxed state, it actually plays a crucial role in regulating many aspects of mood, attention, cognition, and sleep. GABA’s primary function as the brain’s major inhibitory neurotransmitter is to prevent overstimulation
Symptoms of having low GABA:
- Overactive thoughts (the brain that wont turn off)
- General Negativity
- Small things bother you
Here is what to focus on if you have low GABA:
1. Exercise, Yoga, Meditation
Exercise promotes well-being, alleviates stress, and reduces the risk of mental illness. Don’t over do it though, because this will actually lead to lowering your natural GABA. Meditative exercises, such as yoga, may slightly increase GABA. A study conducted on 19 yoga practitioners has shown that GABA increased by 27% after a yoga session.
2. Green Tea
EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), a compound of green tea, increases GABA.
Taurine is an amino acid involved in the health of the heart and brain. Remember this though, take it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning for it to have any effect at all. If I remember to take these first thing, I can feel a huge difference. I recommend cycling on them. Supplement for 2-3 weeks then take a week off so your body doesn’t get too used to them.
Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses while improving mood and relaxation. This supplement is an interesting one because in order to cross the blood brain-barrier it must be paired with a glucose. I recommend taking it at bed time with a teaspoon of honey in some tea.
Kava is a plant traditionally used by people from the South Pacific islands as a beverage and medicine. I remember when we were in Fiji and how incredible their tradition was of drinking their Kava. It is a beautiful ritual to watch and take part in. It numbs the tongue and gives you that nice warm feeling in your belly (like a buzz). I have heard, however, that Kava can damage your liver if you have too much Kava too regularly, so use it minimally. But like a glass of wine, it can be nice to occasionally wind down the evening.