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Food for brain: feed your happiness, not depression

Do you sometimes think that everything you eat can make you happy, full of energy and joy, or upset, depressed and exhausted? The truth is, feeding our brain the right way will provide us with more power to overcome bad days, allow to have much fewer bad days and to feel better and less stressed out or anxious.

We are aware by now that we can successfully teach and exercise our emotions and feelings provided the chemical reactions and levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters are in balance. However, we rarely think, that food we consume and nutrients we provide our body with have an extremely huge impact on our mental state, emotions, feelings and ability to determine whether we are having more bad or good days. Among the most important brain chemicals are serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, melatonin, insulin and prostaglandins.

Due to external and internal stresses, many people might complain about very long-lasting mild depression. I have heard recently many saying they experience a seasonal affective disorder. Well, we all do to some extent if any nutrients are lacking in our diet and we don’t give an appropriate boost of those.

I used to have extremely bad intolerance to winter darkness and was upset most of the time when the weather was cold and I couldn’t get enough air and sunlight. I had sort of no energy to deal with any issues. I refused jobs just because I didn’t feel I could handle them. As many of you know, I’ve devoted many years to medical research, writing and analysis of patient data and symptoms; therefore, I have come to conclusions that everything which is within us affects everything from our physical condition to our mental states.

Digestive and metabolism disorders heavily affect the balance of brain chemicals. For instance, most of serotonin is produced in our gut and during the sleep. It’s extremely simple: people who have good metabolism and no noticeable lack of nutrients and who take their time to rest and pay attention to long enough and good sleep, shouldn’t be having too many bad days either.

How about external stressors which do not depend on us? Like the angry voice of your boss or piles of work that needs to be done, but you’re stuck in a traffic jam, or kids insisting you do one thing, husband being grumpy about something else while you’d rather do nothing of that, but something totally different you believe you need at the moment? That’s exactly the same story: we have built in coping mechanisms, and when our brain chemicals are in good balance, when we do have our thyroid and adrenal glands not working in hypo-or hiper- regimen, these coping mechanisms can work properly, too. That is why you will see in the same situation one person laughing, the other person ignoring this situation completely, but the third one will be crying or going crazy. It’s not exactly their personality that causes these reactions; it’s how well they are prepared for dealing with any issues.

Happiness starts in the gut

Everything starts in the gut. When we are treating a mood disorder or mild depression with strong medicines, alcohol, drugs and comfort food, we are aiming for side effects and reactions which we actually want to avoid. The New Year is almost at our door step and holiday season is in full swing, so alcohol consumption is high. Your liver does not care how beautiful the cocktail looks or how expensive the drink is: once the processing starts, a big label “toxins” is assigned to the contents of the decorated drink. Many pre-processed foods, soft drinks and food with high content of artificial ingredients get assigned the same label: “toxins”. When we add to this some damage which over years has happened to parts of our body that take care of removing any toxins and leftovers, the picture becomes quite clear: these toxins are going nowhere, but accumulating straight within us, poisoning our mood, destroying our chemical balance and making levels of brain chemicals significantly off. Therefore, it should be very easy to understand: treating bad mood with a pill, drug, alcohol or sweets is absolutely wrong. This means relieving symptoms for a short-term while, in fact, we need a long-term adjustment and correction to the cause of all these disorders and imbalances. That’s how we get caught in a roller coaster of sweets and sugars that we decorate with a glass of wine or champagne.

Happiness starts with food 5

Artificial supplements and drug store vitamins might not always get absorbed as good as the ones which come from the real sources, just because your ancient DNA and your body recognizes them much better.

If you love engaging in writing New Year’s resolutions, the first and the most important item should address the BALANCE: balanced activities, balanced sleep-awake periods, balanced intake of nutrients, balanced body processes, balanced reactions due to balanced metabolism. Everything else is secondary.

Happiness starts with food 6

I love not only eating vegetables, but I’m extremely happy to take their pictures, as well. This activity alone lifts my mood. I paint these things quite often also: beautiful shapes, colors, it’s pleasure for eyes, as well.

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19 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great information…Thank you!

    Like

    December 28, 2015
    • Inese Poga Art plus Life #

      Thanks for stopping by and reading! I just really care about what we do to boost our mental abilities and feeling better at the same time. So much of our way we think or act can be attributed to simply chemical reactions, in particular, in our brain.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 28, 2015
      • You are very welcome! I feel the same way and totally agree.

        Like

        December 28, 2015
      • Inese Poga Art plus Life #

        It’s great there are people who are aware of all this, because social media make everybody think that everything involves some kind of miracles while it is simply taking normal care of oneself.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 28, 2015
      • I totally agree!

        Like

        December 30, 2015
      • Inese Poga Art plus Life #

        Thanks! Happy New Year! It is so close now!

        Liked by 1 person

        December 30, 2015
      • 🙂 Happy New Year!

        Like

        December 30, 2015
      • Inese Poga Art plus Life #

        Thanks! I really hope this one is going to be better than the previous one.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 30, 2015
  2. Good message, Inese. Fruits and vegetables are my favorite snacks and meals. They’re a feel good food for mind and body.
    New Year’s Blessings ~ Wendy

    Like

    December 28, 2015
    • Inese Poga Art plus Life #

      Thanks Wendy, and that is great you like food which is natural. In fact, not everything what brain needs is in fruits and vegetables, but still, they make up for the biggest part of the beneficial nutrients. It’s certainly better to eat something in moderation than suffer from all kinds of disorders and use injections or pills all life. We sometimes cannot avoid medications, and health becomes difficult to manage, but it is possible to live well and maintain healthy brain.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 28, 2015
      • I like how an apple can fill me up without making me feel awful like cookies would. I prefer to eat treats as a dessert and stick to healthy foods during the daytime. I couldn’t agree more with your advice.

        Like

        December 28, 2015
      • Inese Poga Art plus Life #

        I completely agree with you Wendy. Do you know why sometimes we prefer cookies to apples? We simply have forgotten how delicious an apple can be, the crisp and flavor! We rarely have desserts because I cannot eat anything with sugar, so husband is together with me in more salty snacks, I mean, salads and similar. I noticed we were eating very little meats recently, so I buy just a small bit. It must be age, I don’t feel as if I want a lot of meat. Well, and Latvians don’t usually eat beef, we are mostly interested in pork, chicken and fish.

        Liked by 1 person

        December 28, 2015
  3. Excellent post filled with practical nutritional information. Hope more will discover and read your blog as we enter the silly season of dieting. Blessings for a healthy New Year,

    Like

    December 29, 2015
    • Inese Poga Art plus Life #

      Thanks Ellie! I’m glad you found something useful for you reading this post. In fact, I’d like everybody not to observe strict diets, but simply go with everything as natural as possible, as fresh as possible and as simple as possible. Meal that consists of 50 ingredients will make one’s stomach confused right away and this confusion will manifest as indigestion sooner or later. Food industry gives sweet lies for truth, and many harmful products get into our fridge and pot because we have no idea what’s hidden in that particular product. I love seeing happy people since the reality is quite upsetting sometimes, and the only way to return to naturally induced happiness is using good food and live in an undisturbed environment. You know, if wife is happy, her husband is happy, when parents are happy, kids grow up happy, that way. The smile we receive from a stranger as we walk to work can be a real blessing for somebody’s day.
      Wishing you happiness, good health, lots of inspiration, plenty of new ideas and fulfillment of your dreams in 2016!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 29, 2015
      • So True!!! Excellent observation,

        Like

        December 29, 2015
      • Inese Poga Art plus Life #

        Thanks Ellie! I saw you’re dealing with similar subjects on your blog, so it’s nice to meet you in the blogging community.

        Like

        December 29, 2015
  4. I will try harder this year.

    Like

    December 31, 2015
    • Inese Poga Art plus Life #

      Well, It’s not difficult, but takes some time and one has to be willing to do things like that.
      May 2016 bring you good health, joy and pleasure, love and happiness!

      Like

      December 31, 2015

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