Food and mood – What you eat to enhance your mood

Food and mood – What you eat to enhance your mood

If you are depressed, should you see a psychiatrist or a nutritionist? Perhaps both. More research seems to point that eating the right foods may help alleviate depressing feelings.

The food and mood relationship keeps coming up in research. Does that mean you should drop your medications? The answer is No. Depression and other mood disorders may very well be chemically related. It is associated with hormones and fluids in the brain and elsewhere, heavily supported by comprehensive studies. Eating certain foods may augment those chemicals but not necessarily change their bio-availability. The food and mood relationship is further exacerbated by what foods help and what food don’t help. The professionals are so conflicted about the foods that, for affective effectiveness, you might just as well stick to the pill.

For more than 30 years, books on food and mood have lined shelves and online searches filled with twists of what may work.

Columbia University’s Mailman institute seems to be focused on food and mood by delivering interesting studies about childhood anxiety and food allergies. CBS news has produced a story how researchers are trying to tie-in numerous and large studies to explore and reveal the food and mood connection.

digestive system parts are linked to the brain by the vagus nerve.

The vagus nerve, when stimulated, sends mild signals to the brain to indicate that the gut is hungry. At this point all sorts of hormones are triggered, insulin is -preparing for food but none is coming. That might have something to do with brain fog that develops a couple hours after a routine meal. Brain fog occurs when the symptoms of low blood sugar are experienced a few hours after a meal even though blood glucose levels remain normal. This is also known as postprandial (“after eating”) hypoglycemia or postprandial dip. Performance a few hours after eating can fade and lead to anxiety.

There are some unique clinical aspects that are discussed because the relationships of food and mood seem like a simple way of treating depression. Is it? And do we really know what they are and how they work?

While many studies seem to make it appear that those living in Mediterranean regions have lower reports of depression, does it really correlate with food and mood? A recent report shows that 44% of women in East Mediterranean countries have mental disorders. A European survey reported that those reporting depression were about 11% in Italy, just slight lower than European average? Are these people NOT eating the Mediterranean Diet?

What is noted is that living the Mediterranean lifestyle – physical movement, social activities, and dietary adherence, might suggest lower reports of depression.

Then there are many other possible causes of depression mood disorder, not associated with food. The exact cause of depression disorders are not clearly known. However, there are several factors that can increase the risk of developing the condition. The APA might suggest that there are combinations of genes and stress that can influence changes in brain chemistry and reduce the ability to maintain mood stability. Yet, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) does stress depression’s alarming statistics:

Depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. And one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life.

Yet the diagnosis is more involved with the symptoms than lifestyle causes of depression. It is very unlikely to indicate food and mood.

Per APA, symptoms are:

(Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:)

Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Loss of energy or increased fatigue
Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
Feeling worthless or guilty
Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
Thoughts of death or suicide

Of course, other possibilities may have an influence over any of these symptoms.

Food and mood may be associated with adding certain Omega 3 fats with slow absorbing carbohydrates. Low glycemic foods, chocolate, and food that has high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, tryptophan, folate and other B vitamins, have all been studied to evaluate their impact on mood. Results vary from study to study, but there usually appears to be an association between these foods and improved mood. Fundamentally, a good, healthy meal, with a vitamin supplement, might suggest an elevation in mood.

Beyond food, the importance of adequate hydration is often neglected. Your body needs water above any other liquid refreshment. General recommendations indicate that you drink 2 liters of water each day. Studies seem to indicate that moods change as your hydration drops. Water is the most overlooked nutrient. Many active people use skin sensing hydration monitors to assure that they are adequately hydrated. Drinking water also helps reduce that brain fog that may occur when meals are spaced too far apart – or beyond habituation. Think of water as a filling snack. Just keep it clear. No sweet drinks, sodas, juices, or coffee. Just cool, clear water.

Considering food and mood routinely is noble. There are subtle nuances in wither with differing benefits and consequences. Prescription anti-depressants are probably the best bet if your mood is blue for over a few months. Anti-depressants also have side effects that may continue to affect your moods negatively.

Severe or abrupt diets or intermittent fasting may be more depressing unless you really believe that you can and will transition for long term results. Food, processed or whole, have calories, carbohydrates, fats, cholesterol (and other things that people need to control) may be significant confounding variables. Eating tuna and salmon daily can bring Mercury poisoning. That alone is something to get depressed over.

Barring any unique illnesses or conditions, following USDA dietary guidelines would provide a healthy diet plan that could be satisfying in many ways, including your mood.

Chronic mood disorders may really require competent psychotherapists to prescribe those medications that work best and that you can tolerate.

In light degrees, food and mood may be close cousins. Depending upon dietary and mood severity, food and mood may be strange bed-partners. You are the peace maker. Food and mood are indirectly correlated with a positive slant. Some foods may not boost mood directly. Many work on different scopes of healthy nutrition. In virtually all variants, a good diet might be a good supplement to anti-depression therapy. It’s all relative.

Overactive brain activity

Tired? Moody? Sad? Depressed? Bored? Abstracted? There may be many reasons. One off-ended possibility might be overactive brain activity. An overactive brain may drain your energy. As examined in neuroscience, it may be the source connected with many of your self-perceptions. Are you struck still because you are overactive?

An emerging issue is overactive brain activity and its possible associations with depression and other conditions.

Overactive brain activity is a relatively recent condition. Scans using advanced PET (Positron Emission Topography) and MRI scans reveal how an overactive brain might influence sleeping patterns.

While many children of the vogue rre diagnosed with hyperactive disorders, overactive brain activity is primarily adult. There are subtle nuances.

An overactive brain, as shown in scans, is a brain that is on all the time – memories and associations are constantly initiating networks of neurons throughout the frontal cortex. Imagine the frontal cortex as a processor sequencing many thoughts and feelings. In an overactive brain, these rarely shut or slow down. Some of these thoughts may be at the roots of creative thinking, provided you can store and recall them.

Overactive brain activity can thwart deep analysis as thoughts shift throughout the day as well as night. A symptom of over-activity is overthinking and getting confused or obsessed.

Most people develop some degree of overthinking: heavily weighing every single option before making a move, focusing on minute details of a situation and ignoring the big picture, or choking under pressure when doing something we already believe we’re good at. Overthinking on average might create irrational thoughts and images that can affect daily living activities at many instances.

Some people believe that managing brain over-activity is to flood the mind with more stimulating activities that may curb overthinking. Others believe in medicines that help slow it down. In rare situations, medical doses of marijuana have been used.

Suggested methods toward managing overactive brains have been exercise, meditation, and allowing release of control responsibilities. Easier said than done as over-activity takes over anything you try. Ch alleges of finding the right modes and goals are often compromised.

As overactive brains and overthinking may exhibit symptoms of depression, obsessions, and sleep disorders, normal therapy usually does not get to the roots of the problems. One reason is that few psychotherapists use PET and MRI tests when ascertaining the problem. It is relatively easy to determine brain activity points and ranges using correct testing.

In some circumstances, PET studies cited some evidence that different brain regions are excited when presenting stimuli to men and women using these scans. Measuring degrees are not always the answer as there seem to be gender differences as to which areas might exhibit over-activity or not. Using MRI scans results were unclear of possible differences among gay and straight populations.

Understandably,the psychology world does not rely on PET and MRI testing due to high expense. In addition, because of expenses, scan research studies have relatively small samples and subsequently low reliability over a general population, with difficulty in determining cause and effect.

Among practitioners using scans to determine brain activities is Daniel Amen, an author, speaker and manager of Amen Clinics. He uses SPECT scans exclusively to study brain activity. His objective is to check activity within pre-cortex areas of the brain’s limbic system, with regard to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorders. His clinical studies show a cyclical association of over-activity and depression, along with chronic low self-esteem.

Having an overactive brain isn’t necessarily a disease. It has been hypothesized that creative geniuses were susceptible to possible mood swings and even psychoses. Though the presence of an overactive brain doesn’t necessarily correlate with genius, as few have been scanned during their lifetimes.

Interrupted sleep patterns possibly associated with overactive brain overthinking may result in lethargic moods and lower long-term memory storage. People with overactive brains might seem inattentive but may actually be bored and sleepy as they are already thinking of something else. Disease or symptom?

There really is no exact determination of overactive brain activity prevalence within a popular context. Neuroscience research is trying to carve a niche but few insurance companies provide coverage for preventive, advanced diagnostic procedures. So the therapeutic community targets symptoms, such as depression, hyperactivity, inattentiveness, low energy, and treats them with sometimes effective but marginal long-term medications.

Within a world where high-technology is part of everyone’s life, the overactive brain remains a mystery. Discovering the undiscoverable remains a game of high finance and low priority. The seeds are scattered but germination, growth and efficacy will need testing and retesting to ascertain whether an overactive brain is a problem or a blessing.