Who says we have to suffer...to live a healthy happy vibrant life?

Red wine and dark chocolate... might seem decadent...but these guilty pleasures also might help us live longer...and healthier lives. Red wine and dark chocolate definitely improve an evening..but they also contain resveratrol..which lowers blood sugar. Red wine is a great source of catechins..which boost protective HDL cholesterol. Green tea? Protects your brain..helps you live longer..and soothes your spirit.

Food for Thought, the blog, is about living the good life...a life we create with our thoughts and our choices...and having fun the whole while!

I say lets make the thoughts good ones..and let the choices be healthy...exciting...and delicious! Bon Appetit!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lose the Blues, Naturally

Feeling blue yet wary of anti-depressants due to the many adverse effects? Here are some suggestions for natural mood support.

Begin with Omega 3s, (three grams a day of EPA and DHA from pure, high-quality marine sources). Be sure you are taking Omega 3s that have been tested for contaminants, the statement that they are tested for lead, mercury, PCB’s and other toxins should be right on the label.

How Omega 3s Combat Depression:   
Better levels of serotonin and phosphatidylserine. 
Increased cerebral blood flow
Reduced alcoholic brain injury 

Also take phosphatidylserine (100 mg/day). The all-natural supplement phosphatidylserine or PS, (available in natural food stores everywhere), enables the creation of billions of brand new brain cells. PS optimizes brain function, powers up your memory, and reverses the effect of stress on the brain. PS supports your brain cells ability to make more serotonin, the feel good mood lifting neurotransmitter.

Another great mood support nutrient is glutamine (one teaspoon of powder in four ounces of water per day). Glutamine is one of the few substances that passes freely across the blood brain barrier. Once in the brain, your body converts it to glutamic acid and it increases the concentration of GABA, (gamma amino butyric acid). Both glutamic acid and GABA are essential for proper mental function.
Both help to greatly relieve anxiety and brighten the mood. 

Ever reach for a cocktail to combat stress or depression? Would you like to cut back? Glutamine to the rescue here too...Because of its action in the brain, glutamine supplements have been recommended for preventing the harmful effect of alcohol on the brain and it’s widely used for reducing alcohol cravings. This makes it an ideal supplement for those who are in recovery.

Some sources describe glutamine as a “brain fuel” capable of stimulating mental alertness and clear thinking. I have seen some individuals who were working to overcome panic attacks and anxiety attacks find that supplementing with glutamine helps.

For mood balancing, take a teaspoon of glutamine powder in water when you’re feeling anxious or at times when you may be feeling a craving for alcohol.

I know people who have had success reducing symptoms of depression using one of my favorite herbs St. John’s Wort. The right dose is 300 mg, three times per day. This herb is not to be used if you’re still taking Prozac or
Zoloft. But once you’re no longer on an SSRI, you can wait two weeks and then take advantage of the herbs power to boost serotonin and lift your mood.

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