Stephen Holt, MD (Excerpt)
Most people are aware that good nutrition is necessary for physical health, but its impact on mood is less often considered. Learn more about how you can support healthy mood naturally, with dietary and lifestyle changes.
There’s no doubt that adverse lifestyle habits affect mood. Sleeplessness causes a depressed mood in many people. And it’s known that those who smoke or drink excessively are prone to episodes of depression. Therefore, before discussing natural approaches to mood elevation, I’d like to emphasize the importance of exercise, good diet, restoration of body biorhythms (especially sleep) and other lifestyle factors to support healthy and stable moods.
Life is full of stressful life events that are best managed by planned resolutions and relaxation techniques. Many forms of traditional medicine that teach methods of relaxation are valuable, including yoga, tai chi, martial arts, hypnosis, body work and meditation. Healthy sexual function and aerobic exercise can also elevate mood to a substantial degree.
Nutritional and Lifestyle Support for Healthy Mood
Those suffering from poor mood should consider factors that may be contributing to their issues. Some influences include poor diet, medications, hormonal changes, allergic reactions and recovery from illnesses, such as flu. It’s well-recognized that common infectious diseases may cause (temporary) negative mood changes which usually only last a few weeks. Other lifestyle factors to consider include smoking habits, levels of alcohol and caffeine intake and exercise.
The role of environmental toxins in mood change is an active area of research. There is believed to be a link between some household chemicals, food additives, agricultural chemicals and heavy metals and mood changes or disorders of the central nervous system.
To address poor mood, negative lifestyle habits must be eliminated and replaced with optimal nutrition. Taking a multi-vitamin and a multi-mineral supplement on a regular basis is often advised for those with poor mood. Healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, berries and greens are also quite valuable.
There are many different nutrients, herbs and botanicals that might be proposed for the nutritional support of normal body function of mood regulation. An overlooked way of nutritionally supporting mood is to incorporate nutrients that have beneficial effects on brain structure or function into the diet. Such nutrients include: lecithin for its phospholipid content, inositol, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin C and selenium.
The popular herb St. John’s wort has a long history of use for its mood elevating benefits, and L-theanine, found in green tea, is known to have calming properties. An herb that has been underestimated in terms of its ability to support brain health is Mucuna pruriens (velvet bean). These nutrients and botanicals form the basis of the formulations for natural, nutritional support of healthy mood.
It’s important to note that those taking medications for mood disorders (e.g. antidepressants) are strongly advised not to mix dietary supplements with medication without adequate medical advice or supervision.
Health-e-Solutions comment: The diabetic-alkaline lifestyle can affect your mood by making you feel healthier. When you feel healthier, your mood is elevated. Poor dietary choices can temporarily elevate moods, but the diabetic-alkaline lifestyle produces sustained, more natural mood support. This is a nice side benefit to better management of your diabetes.