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We Are What We Eat: Understanding The Crucial Connection Between Nutrition, Mood and Personality

What defines your mood and personality? Most of us think it's some combination of nature and nurture – our genetics combined with our upbringing and our current surroundings. But it also has a lot to do with how we eat. It might be strange to think about food changing your mood. But I think most of us can relate to getting a mood-boost after eating a favorite food, or feeling heavy and sluggish if we over-eat something that's not good for us. Just think of that experience writ-large over your whole life. The food you're eating every day is constantly affecting your mood and personality.

Nutritional Neuroscience

We all know that unhealthy eating will affect our physical bodies, but we don't always think about the emotional and psychological impact. Neurotransmitters such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine are what regulate your moods. And those neurotransmitters are profoundly influenced by the type of foods you eat. According to the article “Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnesses” published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, the most common mental illnesses are often linked to poor nutrition. Diets that lack essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids throw-off the proper levels of neurotransmitters in our brains. And that plays a role in the rising rates of mental illnesses like depression as well as every-day irritability, confusion, and exhaustion.

The Role Of Your Gut

Depression is associated with low levels of serotonin. About 90% of your body's serotonin is produced in your gut. In fact, the beneficial bacteria living in your body's microbiome synthesize the majority of neurotransmitters that help regulate and drive moods, thoughts, and behaviors. Eating fermented foods increases the number of beneficial microbes in your body. Cabbage is a great example. We've actually found that the bacteria in sauerkraut produces the neurotransmitter GABA, which regulates anxiety. You'll also want to include fiber in your diet to feed your microbiome. That's why I recommend at least one salad every day. And if you want even more of a fiber boost, add some seeds and nuts. We've also made sure our mBreakfast contains a good amount of fiber to start your day out right.

Make Wise Eating Decisions

There are also several key nutrients and vitamins that support healthy emotional balance. Vitamin D3, zinc, and vitamin B6 are essential for combating depression and anxiety. You can get them in mStrength and mVita-D3 Vitamin D3 Complex. Also, you might not know this, but your brain is one of your organs with the highest levels of fat. It needs omega-3 fats, cholesterol, and saturated fats to keep it healthy. Just make sure you're getting those fats from healthy sources, such as free range eggs and spirulina algae. Another good way to boost your mood is through adaptogenic herbs. Maca boosts DHEA while lowering cortisol. Cordyceps mushroom, ashwaganda, astragalus, and rhodiola all help lower cortisol. And rhodiola also stops the breakdown of serotonin and dopamine. You can get all these adaptogens in our mBreakfast.
Life is full of emotional ups and downs. But if your life is characterized by things like mood swings, anxiety, depression, lack of motivation, and negative reactions to stress then it's time to take a look at your diet. The modern American diet is missing key food groups that can, among other things, improve and stabilize your mood. Crucial Four products help supply those missing nutrients to get you feeling better than ever before.

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