Know Your Hormones
Seratonin: The Mood Hormone
Just like our physical health, mental health is paramount to leading a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. The quality of our mental health and mood can depend on many factors: balanced hormones, adequate sleep, proper diet and exercise, doing what we love with people we love, and taking care of ourselves in the best way we can.
Our gut is home to our microbiome – gut bacteria that’s there to protect our physical and mental health. According to the latest research our gut health is connected to our mental health(1), and there’s substantial evidence about the gut-brain axis(2). Studies found that including probiotics in your diet helps patients with the cases of depression and anxiety(3).
Avoiding insulin spikes that come from sugar-filled fixes and refined carbohydrates can help regulate your mood.
Diets that support the growth of the good bacteria were found to improve emotional, physical, digestive and cognitive well-being(4). How we feel emotionally is impacted by the web of neurotransmitters and hormones manufactured from the food and the bacteria in our intestines(5). Consuming sugary foods puts a strain on the liver(6), which copes with blood-sugar fluctuations. Avoiding insulin spikes that come from sugar-filled fixes and refined carbohydrates can help regulate your mood. Sleep plays a critical role as well. Chronic lack of sleep sends your cortisol levels through the roof(7), which puts stress on your adrenals leading to lowered serotonin(8) – the happy hormone.
Listen to Your Hormones
Our mood is regulated by a hormone called serotonin, 95% of which is produced in the gut. Foods that are rich in flavonoids, probiotics, and tryptophan will boost serotonin production, helping elevate our mood and the feeling of well-being.
Cacao is rich in flavonoid content and promotes increase in serotonin levels in the body. That’s why when we eat chocolate, it creates a feel-good response in our brain and body. Ditch the store-bought chocolate and go for cacao.
Probiotics have been shown in some cases to alleviate the symptoms of depression(9), and have been linked to lower social anxiety(10). Sunfood Super Probiotics contains 50 Billion cultures of eight different strains of probiotics for maximum support of healthy gut bacteria.
Cashews are high in tryptophan, which helps increase levels of serotonin. Nuts have fiber, which acts as prebiotic that feeds your gut’s good bacteria. In addition, cashews are a source of good fats.
Healthy PracticesExercise is another great way to help with serotonin and dopamine levels. A release of endorphins occurs when exercising, and that helps elevate your mood. Regular exercise may help relieve stress and boost your confidence.
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(1) Sarris J, et al. “Nutritional Medicine as Mainstream in Psychiatry.” TheLancet.com, Lancet Psychiatry, 25 Jan 2015, https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS22150366(14)000510/fulltext. (2) Carabotti, Marilia, et al. “The Gut-Brain Axis: Interactions between Enteric Microbiota, Central and Enteric Nervous Systems.” PubMed.gov, 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4367209/. (3) Akkasheh, Ghodarz. “Clinical and Metabolic Response to Probiotic Administration in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” NeuroImage, Academic Press, 28 Sept. 2015, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0899900715003913. (4) Lawrence, K, and J Hyde. “Microbiome restoration diet improves digestion, cognition and physical and emotional wellbeing.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 June 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28614379. (5) Smith, Peter Andrey. “Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 June 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/magazine/can-the-bacteria-in-your-gut-explain-your-mood.html. (6) “The Liver & Blood Sugar.” Diabetes Teaching Center at the University of California, San Francisco, dtc.ucsf.edu/types-of-diabetes/type1/understanding-type-1-diabetes/how-the-body-processes-sugar/the-liver-blood-sugar/. (7) Leproult, R, et al. “Sleep Loss Results in an Elevation of Cortisol Levels the next Evening.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 1997, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9415946. (8) Curzon, G. Curzon. “Effects of Adrenal Hormones and Stress on Brain Serotonin.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 July 1971, academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/24/7/830/4818842. (9) Dinan, T G, et al. “Psychobiotics: a Novel Class of Psychotropic.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Nov. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23759244. (10) Hilimire, Matthew R, et al. “Fermented Foods, Neuroticism, and Social Anxiety: An Interaction Model.” NeuroImage, Academic Press, 28 Apr. 2015, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165178115002140.
Sunfood's "Natural Solutions" does not promote or suggest natural cures, natural healing or natural remedies for any disease, disorder or ailment thereof. This information should be treated as educational material gathered and discovered from various studies, clinical trials and customer reviews. It is designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, and independent conclusions in regards to natural products and alternative health choices. It is best to consult with your healthcare practitioner before attempting any form of natural cure, natural healing or natural remedy to any health issues.