7 Ways to Balance Your Brain Chemistry through Your Diet ...

Heather

I always like to say you are what you eat and when it comes to choosing foods to balance your brain chemistry, the saying couldn’t be more correct. Your brain chemistry is what controls your mood, attitude, outlook, and mental focus. Poor brain chemistry can contribute to depression, mental illness, and even concerns such as eating disorders. It all has to do with neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for critical hormone productions, such as serotonin that controls your mood and appetite. If you’ve been feeling a bit out of balance lately, consider making some dietary changes to balance out your brain chemistry. Hopefully you’ll see relief, not to mention enjoy the delicious options you’ll be able to enjoy in the meantime.

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1

Lean Protein

Lean Protein Lean protein is one of the best foods you can eat to balance your brain chemistry. It’s important to choose high-quality lean proteins, not poorly processed sources or animal proteins fed synthetic hormones or antibiotics. Lean protein contains critical amino acids such as tryptophan, among many others that help the body produce more serotonin, the feel good hormone. The best sources include fish, chicken, turkey, tofu, eggs and egg whites, whey protein isolate, low fat cottage cheese, and yogurt.

2

Eat Complex Carbs

Eat Complex Carbs Complex carbs, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, brown rice, wild rice, gluten-free oats, winter squash, pumpkin, quinoa, and amaranth, are all wonderful complex carbs that can improve your mood. It’s best to avoid refined grains and gluten-containing grains though, since gluten has been linked to lowering mood and causing brain fog. Complex carbs digest slowly and in the process they help the body produce serotonin, where it remains in the bloodstream longer than carbs that digest more quickly, such as sugar.

3

Avoid Excess Caffeine

Avoid Excess Caffeine While one or two cups of coffee can actually improve your brain chemistry, overdoing caffeine can cause the opposite to occur. Too much caffeine can also create a dependency and cause adrenal fatigue that may lead to poor mental focus and depression over time.

4

Eat Leafy Greens

Eat Leafy Greens Leafy greens are an incredibly nutrient-dense group of foods that contain magnesium, B vitamins, Vitamin C, and micronutrients, which all help your body fight stress, inflammation, brain fog, and depression. Great options include kale, spinach, romaine, arugula, Swiss chard, and collards.

5

Healthy Fats

Healthy Fats Healthy fats include raw nuts and seeds, unsweetened coconut products, olive oil, fish, and dark chocolate. Healthy fats help the body fight stress and they improve serotonin production in the body. They can also help protect the brain since the majority of your brain is made from fat itself.

6

Avoid Excess Sweets

Avoid Excess Sweets Sweets like sugary chocolate, candies, cookies, and other unhealthy treats can create a dopamine dependency in the body. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy, yet it feeds addiction because it is quickly depleted. It feels more like a “high” than a true sense of calm and contentment that we feel with adequate amounts of serotonin. Sugar, alcohol, and drugs all lead to dopamine dependency.

7

Eat a Balanced Diet

Eat a Balanced Diet It’s also important to eat a balanced diet to balance your brain chemistry. Eat plenty of vegetables, whole fresh fruits, complex carbs, healthy fats, and whatever you do, don’t forget the protein! All those nutrients are critical to maintaining a healthy brain chemistry, as is avoiding sugar, processed foods, and excess caffeine.

Don’t forget that exercise and good quality sleep are also critical for healthy brain chemistry. No dietary change can make up for a sedentary lifestyle or a lack of shut eye. You tell me- what’s your best dietary secret to optimizing your mood and brain chemistry?

Sources: moodcure.com, thewholejourney.com

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