Balancing Nutrition for Your Mental Health

Balance is key in Naturopathy, and by now we are no strangers to this idea. We are told to have a work life balance, live holistically, everything in moderation.

So what about the idea of balancing your neurotransmitters? Do you know how to balance your nutrition for your mental health?

NEUROTRANSMITTERS IN A NUTSHELL

What are neurotransmitters?

Lets keep this basic – neurotransmitters are brain chemicals used to communicate with the rest of the body. They pretty much control everything we feel and do. They make you feel happy, sad, tired, hungry, make you feel pain, remind you to breathe and tell the heart to beat.Why do they need to be balanced?When your neurotransmitters are balanced you will feel on top of your game, ready to face the world. When they begin to become unbalanced you will feel out of whack. You may feel fatigued, anxious, depressed, have a low libido and crave naughty foods.

How do we balance them?

Eat your cofactors.

Cofactors are nutrients used to activate, turn on or help initiate certain processes in the body. Every bodily process requires nutrient cofactors for optimal neurotransmitter synthesis. Common cofactors include zinc, B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, copper – the list goes on. Eating a diet that’s high in whole foods will give your body what it needs for the development of serotonindopamine and GABA.

What should I be eating?

FOODS HIGH IN ZINC INCLUDE:
• PUMPKINS SEEDS
• SUNFLOWER SEEDS
• CAPSICUM
• OYSTERS
• GINGER
• EGG YOLKS
• WHOLE GRAINS

FOODS HIGH IN B VITAMINS
• LEGUMES
• WHOLE GRAINS
• ASPARAGUS
• ALMONDS
• AVOCADOS
• SUNFLOWER SEEDS
• EGGS
• SWEET POTATO
• BANANAS

FOODS HIGH IN VITAMIN C INCLUDE:
• CITRUS FRUITS
• SWEET POTATOES
• BROCCOLI
• BRUSSEL SPROUTS
• PARSLEY
• PINEAPPLE

FOODS HIGH IN MAGNESIUM:
• ALMONDS
• CASHEWS
• DARK CHOCOLATE
• DARK LEAFY GREENS
• EGGS
• LEGUMES
• FIGS

The general gist here is eat in abundance. In the clinic we try to aim for 40 different plant based foods a week.

Give it a go this week and see how you do!

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety or any mental illness please reach out for help.

There is so much available to you. Call the Black DogLifelineBeyond BlueTwenty10 or speak with your GP about how they can help you.

You can also make an appointment with the nutritionist and herbalists at New Leaf to get some practical advice.

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