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Whole Foods that help your mood,

Recently one of my clients asked me about what sort of foods he could incorporate into his diet that would help not only his mood but also sustain him and ultimately help him recover from addictions.

My reply is more or less what I have written here, which I believe is worth sharing with my subscribers.

While any ‘whole food’ is good for your brain, thus assisting with addiction and helping one to cope, certain whole foods are especially good for early recovery because their nutrients can boost brain health and mood, alleviate some of the mental and physical symptoms of withdrawal, and speed the healing process.

Some examples of whole foods that are often incorporated into a complementary mental health eating plan include foods that are rich in Tyrosine, L-glutamine, Antioxidants, GABA-rich,  and they must also support the digestive system!

  • Whole foods contain the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine is the precursor to the “feel good” neurotransmitter dopamine, which typically occurs at abnormally low levels in early recovery and is associated with low energy and motivation, apathy, a depressed mood, and intense substance cravings. One way to naturally boost dopamine levels is to eat tyrosine-rich foods that will convert to dopamine during the digestion process. Examples of high-tyrosine foods include bananas, sunflower seeds, soybeans, lean beef, lamb, pork, whole grains, and cheese.  I mention cheese here because you may remember a satisfying feeling after a toasted cheese sandwich.  However, the dominance of cheese in the diet is certainly not recommended!
  • Whole foods that are rich in L-glutamine. L-glutamine is an amino acid that offers immune and antioxidant benefits, among others. L-glutamine can help reduce sugar cravings, which can be common during early recovery. Research has linked sugar consumption to higher rates of anxiety, depression, and inflammation, which can potentially hamper progress in a plan of addiction treatmentDark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and parsley are great for boosting L-glutamine levels. Some other natural sources for this amino acid include beets, carrots, beans, Brussels sprouts, celery, papaya, and protein-rich foods like beef, chicken, fish, dairy products, and eggs.
  • Whole foods that are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants help to rebuild your immune system in the aftermath of addiction-related damage and speed the body’s cleansing process during detox and withdrawal. Foods that are high in antioxidants include berries like blueberries and strawberries as well as leeks, onions, artichokes, and pecans.
  • Whole foods boost your levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes calm and relaxation. During early recovery, anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia are very common symptoms that can often accompany withdrawal. Kefir (a fermented yogurt-like drink), shrimp and cherry tomatoes are some of the foods that can help alleviate and offset these symptoms by boosting GABA levels.
  • Whole foods that contain tryptophan, which can lift your levels of the “happy” neurotransmitter serotonin. Tryptophan is another essential amino acid in the body that is the precursor to serotonin – a neurotransmitter that at optimal levels promotes a positive, happy mood. It is found in a number of foods, including cheese, turkey, lamb, pork, tuna fish, oat bran and beans, and lentils.

Here’s what a typical daily menu could look like for you to improve your mood with food! 

Breakfast – Banana, Sunflower seed smoothie, add some frozen blueberries for extra antioxidants.  Or Paw Paw pieces with passionfruit and shaved coconut.

Snacks – raw sunflower seeds, apples, carrot and beetroot juice, carrot and celery sticks in a bean dip – See In The Raw book for recipes.  Almonds, Hazelnuts etc.

Lunch – leafy green salad with kale, cherry tomatoes, spinach leaves, finely chopped parsley, grated carrot, grated beetroot, avocado slices.  Serve with Avocado dressing.

Dinner Pumpkin soup with parsley, whole grain crackers, or sun-dried crackers – see In The Raw Book. 

Extra Beverages – Herbal teas, Fennel and Lime tonic, Pure water – regularly, Fresh juices – most kind, dominating ingredients being vegetables.

Hints for keeping the mood balanced – 

Accept that some days you are the Pigeon and other days you are the Statue!  Practice kindness and patience with others, it will always serve you well.

Diffuse essential oils like Elevation, Lavender Peace, Citrus Bliss, and Balance.  $ 220.00 (approx $170.00 wholesale).

To purchase these 4 blends at wholesale price, contact Annie – and receive a complimentary summary on each.

Apply Balance essential oil blend hourly during times of high stress.

Apply Frankincense in the morning and anchor the aroma with a feeling of accomplishment, or achievement – search your memory banks for a time when you felt in control and on task and smell FrankincenseAnchor this aroma to success.  Continue to use during challenging times.

  Banana Pineapple Crush

2-3 frozen bananas (peeled, and chopped) - 1 small pineapple, peel and chopped up into smaller pieces. 1/4 cup Sunflower seeds, 2 cups of purified water.  Fresh mint to garnish.

Add the frozen fruit and seeds to a blender, add water, and blend.   Creates approximately 3 serves.


For more information reach out to Annie Clark 0402 166 187.