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The Mind Meal and Moods

April 21st, 2008 · No Comments

Users of mental health services are increasingly looking for treatment and life-style choices to replace or combine with the more traditional medication approach.

There are many accounts of how people are managing their own recovery partly by using some of the concepts behind the food and mood approach.

The “Mind Meal” aims to draw attention to the important relationship between food and mood and serves as an example of what can be done with some of the good mood foods that are generally recommended as beneficial for emotional and mental health.

The ingredients of the Mind Meal include foods with valuable vitamins, minerals and essential fats important for emotional and mental health. Also, what the Mind Meal doesn’t include is just as important as what it does contain.

A good “Mind Meal” includes:

* Good mood protein
Oil rich fish (salmon, sardines), nuts (walnuts) and seeds. Also includes avocados.

* Good mood carbohydrates
Eating meals with a low GI (Glycemic Index), which release their energy slowly and keep you feeling good for longer, also helps to avoid the roller coaster ride of energy and moods associated with large fluctuations in blood glucose levels. Green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and green beans are great. Also legumes and some non-wheat pasta is good.

* Good mood fats
Polyunsaturated ‘omega 3’ fats are particularly important and these are particularly high in the oily rich fish and also present in pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

* Good mood vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals are essential for emotional and mental health. For example the conversion of tryptophan into the good mood brain chemical serotonin is helped by various ‘co-factor’ nutrients.

The “Mind Meal” DOES NOT contain:

* Artificial additives which can cause a range of food sensitivity reactions in certain people

* Added sugar that can give a sudden blood sugar rise followed by a dip in mood and energy an hour or so later. Sugar sensitivity can produce symptoms of confusion, poor concentration, anxiety, irritability, aggression, fatigue and depression. Many people have a sugar addiction.

* Stimulants such as chocolate or caffeine which can be associated with feelings of anxiety or panic attacks in vulnerable people

* Wheat or dairy foods, as these are the two most common culprit foods associated with food sensitivities and have been associated with depression and fatigue, for example.

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Tags: Sugar Addiction

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