Want To Be In A Good Mood? Eat These Foods

A number of lifestyle factors can contribute to depression, but one that’s often overlooked is what you put in your mouth. “Diet plays a huge role in depression,” says with Christopher Calapai, D.O., a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine.

Do you crave sweet, salty, and fatty foods when you’re feeling blue? You’re not alone. But, says Dr. Calapai “If we eat better foods like lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fish, we short-circuit the junk food cravings and have higher energy levels and sharper mental focus.

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Vitamin D (sun exposure; fortified breakfast cereals, breads, juices, milk):

Vitamin D is required for brain development and function. Deficiency in this “sunshine vitamin” is sometimes associated with depression and other mood disorders.

“Smart” Carbs Can Have a Calming Effect

Carbohydrates are linked to the mood-boosting brain chemical, serotonin. Experts aren’t sure, but carb cravings sometimes may be related to low serotonin activity. Choose your carbs wisely. Limit sugary foods and opt for smart or “complex” carbs (such as whole grains) rather than simple carbs (such as cakes and cookies). Fruits, vegetables, and legumes also have healthy carbs and fiber.

Tryptophan (protein sources including turkey, beef, eggs, some dairy products, dark, leafy greens):

An amino acid, tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin. It’s not well understood, but low tryptophan seems to trigger depressive symptoms in some people who have taken antidepressants.

Increase your Intake of B Vitamins

People with either low blood levels of the B-vitamin folic acid, or high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine (a sign that you are not getting enough B6, B12 or folic acid), are both more likely to be depressed and less likely to get a positive result from anti-depressant drugs. In a study comparing the effects of giving an SSRI with either a placebo or with folic acid, 61% of patients improved on the placebo combination but 93% improved with the addition of folic acid.

Boost your Serotonin with Amino Acids

Serotonin is made in the body and brain from an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan is then converted into another amino acid called 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan (5-HTP), which in turn is converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin. Tryptophan can be found in the diet; it’s in many protein rich foods such as meat, fish, beans and eggs. 5-HTP is found in high levels in the African Griffonia bean, but this bean is not a common feature of most people’s diet. Just not getting enough tryptophan is likely to make you depressed; people fed food deficient in tryptophan became rapidly depressed within hours.

Up your Intake of Chromium

This mineral is vital for keeping your blood sugar level stable because insulin, which clears glucose from the blood, can’t work properly without it. In fact it turns out that just supplying proper levels of chromium to people with atypical depression can make a big difference.

Select Selenium-Rich Foods

Studies have reported a link between low selenium and poor moods. The recommended amount for selenium is 55 micrograms a day for adults. Evidence isn’t clear that taking supplements can help. And it’s possible to get too much selenium. So it’s probably best to focus on foods:

• Beans and legumes
• Lean meat (lean pork and beef, skinless chicken and turkey)
• Low-fat dairy products
• Nuts and seeds (particularly brazil nuts – but no more than one or two a day because of their high selenium content)
• Seafood (oysters, clams, sardines, crab, saltwater fish, and freshwater fish)
• Whole grains (whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.)

Caffeine and Sugary Foods

Caffeine may be difficult for many people to completely eliminate from their diet. However, it is good to only have caffeinated drinks in moderation, particularly when you are experiencing depression-like symptoms. Caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns and make you feel anxious, both of which won’t help your depression. People who drink more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, the equivalent of four cups of brewed coffee, should consider cutting back.

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Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed as the “The Stem Cell Guru” by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson’s.

Dr. Calapai started his practice in New York City in 1986 and for over 25 years he has hosted nationally syndicated radio shows, including his two weekly call-in shows on WABC 770-AM, where he offers health and medical advice. He has a show on Saturday morning 8-9am and Sunday evening from 6-7pm. He has consulted with numerous high-profile individuals including Mike Tyson, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Fox series Gotham’s, Donal Logue and worked as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers hockey team as well as various modeling agencies.

Dr. Calapai received his medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and he consults in Manhattan with practices on Long Island, in East Meadow and Plainview. He has appeared on News12 and in the pages of 25A Magazine and Social Life Magazine.

He is the author of E-books Heavy Metals and Chronic Disease, Reverse Diabetes Forever! Seven Steps to Healthy Blood Sugar, Top Ten Supplements You Can’t Live Without, and Glorious Glutathione. Learn more about Dr. Calapai on his website: www.drcal.net

Top 10 Body-Boosting Benefits of Wheatgrass

Many people nowadays are shifting to healthy living and healthy eating. They are trying to exercise more. They’re learning about the type of food they put in their mouths and try to look for healthier alternatives. People are slowly drifting away from eating fast food and processed food and are looking toward what’s organic and natural. They are turning to superfoods to address their nutritional needs. And one of the most popular and beneficial superfoods around is wheatgrass.

It’s actually the young grass of a common wheat plant. It comes in either liquid form (as a juice) or in solid form (as a powder concentrate). The most popular form in the market is the powder form.

Wheatgrass has been around for a while. It was highly promoted by Ann Wigmore in the 1970s. Wigmore was a raw food advocate and was always very vocal about the health benefits of raw food, specifically wheatgrass.

Just like most plants, wheatgrass is packed with plenty of nutrients the body needs. It is a potent source of over a hundred nutrients, making it one of the go-to ingredients for supplementary drinks. Wheatgrass contains amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants, and essential minerals. It has vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, I, and K. In addition, it has a high level of chlorophyll, which is an essential blood builder.

They might not look like much, but trust me, for such a tiny plant, wheatgrass definitely has a lot of benefits. Here are a few of them.

Boosts Immunity

Wheatgrass has the ability to improve the production of red blood cells (RBCs). These RBCs are both mechanical and biochemical barriers against bacteria, blood parasites, and infections. This means RBCs play a huge part in the body’s defense mechanism.

Wheatgrass also restores the electrical charge between the capillaries and the cell walls. This leads to a boost in the immune system. In addition, it also improves your body’s ability to prevent, fight, and recover from disease.

Saying goodbye to those pesky cough and colds has never been this easy. And as a bonus, a shot of wheatgrass juice has also been known to get rid of that nasty hangover.

Keeps Skin Healthy

Drinking wheatgrass is a great way to detoxify the body, so the skin is not as prone to breakouts. The antioxidants offset free radicals, and this prevents premature skin aging and cellular damage.

It can be used topically as well. When applied directly to the skin, wheatgrass juice calms down histamine that causes itching and soothes inflammation associated with rashes and sunburn. It can also treat skin diseases, such as psoriasis and eczema.

Many testimonials of home treatments say that wheatgrass does help remedy these skin issues.

Helps in Losing Weight

Many people will love wheatgrass even more because of this benefit. This superfood is particularly rich in selenium, which is important in the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland. Selenium improves irregular thyroid function. Take note that the thyroid is one of the body’s natural weight-loss tools.

Its chlorophyll content is also a big help as it increases your overall energy, which helps you work out longer and harder. This leads to you burning more calories. Also, the intake of wheatgrass juice can help reduce food cravings. One serving of this drink can keep you full for a while, making sure you won’t go looking for snacks in between meals.

Wheatgrass itself is low in calories and contains no sugar, cholesterol, or fat.

Improves Fertility

If you think that you’re ready for a baby and want to make sure your baby-making attempts won’t go to waste, try adding a shot of wheatgrass juice to your daily diet. It’s alkaline and can balance your body’s pH levels. This leads to better receptivity for eggs and sperm. Also, this provides better conditions for implantation as well.  

In addition, wheatgrass has the compound P4D1. This impacts sperm cells as well as DNA. This increases fertility. Its high antioxidant content can also protect sperm from free radical damage due to environmental factors.

Fortifies Digestive System

Wheatgrass has elements that promote healthy digestion. These include a high amount of fiber and B complex vitamins. These boost the function of the muscles in the digestive system.

Wheatgrass juice gets rid of digestive issues, such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis. The high amount of helpful enzymes it contains aids the body in properly breaking down food and absorbing nutrients.

Chlorophyll plays a part as well as it supports good liver function and helps in cleansing your bowels. Clean bowels means they work better, and the effect is less gas, bloating, and discomfort after eating.

Fights Anemia

The chlorophyll that is found in wheatgrass is similar to hemoglobin. This improves the overall oxygenation in the body. Next, red blood cell production in the body also improves. The increase of RBC count treats anemia. Anemia caused by a decrease in the supply of oxygen to vital organs and body tissues.

Battles Cancer

The amino acids, vitamins, and minerals found in wheatgrass get rid of the free radicals that cause tissue damage and increase the risk of cancer.

In addition, the high alkaline content of wheatgrass maintains the delicate pH balance the body needs. Maintaining optimal pH balance is essential in protecting the body against cancer. The high chlorophyll content in wheatgrass is a positive addition in maintaining normal cells and in preventing the growth of cancer cells.

This superfood also induces apoptosis, which is the self-destruction of cancerous cells. It also regulates immunological activity and fights against oxidative stress, which contributes to cell mutations.

And lastly, chlorophyll plays a part in cancer prevention. It has been known to increase hemoglobin production. This means the body is able to produce more oxygen. Cancer cells thrive in low-oxygen environments, so the more oxygen there is, the more defense available against cancer cells.

Purifies the Liver

The liver is one of the most important organs in your body. If your liver becomes overworked or gets a disease because of fatty buildup or some kind of damage, then a daily shot of wheatgrass is the way to go. This superfood reduces the buildup of lipid fats in the liver. This then greatly improves liver function.

Promotes Brain Health

This superfood possesses essential nutrients for a healthy brain. For example, its vitamin K content supports brain cell growth and also makes sure that cells are working normally. Vitamin C and folate assist in producing neurotransmitters. The job of these neurotransmitters is to contribute to the brain’s level of alertness, concentration, memory, and motivation.

Pumps Up Circulation

For those who want to get the most out of their workouts, wheatgrass juice will help you achieve your fitness goals. This drink has the ability to increase the amount of oxygen found in the blood. This then stimulates circulation in your system. This way, you get a higher amount of overall energy, making sure you exercise longer and give more to your workouts. In other words, wheatgrass can help you unleash your inner gym beast.

Kate B. Forsyth is a writer for Be Healthy Today, who specializes in health and nutrition. Her passion is to help people get an overall transformation of health that lasts a lifetime. In her blog posts, she goes beyond research by providing health-concerned citizens doable and simple tricks to achieve a healthier lifestyle.