Eating habits are a way of life! Good advice is much needed and beneficial to a healthy and balanced way of being.
Let me introduce u to Nicole.
Nicole Eid would love to share her passion of nutrition and healthy living with you!
She is nutrition expert with master’s degree in clinical nutrition and a certified fitness trainer. “My mission is to inspire you to embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest possible version of yourself” she explains.
By day, a business owner; she manages her own health & wellness center where she gives her clients effective solutions and specialized coaching to improve their lifestyle through weight loss treatments, healthy lifestyle education, body shaping and most of all mental wellness.
And by night, she is a home cook, and a mommy to three adorable kids, Elias, Helena and Alexandre.
Her first advice on One True Blue has been written especially for you. Hence, we do hope you will benefit from her expertise, and looking forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.
For One True Blue
Nutrition and mental health… any relation?
Are you depressed? You have to read this…
Few people are aware of the connection between nutrition and depression. We always assume that depression is more biochemical or emotional.
On the contrary, food we eat can play an important role in the beginning, as well as the severity and duration of the depression. We can easily notice the change in the food patterns that occur during depression and may include: Poor appetite, skipping meals, and a dominant desire for sweet foods. From my wide experience as a Nutritionist, and from the studies that I read, I know now that nutritional factors are linked with human cognition, behavior, and emotions.
The most common mental disorders currently present in many countries are: depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). They are associated with deficiencies in neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, noradrenaline, and γ-aminobutyric acid).
Our dietary intake patterns, and the ones of the general population in many Asian and American countries reflect that they lack many nutrients, especially essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids that we can find in our daily foods. Studies have indicated that daily supplements of important nutrients are effective in reducing depressive symptoms and make us more happy and relaxed.
The amino acids tryptophan, tyrosine, phenylalanine, and methionine are helpful in treating many mood disorders including depression. Tryptophan, is usually converted to serotonin (the happy hormone) that can help us sleep and be tranquil.
Are you depressed? Some studies have revealed the link between nutritional deficiencies and some mental disorders and the most common nutritional deficiencies were of omega–3 fatty acids, B vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that form what we call neurotransmitters … always remember to feed your happy hormones. Here’s where you can find them, I advise you to include them in your daily lifestyle.
Carbohydrates affect mood and behavior. Consumption of diets low in carbohydrate tends to precipitate depression, since the production of brain chemicals serotonin and tryptophan that promote the feeling of well-being, is triggered by carbohydrate rich foods.
Many of the neurotransmitters in the brain are made from proteins (amino acids). The neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin are made from the amino acids tyrosine and tryptophan respectively. A low synthesis of those neurotransmitters is associated with low mood and aggression in the patients.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
Omega-3 fatty acids
The brain is one of the organs with the highest level of fats. Gray matter contains 50% fatty acids that are polyunsaturated and supplied through diet. Lowering plasma cholesterol by diet and medications increases depression. sufficient omega-3 poly unsaturated fatty acids may decrease the development of depression.
Mood improvement is particularly associated with improved vitamin B2 and B6 status. In women, baseline vitamin B1 status was `linked with poor mood and an improvement in the same after 3 months was associated with improved mood.
Clinical trials have indicated that Vitamin B12 delays the onset of signs of dementia. Adolescents who have a borderline level of vitamin B12 deficiency develop signs of cognitive changes.Vitamin B12 is mainly present in meat, fish, eggs, milk and cheese.
It has been observed that patients with depression have blood folate levels. A study has shown that 500 mcg of folic acid enhanced the effectiveness of antidepressant medication. It is not clear yet whether poor nutrition, as a symptom of depression, causes folate deficiency or primary folate deficiency produces depression and its symptoms. Folate is mainly present in green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, lentils and fuits.
Iodine plays an important role in mental health. The iodine provided by the thyroid hormone ensures the energy metabolism of the cerebral cells. Main food sources: Seaweeds, fish, iodized salt, eggs.
Iron is necessary for oxygenation and to produce energy in the brain and for the synthesis of neurotransmitters and myelin. Research findings pointed out that twice as many women as men are clinically depressed. This gender difference starts in adolescence and becomes more pronounced among married women aged 25-45, with children. Iron deficiency anemia is associated with apathy, depression, and rapid fatigue when exercising. Main food sources: Red meat, chicken, fish and eggs, as well as beans and wheat germs.
The role of lithium has been well known in psychiatry. The therapeutic use of lithium is mainly in depression, scizoaffective disorder, aggression, impulse control disorder, eating disorders, and in certain subsets of alcoholism. Main food sources: crustaceans, mollusks, fish, legumes (beans, peas, lentils…)
Studies have shown that zinc levels are lower in those with clinical depression. Furthermore, intervention research shows that oral zinc can influence the effectiveness of antidepressant therapy. Main food sources: oysters, red meat, nuts, whole grains and beans.
Current research in psychoneuroimmunology and brain biochemistry indicates the possibility of communication pathways that can provide a clearer understanding of the association between nutritional intake, central nervous system, and immune function thereby influencing an individual’s psychological health status. These findings may lead to greater acceptance of the therapeutic value of dietary intervention among health practitioners and health care providers addressing depression and other psychological disorders.