Animals don’t lie. Animals don’t criticize. If animals have moody days, they handle them better than humans do. ~Betty White
Good nutrition is the foundation on which health is built. And simple, whole foods are key to the strength of that foundation. More scientific evidence emerges regularly about what traditional natural doctors have seen born out in practice; SAD (Standard American Diet) nutrition creates inflammation, damages the endocrine system, and leads to chronic disease and depression.
Here’s a short and long-version explanation about how food becomes what you think and feel:
The Short Version:
SAD diets, full of processed sugars and chemicals, causes something like an allergic reaction in the body. That reaction creates inflammation throughout your body, including your endocrine system. Your endocrine system controls hormones, hormones control mood and a lot of other body functions. So, SAD diets = BAD moods. CLEAN diets = GLAD moods.
Here’s the still simplified longer version for a more in-depth explanation:
Standard American Diet
Processed, chemicalized sugars, and other chemical additives are present in the vast majority of foods that are boxed, canned, jarred, or otherwise packaged in the United States. These “foods” are a staple in the Standard American Diet, but are NOT recognized as food by the body. Though one can process a small, occasional amount of toxic food, daily or regular SAD eating causes an immune response. Your body says, “hey that’s poison, I’ve gotta get rid of that”.
Inflammation results throughout the body from eating processed foods, and builds over time. It’s similar to what happens when your body response to a cut; the affected area gets red and swollen with cells hard at work to heal the damage. Your body was built to handle inflammation every once in a while, but not on a regular basis. So SAD nutrition is exactly the opposite of what your body needs to maintain strength and health.
It’s the Cytokines Fault
If your body is responding to decrease inflammation, why would you get sick over time? The answer lies with the action of tiny molecules called CYTOKINES. Some cytokines produce positive results, others negative, but they are messengers that stimulate Endocrine system function and hormones; things that impact whole body function. When your body is chronically inflamed over a long period-of-time, those pesky cytokines are busy OVERstimulating hormones through your Endocrine system.
What does all this have to do with my Brain?
Hormones that impact the brain are called neurotransmitters. When neurotransmitters are overstimulated by chronic body inflammation, moods are pushed out of balance. Moods can be pushed high or low depending on which hormone gets stimulated. But to give you an idea about the power of these neurotransmitters, they’re the chemicals in your brain that pharmaceutical companies spend big bucks to mimic synthetically or to keep circulating in your brain. Serotonin and norepinephrine in particular are central to Prozac, Effexor, and the like. What if you could regulate your moods JUST by eating better foods instead of taking these side-effect inducing drugs? In many cases, you can do just that!
The Last Word on Mood
Mood can be seen partly as a symptom of inflammation caused by what you eat. But where moods go is also influenced by the body sensitivities you inherited from your parents, and the behavioral patterns you’ve learned or developed as-a-result of everything you’ve experienced (positive, neutral or negative). If you have had trauma for example, your resilience may be lowered until you build new, more resilient tools and pathways. Start with eating clean. Then, take your mood temperature again. You’ll have a clearer understanding of what you really need once you start with a stronger foundation.
Managing Your Moods
Managing mood and underlying patterns can be difficult. I encourage self-observation as a means of personal growth. I try to do this regularly. But I know I do better when I have good friends and coaches who will reflect back what I need to focus on, and hold me accountable without judgment; a real skill. That’s part of what I do for my clients, along with nutritional counseling and stress management support. Best to walk through even small adjustments in mood, anxiety and depression with help. If you have an emergency, seek help now. If you wish to explore nutrition and practical means of positive mindset support, contact me as part of your mental health team.
Jean Morrison is a BodyMind Health Practitioner with over 25 years of coaching experience. She’s worked with a wide variety of people with significant stress, behavior and nutrition concerns, including: sexual assault and domestic violence survivors with PTSD, children and adults with Autism, and chronic disease. Jean is passionate about helping people find peace and personal freedom through personalized clean nutrition and stress reduction. Contact Jean for professional consultation, public speaking, or free new client discovery consultation at 661-309-2587 or email@example.com.