Page 130

What is essential in our daily diet? Natasha and Kate believe that to take advantage of the power food has to experience your best health, and make the most of the ability food has to positively affect our moods, it is vital to ensure you are getting adequate amounts of amino and essential fatty acids.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks for healthy neurotransmitters. These are the messengers that communicate information throughout our brain and body. They affect our mood, emotions, sleep, appetite, concentration and our ability to cope with stress, greatly impacting our overall sense of well-being. Depleted levels of healthy neurotransmitters contribute to mood disorders, anxiety, depression, apathy, addiction, eating disorders, sleep difficulties and the inability to cope with stress. Your body needs specific nutrients through your diet to manufacture healthy levels of neurotransmitters, and healthy sources of protein are the best source of amino acids. The major neurotransmitters that play a role in our mood and sense of well-being include GABA, serotonin and dopamine.

GABA:

This is our calming neurotransmitter. GABA helps us to feel relaxed and normalizes sleep rhythms. When GABA levels are depleted, individuals are more prone to anxiety, worry and an inability to handle stress and sleep difficulties.

Serotonin:

This is our happy neurotransmitter, helping to elevate our mood. When serotonin levels are depleted, individuals experience a lack of joy that contributes to feelings of depression. The amino acid that is the precursor to serotonin is tryptophan.

Dopamine:

This is our pleasure producing neurotransmitter. Tyrosine is the amino acid precursor to dopamine and is found through protein sources.

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids are necessary for healthy brain function. Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for our health, but the body cannot make them. Therefore, we have to get these essential fatty acids through our food.

“At your next meal, consider taking a moment to think about what you are eating and how it makes you feel. Dr. Natasha Kassam 130

House of Fifty Fall 2012  

House of Fifty magazine Fall 2012 issue

Advertisement