Nutrients for the Brain

Brain chemistry and nutrition

Brain Chemistry and foods that support them
There are four main neuro-chemicals in the brain that affect our feelings, thoughts, emotions and moods:

Serotonin: Serves to elevate our mood. It's the satisfied feeling that is derived from a long run, sex, good food, general well-being. Serotonin can become depleted with chronic stress and anxiety which will leave you feeling depressed, irritable and exhausted. Good Serotonin foods are: turkey, spinach, whole grain fish, nuts, beans, brown rice, beets, bananas, blueberries, ginkgo , and sea vegetables such as badderwack, micro algae and spirulina.

Epinephrine: Responsible for the fight or flight response. Epinephrine reflects the growing amounts of stress felt in today's fast paced world, from rush hour traffic to racing to beat the clock. This neurotoxin affects the heart rate, blood pressure, and nervous system and has to do with injury repair, and sleeping. Many people experience depletion of epinephrine with chronic stress or anxiety leaving you to feel worn out, exhausted, mentally drained and often depressed. Good Epinephrine foods are: Almonds, avocados, bananas, most leafy greens, lean meat,  some whole grains,and pineapple.

Dopamine: Affects sleeping and waking cycles. Dopamine can become depleted with chronic stress, anxiety and intense trauma and is affected by the serotonin levels (dopamine and serotonin are very much linked). Commonly described as "jet lag", its depletion disrupts our natural Circadian rhythms. Good Dopamine foods are: Apple, banana, beets, chicken, eggs, watermelon, fish, wheat germ, beans, and cottage cheese.

Endorphin : The body's natural painkillers. They are responsible for the decrease in physical pain (i.e., runner's high). Alcohol abuse can deplete endorphins and their response to exercise. Good Endorphin foods are: Strawberries, banana, grape, oranges, nuts, sesame seeds, pasta.**
** In all cases please try to eat organic and GMO Free foods as well as gluten free

By: William Hiatt,DPT. CWC, CNC, CINC,Sports and Motion specialist