Election 2016: Reduce Stress and Anxiety with Nutrition

Why is it when we’re sad or stressed we tend to reach for cookies or a pint of ice-cream instead of tofu or a bowl of kale? Consuming sugar and fat feel like they provide emotional support because high sugar, high carb foods release a blast of serotonin in your body. Serotonin is the “feel good” neurotransmitter. This triggers a response in the brain similar to taking an opiate. Even though this might temporarily improve your mood in the short term, the long term consequences include weight gain, energy crashes, candida overgrowth, and lower serotonin levels.

So the question is “how can I improve my mood without a quick rush of sugar and fat?” The answer is very simple: consume Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 fats. B12 plays an important role in energy production and hormones affecting your mood. The easiest solution is supplementing with a B12 or B-complex vitamin. I often take a sublingual B12 supplement to feel the positive effects quickly. B12 is also readily available in food like grass fed beef, eggs, salmon, and raw dairy. It’s highly recommended for vegans and vegetarians to supplement with B12 as their diets alone will not provide enough.

Omega 3 fats reduce inflammation and improve overall brain function. Study after study prove that it has a positive effect on reducing depression. The easiest way to get more omega 3 fats into your system is taking a fish oil supplement. I recommend carefully reading the label and choosing a brand like Carlson’s or Green’s First for the most positive results. Costco and Walmart budget brands are known to include several fillers and additives with little to no nutritional benefit. I also recommend at least once a week consuming oily wild-caught (not farm raised) fish.



Magnesium: This Deficiency Can Harm Your Health

Magnesium Deficiency

Nearly 85% of Americans are magnesium deficient. Eating the occasional banana will not solve this problem either. In fact you would have to eat more than nine bananas just to reach the recommended daily intake. Green leafy vegetables are some of the best sources of magnesium, but even those are lacking nowadays due to depleted soil from current farming methods. Magnesium is vital for protein synthesis, nerve function, blood sugar control, and energy production. Deficiencies can result in muscle cramping, difficult fat loss, lactic acid buildup, excessive anxiety, constipation, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and more. The following habits may cause the body to excrete magnesium and cause deficiency: ingesting too much sugar, drinking lots of coffee, and drinking lots of carbonated drinks. Strenuous exercise will also cause the body to excrete magnesium.

I supplement with a 400mg capsule of liquid magnesium each night before bed. It has some “side effects,” but they’re not the type of side effects you’re used to hearing about. Minutes after ingesting the capsule, I begin to feel my muscles relax and I’m ready for sleep. This is because magnesium decreases cortisol, the stress hormone that can cause insomnia. It feels like some sort of very mild sleeping pill without any groggy effects in the morning. The other added benefit is something I notice in the morning. Ingesting the recommended amount of daily magnesium promotes healthy regular bowel movements. It has a laxative effect because it draws water to the stools, which makes them softer and easier to pass.