It’s Friday and we’re headed into the weekend, yay! If you’re not quite feeling the Fri-Yay vibe I’m here to help. Did you know that your mood, emotions and feelings are directly related to your gut health?! Yes, you heard me right. So, if you’re gut is not in check it may be harder for you to FEEL great. WOW, mind blown right? This doesn’t mean you need a 6-back under that sweater to feel happy. Simply by taking action to help yourself you will start to feel better and by feeding your body a few key things you will improve your mental state.
In this New York Times article, scientists showed that “micro-organisms in our gut secrete a profound number of chemicals, and researchers… have found that among those chemicals are the same substances used by our neurons to communicate and regulate mood, like dopamine, serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). These, in turn, appear to play a function in intestinal disorders, which coincide with high levels of major depression and anxiety.”
It turns out we don’t all need drugs to boost our mood, we actually just need to clean out our gut and eat the right foods! Okay, so how do we start doing this so we can start enjoying more of our weekend and our life?
1. NUTS: Grab a handful of raw nuts on the daily, especially cashews which are one of the highest natural sources of tryptophan. Adding tryptophan-rich foods to your diet helps stabilize your mood, improves sleep quality, fights anxiety and can also help burn more body fat.
2. BERRIES: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries. These are game-changers because of their antioxidant power, which helps keep free radicals in check and fights inflammation. When our bodies are inflamed we feel bloated, yucky and grumpy. Eat more berries! Make sure you stick to organic or locally farmed as much as you can to avoid adding more toxins back into your body.
3. GREENS: especially dark greens (spinach, kale, collard greens), which help convert all the tryptophan from the nuts you’re eating into serotonin and dopamine, the feel good hormones in your brain. Again, go for organic, unless you’re getting them locally. Here’s a simple way to incorporate the first 3 things on this list into one meal: Green Salad with Strawberries and Goat Cheese. To make this completely detox friendly omit the cheese and use coconut sugar instead of maple syrup or brown sugar.
4. WILD FISH: like salmon is jam packed with omega-3 essential fatty acids and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These two key ingredients improve brain health and membrane fluidity in the brain to allow maximum neurotransmitter function. Wild fish such as salmon or rainbow trout are good options.
5. WATER: Okay, so water is not a food but up to 60% of the adult human body is water so start drinking more of it! Yes, you will probably be hitting the bathroom a few more times than you’re used to but you are getting rid of all the junk in the gut so get excited about it! How much should you be drinking and just how do you make this a habit?
Okay, take your body weight then divide that number in half and that’s how many ounces of water you should try to drink each day. For example, a 150 pound person / 2 = 75 ounces of water per day is your goal. One way to get a jump start on this is to go to bed with a full glass of water on your nightstand (assuming your glass is 8 ounces). When you wake up, as soon as you wake up, down that glass. You will be thirsty, your body will have just fasted for 6-8 hours and will need to rehydrate. Bam, just like that you drank your first 8 ounces. Yay you! Next, grab a 32 ounce reusable bottle and fill that thing with water. Make it your goal to finish it off by lunchtime. Fill it one more time and finish by 7pm. That gives you 72 ounces right there. A few more sips and you’ve hit your mark. Nice job! Do this for 10 days and start to reap the benefits.
I hope this was helpful! Drop me a note on Facebook Messenger and tell me what you have started incorporating into your daily routine!