Diet can play a role. For example the amino acids we ingest will affect the neurotransmitter production in our body. Neurotransmitters can affect various aspects of our mood. For example epinephrine that amps us up. Serotonin that makes us tired and suppresses the appetite. Taurine and glycine that help to calm us. Acetylcholine that helps us remain alert. Dopamine, which gives us that in love feeling.....
And some chemicals in the food can directly affect our mood. Such as the phenylethylamine (PEA) and cannboid like compounds in dark chocolate. And carbohydrates can influence serotonin release.
Then there are the phytoestrogens that help to regulate our hormones. And we all know how unbalanced hormones can cause mood disorders.
Hormones are also regulated through factors such as cholesterol levels, some of which is derived from food. Cholesterol is required form hormone formation. Zinc and B vitamins from food play a role in hormone metabolism, and the fiber we eat feeds the flora that breaks down the hormone metabolites and produces B vitamins for the body.
Estrogen, which antagonizes the androgens (testosterone, progesterone) that can make us aggressive and angry is often found in high levels in beef and dairy. The high fat content and the estrogens in these foods can also lead to weight gain through thyroid suppression, fat cell enlargement and the calorie dense fats in these foods. To make matters worse the increased body fat itself produces even more estrogen.
B vitamins, lecithin and silica also help support the nervous system.
Then there is vitamin C and pantothenic acid in particular are needed for proper adrenal function. And the adrenals help to keep us on an even keel by secreting anti-stress hormones during stressful situations.
On the other hand our attitude can also affect our personality. Stress will atrophy the adrenal glands and can lead to nutritional deficiencies that as we have seen play essential roles in personality.
And as I pointed out the other day some people are addicted to their testosterone rushes. But elevated testosterone can lead to anger issues.
Absolutely a great post! I will pop my multivitamin and will live life to the fullest. OK, maybe not that simple :)
I will over-think the post later. How much would food additives affect us. Can we balance our body just by thinking ?
Stress could be the biggest culprit next to nutrition. I would like to believe that we can feel happy and healthy in stress free wonderland. Acres of green land and fresh air.
I have always felt that stress levels were more of a factor than diet. If we look at people like George Burns he was always smoking his cigars and still lived to be over 100. But he was always calm. And people in the back woods eating fatty foods like pork, and deep fried foods and drinking hard liquor and yet they still often live to be over 100. And again they lead a pretty much stress free lifestyle. Cortisol released during stress is just so damaging to the body.
Or looking at things in reverse, so to speak, could how you handle stress in life depend on how healthy you are? Which comes first, the health or the stress?
It can really go either way. A stressful situation can suppress the adrenals reducing your ability to deal with stress. Or weak adrenals to begin with, from things like stimulant or steroid use, can make it harder to deal with stress.
Some folks roll with the punches and deal with stress very well while others go spaz with worry and fret. Is the difference because of the general health of their body? Or their basic personality or disposition?
Both. Again it can be from weak adrenals from any source. Or it can be a learned response.
I find though that when I am in a stressful situation that if I increase my intake of adaptogens, and herbs high in C and pantothenic acid that it really helps me stay calm.
And if I drink green tea, pretty often I get drowsy and dizzy but calms me in crowded places. It never makes me dizzy when I take it with coffee. (Steeping teabag in coffee with some milk. It became my special drink because it really tasted like something special.)
Green tea contains the amino acid theanine, which is calming. This is why decaffeinated green tea is used as a sedative.