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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Moods and Food and Micro-Nutrients

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Thought I'd mention some of the books I've come across over a period of time that deal with nutrition-based ways you can improve and change your mood, and that I have often recommended to my clients. In other words, if you are depressed, or anxious, or fearful, or sad with no apparent outer reasons, then it may, according to these authors, be due to a chemical imbalance in your body that you can address by changing what you eat, and possibly supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals, including amino acids.

Clearly I am not the one with expertise in this area, but these authors are, and if you suffer from debilitating moods, even bi-polar and schizophrenic symptoms, as well as ADHD, insomnia and a host of others get discussed, as do alcoholism, and cigarette and drug addiction, then you may well consider it worth your while to look into some of these books in order to try out some of the solutions they present.

The Mood Cure: The 4-Step Program to Rebalance Your Emotional Chemistry and Rediscover Your Natural Sense of Well-Being by Julia Ross, MA

Ross, author of The Diet Cure, here offers a prescriptive plan designed to relieve a variety of ailments from seasonal disorders, stress, irritability and depression. Ross believes that many of these annoying and, in some cases, severely disabling disorders can be relieved through a change in diet and nutritional supplements. Readers are asked to first determine which of four "false moods" they suffer from: a dark cloud, blahs, stress or too much sensitivity. The survey is simple and the questions will immediately resonate with readers: for example, someone who is suffering from the blahs is likely to have difficulty focusing or require a great deal of sleep. Armed with their survey scores, readers can then turn to the appropriate chapter to learn which diets and supplements will be most helpful.Particularly reassuring are the author's detailed explanations of why she advises a particular strategy. While Ross is an advocate for nutritional supplements, she provides a sound overview for all her recommendations.

Depression-Free, Naturally: 7 Weeks to Eliminating Anxiety, Despair, Fatigue, and Anger from Your Life by Joan Matthews Larson

Larson, author of the bestselling Seven Weeks to Sobriety, believes that many doctors misdiagnose nutritional imbalances as psychological disorders. She argues that most people who are depressed, fatigued or addicted to food, cigarettes or alcohol suffer from a deficiency of vitamins or amino acids that is only exacerbated by drugs like Xanax, Prozac and lithium. Larson provides checklists of symptoms, possible disorders and corrective formulas along with simple but thorough explanations of how the biochemistry works. She plausibly links biochemical emotional problems with the gradual shift in the American diet over the past 60 years toward sugary, carbohydrate-laden and processed foods, which disturb the body's insulin production and deprive the brain of much needed vitamins and nutrients. The author urges readers to seek out doctors to run lab tests in order to identify possible deficiencies, blood-sugar abnormalities and food allergies.

Food and Mood: The Complete Guide to Eating Well and Feeling Your Best by Elizabeth Somer

What at first glance would appear to be yet another look at the relationships of food with emotional state is, instead, an extremely well-researched probe of what a good diet can mean to both body and mind. Somer, editor of Nutrition Report, dispels many of the myths about specific foods and diet patterns, putting in their place scientific studies showing the links between mood and diet. Among the topics she discusses are food cravings, stress and diet, food allergies and intolerances, eating disorders, premenstrual syndrome and how food can affect sleep patterns. More than 100 tables, charts and worksheets help readers evaluate their diets and make appropriate changes. Menus and recipes are also included, and the need for supplements is discussed. Readers will appreciate Somer's no-nonsense style and the absence of contrived anecdotes to make important dietary points. Although some may find that the book gets off to a slow start, those who stick with it will find a valuable nutritional sourcebook.

Note: all book reviews are from http://www.amazon.com/ from the editorials on the same page as the books themselves respectively.

There are many, many more, but I believe with these you will find much valuable material to undertake a serious study of yourself and your own health.

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