Diet & Nutrition

Diet & Nutrition

The food and drink we put into our systems has a direct impact on the way you feel both physically and emotionally. This is because different foods have different chemical properties which influence brain development and function.

We know that specific foods are linked with specific chemicals. Therefore we can now tell which foods will help to control or improve the way you feel, whilst others (or a lack of them) could be having a negative effect, making you feel low, sad, frustrated or worried.

The next section will outline some of the best foods to stock up on (and why), whilst also outlining those to stay away from!

 

Serotonin & Tryptophan filled foods

Important- yes!

Why? Improves & stabilises mood; improves sleep quality

Foods: Bananas, bread, pasta, oily fish (salmon, mackerel).

***In order for the brain to produce serotonin you need to eat foods that contain Vitamins B6 and B12, and folic acid. These can be found in bananas, avocadoes, fish, vegetables, baked potatoes, chicken and beef. If you cant get enough of these, ask your parents about vitamin supplements!

Dopamine & Tyrosine filled foods  

Important – Yes!

Why? To avoid feeling like you have no energy, interest or motivation, feeling irritable or depressed.

Foods: Protein foods such as fish, meat, nuts, cheese.

DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid called Docosahexaenoic acid!)

Important – yes

Why? Helps us to stay stable under stress; improves mood boosting chemical Serotonin.

Foods: Sardines, salmon, tuna, mackerel, cold-pressed linseed oil or flaxseed oil.

Diet Tips

Here are some to ensure you give yourself the best chance to feel, think and behave in the best way possible!

  • Have a protein rich breakfast (protein contains tyrosine which boosts concentration and problem solving skills).  If you can’t have a protein rich breakfast, it’s more important to eat something as opposed to nothing! Not eating breakfast means your blood glucose levels are low and your brain won’t function very well like this! Why not try some scrambled eggs and wholemeal toast or oats.
  • Don’t skip lunch or dinner! Re-fuelling is important! Starving yourself slows down your metabolism meaning when you do eat, its less likely to be burnt off and instead stored!
  • Eat some protein for lunch- This helps us re-gain concentration and help us to solve problems. Additionally protein helps our bodies to breakdown fats.
  • Snacks can be good! Try snacking on vegetables or fruit. Fruit releases a different type of sugar called Fructose which does not trigger insulin- meaning this is so much better for you! Nuts are also good (and a protein boost!)
  • Eat carbohydrates (vegetables, rice, potatoes, pasta) in the evening- this activates serotonin which helps us to sleep! Avoid protein at night as this will do the opposite!
  • Drink 6 glasses of water a day- Flush out those waste products
  • Get your parents (if you’re not old enough) to look into supplements. ‘It would take 46 cups of spinach to get the same level of vitamin E!’
  • Try drinking camomile tea- This acts as a calming measure. Try before bedtime if you struggle to get off to sleep ( Click our sleep section here for more tips! )
  • Swap from white to wholemeal varieties. White products like bread will only give you enough energy for about an hour, whereas oats or bran will give you a slow release of energy for twice as long!

Watch out for:

Food additives!

These are found in things like biscuits, jams, sweets, soft drinks, crisps, salad creams, deserts and fruit juices just to name a few! As much as we love these products, they will have a huge impact on the way you think, feel and behave (and unfortunately not in a good way!) Their labelled as ‘E110, E112, E249 etc!!

SO…. Keep healthy & try to eat as many natural foods as possible!