The Science 2017-08-23T15:33:42+00:00

The Science Behind Mood Eats Bars

Although science has not yet been able to completely explain why sometimes we feel energized and happy then occasionally down and stressed, researchers are beginning to understand that mood is likely the result of many things that affect the brain, including anatomy, genetics, and the environment. For approximately the last 50 years, it was believed that most emotional issues could be attributed to an imbalance of chemical “messengers” – namely serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. While that was a satisfactory explanation, now many different systems within the brain are being studied that may act as roadblocks to feeling your best.

One incredibly interesting discovery is the concept of inflammation and its effect on health. Just as painful swelling occurs when one gets injured, this might be happening in our brains as well. The body relies on this response to help contain damage, but it gets out of control and achieves the opposite effect – harm. A series of such events can impair brain function by crowding cells together and seriously interfering with their ability to communicate with one another. Inflammation can also generate free radicals, destructive particles capable of attaching to and wounding proteins and DNA.

It follows that over time, this havoc-wreaking on a cellular level can make us feel blue, anxious, cloudy-minded, tired and unmotivated. There’s a lot of ingredients being used up on wasted energy! There is still much work to be done and studies to be completed, but many doctors like myself are becoming aware that we can help patients help themselves by providing education about nourishing ingredients that restore some of the necessary balance that your brain needs – craves, even. To be clear…science has not reached a definite answer for anything or offer a single, simple solution – but this is a significant, thrilling hypothesis.

I started Mood Eats to deliver information about how food might support a healthy sense of well-being and offer great tasting, nutrition packed products as beneficial “tools” for your effort to take charge of how you feel. As I learn more, I’ll pass helpful material on to you, including unwrapping the bars.

Foodstuffs

  1. Raw materials: Some foods provide the body with the raw materials like tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin; and tyrosine, which is a precursor to dopamine, norepinephrine and adrenaline.
  2. Anti-inflammatory: Natural chemicals that contain inflammation so it doesn’t get out of control and start affecting healthy parts of our brain.
  3. Antioxidants: Our brains are working so hard all day to do everything they’re in charge of, and in doing so generating waste material. When we eat large amounts of unhealthy food, the brain must expend tremendous energy to break it down, and sometimes it simply is overwhelmed. But brains themselves are clever, evolving ways to recycle this debris. Antioxidants are substances that help turn the refuse back into usable materials, preventing sticking and neutralizing dangerous free radicals.
  4. Phytonutrients: Chemicals that plants manufacture to defend themselves from enemy invaders, they are known for their protective capabilities in our brains. They can help lower inflammation and allow us to think clearly, stay alert and maintain memory. Intriguingly, they even can even mimic exactly what our natural brain chemicals accomplish.
  5. Vitamins and Minerals: Totally necessary elements to help the brain do its job. Like oil in your engine, they allow the brain processes to run a lot smoother. In some instances, vitamins help the brain “read” your genetic material DNA, allowing for the creation of all the proteins needed to function properly. Some of the main, familiar names are B12, folate, B6, magnesium, zinc and iron.
  6. Healthy Fats: Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish, flax seeds and certain plants must be consumed as food because the body can’t make its own. The fats help form almost a rubber band around cells which, permitting them to decide what should be allowed in or forced out for health’s sake.
  7. Amino acids: These are the body’s building blocks of proteins. Some are created “in-house” but there are “essential amino acids” that our bodies need but can’t produce, so must be consumed as part of a wholesome diet.