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Issue #020-- Food and Your Mood
February 11, 2005

Healthy Eating Tips!
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February 11, 2005 Issue #020


1) Food and Your Mood
2) Healthy Recipe of the Month
3) Your Healthy Eating Support Group Tip
4) Healthy Products and Services

Food and Your Mood

Just about everybody knows someone who has or does suffer from depression or perhaps you have experienced minor or major bouts of depression yourself. Too often, depression is treated with antidepressants, even with children.

Before any drugs are considered for depression or other mood disorders, especially in children, it is a good idea to take a good look at what you are eating because food definitely affects your mood.

Here are some things that can contribute to depressed feelings or moodiness:

  • Sugar in excess. It comes in many forms and rarely is it listed on the label as sugar. Instead, you will probably find fructose, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, sucrose, maltose, lactose, fruit juice concentrate, honey, molasses, corn sweeteners, barley malt, malt syrup, rice syrup, maple syrup.
  • Aspartame or NutraSweet in any amount is dangerous. Not only can it be a cause of depression, but 92 different reactions to aspartame have been reported to the FDA. It is also known to mimic various chronic diseases, such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's, chronic fatigue syndrome, MS, Parkinson's and others. Besides food, aspartame is also found in OTC and prescription medications, vitamins and orthodontic elastics, and in products for children. Children should NEVER be given anything that contains aspartame. You can receive a free report on aspartame when you purchase a copy of FOOD ADDITIVES: A Shopper's Guide to What's Safe & What's Not.
  • Processed foods have much of the nutrients removed and have been subjected to high heat which destroys even more nutrients. Food processors typically add back a few synthetic nutrients to replace the more than 20 natural nutrients removed from the food. Not only can this cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies, but it can also create imbalances in the nutrients because they are not added back in the proportions that the body needs to function optimally.
  • Vitamin deficiencies, especially of the B vitamins, are known to be a cause of depression. B vitamin deficiencies can be caused by eating excess sugar and processed foods.
  • Food additives, may trigger a variety of reactions, including depression. Food additives are added to mostly processed foods which are low in nutritional value. Many additives are not adequately tested and none of the additives are tested in combination with other additives. So no one knows the effects that the many additives in a single food item can have on your health. For more information on food additives, see FOOD ADDITIVES: A Shopper's Guide to What's Safe & What's Not.
  • Caffeine has been linked to depression in several studies, with greater degrees of depression associated with higher intake of caffeine. Combine sugar and caffeine and the severity of the depression increases.
  • Alcohol has a depressive effect on mood and may therefore be a cause of depression or mood disorders.
  • Dairy products, if you are lactose intolerant, may contribute to depression. The best form of dairy to use is raw and cultured goat, sheep or cows milk, for example yogurt or kefir. If raw is not available, choose pasteurized full fat. Avoid homogenized, ultrapasteurized and low fat.
  • Other contributing factors to depression and mood disorders may be low blood sugar, food allergies and sensitivities and prescription and non-prescription drugs.
While this is not all inclusive, it does suggest that a good place to start when you are faced with depression or a possible mood disorder is taking a look at what you are eating. In situations requiring professional help, it is wise to seek out the services of a doctor well-versed in nutrition and the relationship between food and mood.

Send me
your comments or questions about this discussion. I cannot answer each question individually, but I will attempt to address questions in the next newsletter.

Healthy Recipe of the Month

Crispy Almonds

4 cups almonds
1 Tbsp. sea salt
filtered water

Nuts contain enzyme inhibitors that make them difficult to digest and reduce absorption of nutrients. They are easier to digest and their nutrients are more readily available if they are soaked overnight in salt water and dried in a warm oven or dehydrator.

Mix almonds with salt and filtered water and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander. Spread on a stainless steel baking pan and place in a warm oven (at most 150 degrees F) for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally, until dry and crisp, or dry in a dehydrator. Store in an air tight container.

This recipe was used with permission, from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Other books written or recommended by Sally Fallon.

Your Healthy Eating Support Group Tip

Many people traditionally give candy for Valentines Day. As you have seen, if you read the first article, candy, with its sugar content, can contribute to depression and mood disorders, as well as hyperactivity in kids. Here are some suggestions for Valentines Day gifts that are healthy and fun to give:

  • Gift basket with fruits, nuts and other healthy or non-food items
  • Flowers
  • Jewelry
  • Cook a healthy dinner for your love
  • Dinner at a restaurant that serves healthy food
  • Gift certificate at her/his favorite store
  • Take her/him shopping to her/his favorite store
  • Tickets to the theater or a concert
  • Romantic movie
  • A weekend getaway
Have a happy healthy Valentines Day

Healthy Products and Services

The 2004 Edition of FOOD ADDITIVES: A Shopper's Guide To What's Safe & What's Not lists 800 food additives classified according to safety, whether they may cause allergic reactions and if they are GRAS Generally Recognized As Safe) by the FDA. New to this edition is information on how to identify genetically modified produce in the grocery store. It's a handy pocket-sized book that you can carry with you when you shop to help you read food labels and make sure the food you're buying has only healthy ingredients. It will help you choose healthy foods when you shop and keep harmful chemicals out of the food you feed your family.

If the above link doesn't work, copy into the address line on your browser.

HEALTHY EATING: For Extremely Busy People Who Don't Have Time For It tells you what's healthy and what's not in a clear, concise and easy-to-use format. It gives you a system so easy to use that you can't help but succeed at eating healthfully. In less than 15 minutes, you will know how to choose healthy food and be on the right track to eating healthfully.

If the above link doesn't work, copy "" into the address line on your browser.

Greens First is a once-a-day, totally delicious and refreshing, easy mixing drink of only 30 calories that tastes so good in plain water we unconditionally guarantee you’ll absolutely love it or your money back ! It is a uniquely easy mixing and refreshing “Super Food” powder mix loaded with natural, organic, whole foods and extracts. These are most of the foods that we are constantly being told by the scientific experts and our doctors that we should be eating daily, but never seem to be able to do so on a long term, regular basis!

If the above link doesn't work, copy " " into the address line on your browser.

Healthy Eating Coaching
If you would like personal, one-on-one help to get yourself eating healthfully, I offer healthy eating coaching/nutritional consulting services by telephone. The first session is free. You just have to pay for the call.

To schedule your no charge evaluation, send me an e-mail with NO CHARGE EVALUATION in the subject line. Tell me what your concerns are, what times you are available, and what time zone you're in. I will send you an e-mail with your appointment date and time, and the phone number for you to call.

Written by Christine H. Farlow, D.C.
Your Personal Online Healthy Eating Coach
(c) copyright 2004

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