According to the World Health Organization 121 million individuals worldwide suffer from some form of clinical depression or anxiety. Because of the increased states from which we dwell, this level of anxiousness is not hard to fathem. In fact, we should believe this number of individuals to be high, especially amongst westerners.
When we step back and analyze, we see that we live in a society drive by stress and anxiety. Everything we do doesn’t seem to be enough to keep us up to date with the crowd. For some, this instills a sense of failure, enabling them to quit any rushing they feel is keeping them up at night, therefore making them depressed regarding failure. It seems that either way is a loss; if I don’t keep up I fail and therefore become depressed. If I do keep up, I’m always filled with anxiety. But are these symptoms of a societal standard? Or are they due to they way in which we take care of our vehicle – our body?
In biochemistry we learn that stress is enacted when there is a deficiency in the body. When there is lack of water, there is dehydration. When there is a lack of B vitamins, there is lack of energy. Most(arguably all)of our deficiencies can be cured by way of the implementation of foods/supplementation associated with that deficiency. As a rule, we should always look to fortify the cell in same way. This is because our cells are literally the building blocks of everything else. Therefore, if we strive to fortify the cells with nutrients that build up new cells and cell regeneration, we are essentially stopping issues before they happen. However, when we fail to do this, the result is a biochemical deficiency of some kind. Resulting in changes in our psychology, emotions, and physiology.
As our society becomes more complicated, we become more stressed. When we become more stressed we tend to eat less and less healthier. As a result we start to see symptoms of depression and anxiety come through into our personal and interpersonal relationships. Before we dive into how to fix this deficiency, let’s first understand our menus.
Biochemical depression is when there is a limiting or depletion of of two neurotransmitters. They are: 1. Serotonin, an amino acid L-tryptophan. 2. Norepinephrine, a converted amino acid L-phenylalanine/L-tyrosine. These amino acides are responsable for memory, sleep quality, mood, behavior, and learning. When these neurotransmitters are damaged in anyway, there is a direct result that leads to depression. This is also known as a biochemical imbalance. Another warning sign would be when external influences have little to no effect on your mood. I.e. When someone tells you a happy story and your mood never elevates. This is because your mood is a response to a biochemical imbalance. When you are in this state of biochemical influx, the consumption of alcohol is the last thing you should inlist in. Alcohol will worsen depression and deplete your neurotransmitters further. Other symptoms include mood swings and not being aware of when you started having depression. These are sure signs that you have an onset of a biochemical imbalance.
The Fix. Spinach?
The fix is simple, possibly simpler than we think. What we want to look for is applying foods into our diet that have already naturally accuring high levels of tryptophan within them. But before we do that, we need to understand a little bit more about tryptophan. Tryptophan does not convert directly to serotonin just by a simple ingestion. Tryptophan requires a dose of vitamin C and B6 vitamin in order for the full conversion to tryptophan is complete. This means, no matter what we find that has high levels of tryptophan in it, we must couple it with something(s) that contains vitamin C and B6 as well. Another thing, tryptophan is first converted into niacin during the transition to serotonin. If you are niacin deficient, your body will snag this newly available niacin intake(during conversion)rendering you with no serotonin uptake. The way to ensure that you benefit the most by ingesting tryptophan is to make sure you take niacin, vitamin C and B complex. Tryptophan also is a biochemical that is revered has having a hard time breaking through the blood-brain barrier. In order to combat this, take your tryptophan supplement/food with fruit juice or honey. The fast spike in insulin will allow this transition through the barrier more smooth. Another tip that will aid in this transition is to take tryptophan on an empty stomach. This will all the chemical to enter through your stomach into the blood stream more easily. If you are taking tryptophan in supplement form, the Mayo Clinic suggests that adults take 8-12g per day in 3-4 divided doses. If you follow these instructions you will see an elevation in mood and a stabilization in chemical balance.
Here are the top 3 tryptophan containing foods:
1. Spinach: Tryptophan: 690mg
2. Seaweed : Tryptophan: 739mg
3. Eggs, Tryptophan: 673mg
Therefore a good recipe to elevate your mood would be as follows…
A spinach salade(tryptophan and B complex) with boiled egg(tryptophan) with lemon orange juice(Vitamin C.) served with a strawberry(suger for up-take) vinaigrette.
Not only will this be extremely tasty and orignal. You will be the happiest person on the block, no empowered to show your friends and family.