Have a happier holiday. Avoid the sweets.

Your brain on sugar

Unstable blood sugar levels are a common cause of poor mood. Sweet desserts and refined carbohydrates cause sharp fluctuations in blood glucose levels, which are marked by irritability, forgetfulness and digestive problems.

Nutritional imbalances and deficiencies interfere with proper brain function and hormone levels, causing poor concentration, feelings of guilt, lack of energy and other symptoms of depression. One study of nearly 4,000 people found that those who ate a lot of processed foods were 58% more likely to be depressed, while those who at more whole foods were 26% less likely to be depressed.

If you want to enjoy the holidays to the max, eat for nutritional quality. Choose fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and organic whole foods that are dense in nutrients and will not spike your blood sugar. And get off the couch. Regular exercise plays a key role in stabilizing blood sugar.

Supplementation can also helps fight symptoms of depression when certain nutrients are otherwise difficult to obtain from dietary sources. Omega 3 fatty acids, for instance, have been shown to help the function of the brain’s neurotransmitters and increase production of serotonin. The human body cannot produce omega 3s.

Often, drugs prescribed to treat depression are designed to increase the level of serotonin produced by the brain. These medications often carry dangerous side effects. Omega 3 supplementation, on the other hand, has been shown to reduce depression symptoms by as much as 53% without side effects.

Source: Email from our chiropractor

Further info @ http://www.sott.net/article/253187-Depression-Your-brain-on-sugar

11 Comments

Filed under Health & Nutrition

11 responses to “Have a happier holiday. Avoid the sweets.

  1. My sources tell me that 100% of subjects who exercise total trust in the Almighty, regular self-abandonment and a strict diet of humility and love experienced near total freedom from depression. Puppies and kittens seem to help, too, but only if you’re not cleaning the carpet after them. If you’re caring for young children, cranky husbands or evil bosses, some booze supplements may be required. 🙂

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  2. My husband has seasonal affective disorder and always gets depressed around this time of year from lack of sunlight. When we first got married (35 years ago) I didn’t understand s.a.d. — in fact I don’t think I had ever heard of it — and I thought he was just being a pain in the you-know-what. When I started to understand s.a.d., I realized that his problem was lack of vitamin D, which everyone produces less of in winter when there is very little sunlight and our skin is all covered up. I made him start taking 2000 units of vitamin D3 every day and it made a big difference. I recommend it to anyone who suffers from s.a.d.; it’s very inexpensive and it might just solve the problem for you. I take it myself, even though I have never had s.a.d., and it worked wonders for my arthritis.

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    • chrissythehyphenated

      I had not heard of sad back then either. Not sure anyone knew what it was, did they? Not sure either of us had the problem, but we take Vitamin D anyway.

      My “seasonally affected crabby hubby” story centered around August. He always blamed his mad August mood on fatigue from the heat, but when we were being tested for allergies, he reacted strongly not just to ragweed, which is common, but also goldenrod, which most people are okay with, because the pollen is heavy and doesn’t blow all over the way ragweed’s does.

      The thing is … we were being tested to allergens one at a time, in a way that was intended to trigger reactions. it helped a lot not just to design a treatment plan, but also to discern what was due to allergies and which substances were causing them. With multiple allergies (inhalants, foods, chemicals), the detective work can be tricky.

      Anyway, both times Dearest was tested for the primary August pollens … HE FELL ASLEEP. Right there in his chair in the doctor’s office. Conked right out cold. Crazy thing is … this August I had to remind him AGAIN … it’s not the heat, it’s the pollen. Take an antihistamine and some Vitamin C. And get your butt out there and cut down all that goldenrod you’ve let grow wild in the garden RIGHT BY YOUR OFFICE DOOR.

      Golly gee whiz. He felt so much better. Betcha I have to tell him again NEXT AUGUST though. Harumph.

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      • When I first heard about s.a.d., I didn’t believe it was a real condition — I thought it was just an excuse for people who don’t like winter to be mean and crabby, and then say you couldn’t blame them for being mean and crabby, because they supposedly didn’t have any control over it. Here’s the reason I didn’t believe in it: One day on the radio I was listening to someone interview a guy who’d spent a year or so living in a little village in northern Norway, north of the arctic circle, where the sun sets sometime in November and doesn’t come up again until sometime in late January or something. At some point the interviewer asked the interviewee if the people who lived there ever got depressed or had seasonal affective disorder. The interviewee said “Never. They’ve never even heard of seasonal affective disorder. They wouldn’t know what you were talking about.”

        Well, when I heard that, it confirmed my suspicion that s.a.d. was an invented disorder — one of those things Americans are always coming up with to explain away their bad behavior and make it not their fault. It took me a LONG time before I realized that s.a.d. really does exist, even if villagers in northern Norway never get it. I realized it when I started hearing about people experiencing dramatic improvement after using full-spectrum lights for several hours a day and/or supplementing with vitamin D3. When you’re not getting any sunlight and your body isn’t producing any vitamin D3, unless you supplement, your moods will be affected, and so will your immune system (which is why so many people get sick in winter). Vitamin D3 is also necessary for your body to absorb calcium, so if you’re deficient in one you’ll be deficient in the other, and it will wreak havoc with your emotions — not to mention your bones.

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        • chrissythehyphenated

          Calcium is also necessary for regular heart beat! Re: Northerners who never get s.a.d. … I think there must be range of people’s ability to cope with the darkness and stay healthy. I’d guess folks who live in a northern village are a lot more likely to belong to an adapted gene pool, KWIM? Anyone who was unhealthy and crabby half the year wouldn’t be a good candidate for breeding.

          I remember reading a book about two missionaries to a group of Inuit who lived in their traditional way. This was maybe a hundred years ago. The missionaries took canned foods and cooked the fish they caught. The missionaries got sick in the same way and it made them suspicious their diet was deficient. They switched to eating only what the locals ate, which included raw fish and the algae that was in fish stomachs. They recovered and were healthy after that.

          I also remember they said the Inuit drank oil to stay warm. I bet that made a huge difference, since D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Seems like maybe vitamin K was an issue too, but my memory of the book isn’t that clear and I’ve never understood what vitamin K is anyway LOL.

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          • I agree about those northerners who seem to have an inborn immunity to s.a.d. The folks in that Norwegian village were descended from people who’d lived there for generations, and all the ones who couldn’t handle a couple of months of total darkness every year had been bred out by the time that guy visited there and filed his report.

            I’m one of the lucky ones in that regard; darkness doesn’t bother me at all — in fact I love it. One of the things I love about winter is the short days and long nights (I like night better than day anyway). I love an excuse to light candles, and I love being able to see stars without having to stay up late to do it. Actually, the only thing I dislike about winter is listening to other people complain about it. (I have my own theory for why winter is the least popular season, but I’ll save it for another day.)

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            • chrissythehyphenated

              More things you and I share … I also prefer darkness and stars and no s.a.d. I can’t have candles any more though; any kind of hot oil sets off a miserable reaction. We have to cook on low heat only, which it turns out is better for us, or so the real foods chiro D goes to has told him. Something about enzymes and whatever. He also convinced D to stop using the microwave.

              Anyway, I like winter, but fall is my favorite. D and I chose to get married in October, because we both love autumn and wanted to do a foliage camping tour through New England for our honeymoon.

              IKWYM about people griping about weather. So annoying! But I do have one friend who LOVES winter. He gripes if it isn’t cold and snowy enough! LOL He’s passionate about winter camping, cross country skiing, hiking on snow shoes and sometimes they rent a dog sled! Not much surprise he chose to become a forest ranger in a northern state.

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  3. Ting

    Well, I think that the fish oil and vitamin D do help me in the winter. I would not go so far as to say that I have s.a.d., but I am definitely a sunlight and warmth loving gal and not fond of the shorter days and cold. Maybe it has a little something to do with my work, which is not as pleasant in the winter. I am a very tiny person, so I can always manage to cool off at the end of the day, but sometimes I just can’t get warm to save my soul.

    Also, starting Jan 1 each year I have the added chore of all the IRS forms for employers, and between my family and my businesses I have to do about 20 tax return which takes up an awful lot of my time through March, so that doesn’t add to the general sense of well-being! I suppose it might be just as true to blame it on the IRS, as the weather! The main thing is, though, if my children and husband are happy and settled, then I am happy. This holiday, so far, everything is good!

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