The Mood Cure – Notes Part 1

The Mood Cure by Julia Ross is my brain and nutrition bible. This book has helped me to start understanding how our minds work and how the nutrition we feed ourselves can either feed or starve our brains function.

As I slowly unpack all the information this book has to offer, I wanted to store my notes and share them with those that might be interested in learning more about nutritional therapy!

Part One:

  • Neurotransmitters: 4 emotion generators in the brain
    • 1. Seratonin
      • When levels are high you feel positive, confident, flexible
      • When levels are low you feel negative, obsessive, irritable, sleepless
    • 2. Catecholamines
      • When levels are high you feel energized, upbeat, alert
      • When levels are low you feel flat, lethargic, in a funk
    • 3. GABA 
      • When levels are high you feel relaxed and stress-free
      • When levels are low you feel wired, stressed, overwhelmed
    • 4. Endorphins
      • When levels are high you feel cozy, pleasure, euphoria
      • When levels are low you feel sensitive and cry easily
    • Mood Type Questionnaire
  • Seratonin
    • Tryptophan, an amino acid, which can be found in turkey, beef, and cheese, synthesizes Seratonin in the brain
      • Recommended to have 4oz of protein per meal which would equal 3 chicken breasts per day
      • Increasing your fat intake increases space for tryptophan
    • Is inhibited by caffeine (#1 enemy), alcohol, and artificial sweeteners
    • Is disrupted if pregnant or when you don’t get enough sunlight or exercise
    • Extreme stress will take up all serotonin from the brain
    • Skipping meals will quickly reduce the brain’s ability to create serotonin
    • Vegetarians/Vegans are at greater risk of tryptophan malnutrition
    • Seratonin deficiency can be passed down
    • Women produce 1/3 less Seratonin
    • Excercise increases oxygen intake, therefore, taking deep breaths is a major help in converting amino acids to Seratonin.
      • When you work your muscles, they call for amino acids to repair them. While our bloodstream continuously carries amino acids, tryptophan will convert it into 5-HTP which will convert again into Seratonin. This, however, is a delayed response. Haven’t you always wondered why you feel so good AFTER you work out?!
      • Exercise 3x a week – outdoors!
  • Catecholamines
    • Tyrosine, also known as nature’s energizer, can be found in beef, eggs, and fish. Our brain uses these ingredients to make all 3 catecholamines!
      • 3 scrambled eggs has 840 milligrams of Tyrosine
      • 1/4 lb. beef patty has 400 milligrams of Tyrosine
      • 1 chicken breast has 900 milligrams of Tyrosine
    • Catecholamines are a group of 3 brain chemicals
      • Dopamine – produces the other two and is most prolific
      • Norepinephrine and Adrenaline – provide energy response in times of stress
    • Effects Introvert/Extravert traits
    • Those with low levels of catecholamines are attracted to stimulating substances
    • As soon as stress show up, catecholamines are sent throughout the body by the brain to prepare for the fight or flight response
      • When stress is prolonged, your levels run low
    • Only 2% of amino acids used to make Catecholamines reach the brain
      • dieting, skipping meals, and lack of vitamins B, C, D and magnesium negatively affect this.

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