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Can Food Affect My Mood? Jodi Bjurman, RD, CDE Outpatient Dietitian El Camino Hospital.

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Presentation on theme: "Can Food Affect My Mood? Jodi Bjurman, RD, CDE Outpatient Dietitian El Camino Hospital."— Presentation transcript:


2 Can Food Affect My Mood? Jodi Bjurman, RD, CDE Outpatient Dietitian El Camino Hospital


4 The answer is… Yes! Ground rules 1.Every BODY is different 2.Chronic disease complicates the issue 3.Not an endorsement for supplements 4.Body chemistry is very complicated

5 Next Key Questions HOW does food influence mood? What does this mean to me personally? Can I learn dietary strategies to break bad cycles?

6 Can Food Affect My Mood? INSTRUCTIONAL GOAL: The participant will be able to enjoy a sustained sense of health and well-being by purposefully selecting appropriate foods and eating patterns.

7 Can Food Affect My Mood? Objectives: At the end of this seminar, you will be able to… 1. Describe at least 2 ways that food can change brain chemistry. 2. Name the most important factors in maintaining brain power and energy. 3. Design an eating strategy for subduing food cravings.

8 Food goes in Food is stored, mixed, emptied Food is digested and absorbed Food is excreted Digestion

9 Nutrition Basics: The Breakdown of Nutrients Simple sugars are quickly absorbed ­ Glucose is sent to the liver, used for energy or transformed into fat Complex carbohydrate digest more slowly ­ Gradually become glucose Protein is broken down into amino acids ­ Sent to the liver, then on to support muscles, or changed into glucose for energy, and then to fat for storage Fat is absorbed slowly as fatty acids ­ Absorption requires very little digestive energy

10 From the gut to the brain Blood brain barrier ­ Nutrients absorbed into blood stream ­ Carried to brain ­ Cross blood brain barrier ­ Used to activate or create neurotransmitters ­ Neurotransmitters affect brain function ­ Brain function affects mood

11 Neuron

12 ChemicalWhere?Influence? CholecystokininGI tract food intake Neuropeptide YHypothalamus carb intake InsulinPancreas food intake GlucagonPancreas food intake CortisolAdrenal glands fat intake Progesterone + Estrogen Ovaries food intake SerotoninBrain Low - carb intake; High - carb intake DopamineBrainInhibits appetite NorepinephrineBrain intake of sweets Adapted from Food and Mood by Elizabeth Somer, 2 nd Edition Chemicals that influence eating – to name a few

13 Serotonin Carb rich snack Insulin secreted Blood levels of amino acids (except tryptophan) drop Tryptophan high in blood, readily enters brain Tryptophan converts to serotonin Serotonin levels rise and mood improves, carb cravings subside Adapted from Food and Mood by Elizabeth Somer, 2 nd Edition

14 Serotonin Eat protein-rich meal/snack Blood levels of amino acids rise (including tryptophan) Amino acids compete for entry to brain Very little tryptophan gets in Very little serotonin is made Person feels depressed, irritable, craves carbs Adapted from Food and Mood by Elizabeth Somer, 2 nd Edition

15 Dopamine/Norepinephrine Protein-rich snack Levels of tyrosine in blood increases Levels of tyrosine in brain increase Tyrosine increases conversion of Dopa to Dopamine Dopamine converted to norepinephrine via Vit C A person feels more energetic and clear-headed Adapted from Food and Mood by Elizabeth Somer, 2 nd Edition

16 Acetylcholine Choline from diet or supplement Blood choline levels rise Brain choline levels rise The brain makes acetylcholine Thinking and memory improve Adapted from Food and Mood by Elizabeth Somer, 2 nd Edition

17 Hypothalamus

18 Neuropeptide Y (NPY) Glycogen stores are low Blood-sugar levels drop Brain register low blood sugar and sends message to hypothalamus Hypothalamus releases NPY Desire for carbs increases and carbohydrate is eaten Adapted from Food and Mood by Elizabeth Somer, 2 nd Edition NPY levels drop

19 Galanin Person follows restrictive diet or womans estrogen levels rise during menstruation or pregnancy Galanin is released from the hypothalamus A person desires and consumes fatty foods Galanin levels drop Adapted from Food and Mood by Elizabeth Somer, 2 nd Edition

20 Mood Foods from YOU: On a Diet (Roizen/Oz, 2006) If Your Reach For…You May Be Feeling… Hard or crunchy foods Sugars Sweet and creamy foods Salty foods Bulky, fill-you-up foods Anything and everything Angry Depressed Anxious Stressed Lonely, sexually frustrated Jealous

21 Carbohydrates and Mood Increase serotonin levels ­ People feel happier, calm, and satisfied Turn on endorphins ­ Sugar touches your tongue, endorphins are released Basic instinct to crave sweets Warning: impact on blood sugars

22 Protein and Mood Essential for normal development of nerve system Many neurotransmitters are composed of amino acids or choline (fat-like substance) Consume too little ­ Body limits neurotransmitter production ­ Person experiences changes in mood, appetite, and thinking

23 Fat and Mood Increases transit time through the GI tract Helps initiate feelings of fullness ­ Cholecystokinin secreted when bowel senses fat, closes pylorus, stomach fills, hunger suppressed Enhances flavors, aromas, textures ­ Craving sweets or salt? Probably craving fat too… Omega-3 fatty acids linked to mood enhancement Survival instincts drive desire for fat

24 Micronutrients Key in the development of the nervous system Essential for neurotransmitters ­ Assist with manufacture of neurotransmitters ­ Aid in neurotransmitter activity ­ Protect them from damage Over- and under- consumption have negative consequences ­ Can contribute to depression, irritability, food cravings, mood swings, and thinking problems

25 Pit falls to avoid Caffeine Skipping meals or strict dieting Sugar Processed foods High intake of saturated fat Ignoring the signs Being sedentary

26 Brain Power Confused? Brain fog? Unfocused? Poor memory?

27 Brain Power Clear thinking Focused Alert Quick problem-solving

28 Fueling the Brain Check your diet before blaming your age. Eat breakfast. Include protein in your midday meal. Dont forget Omega-3s. Protect brain tissue with lots of antioxidants. Promote maximum brain function with daily vitamins and minerals.

29 Energy Burned out? Lethargic? Slow to react? Sleepy?

30 Energy Fully awake Energetic Invigorated

31 Energizing Strategies Meals: low in fat, contain protein, low sugar Frequent small meals Plenty of fluids Avoid alcohol Avoid caffeine Pay attention to diet quality ­ Whole foods, wide variety of colorful produce

32 Conquering Cravings Be aware of how food affects YOU ­ Keep a food and mood journal Make the connection with brain chemicals ­ Craving for sweets: serotonin ­ Craving for fat: galanin Avoid deprivation Find healthier substitutes Maintain moderation Work with an expert (Registered Dietitian)


34 References Somer E. (1999) Food and Mood: The complete guide to eating well and feeling your best, 2 nd edition. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, LLC. Null G. (2000) The food-mood-body connection: nutrition-based and environmental approaches to mental health and physical well-being. New York, NY: Seven Stories Press. Roizen, M and Oz, M. (2006) YOU: On A Diet. The Owners Manual for Waist Management. New York, NY: Free Press, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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