Superfoods That help to control Bipolar disorderBy
I found this areticle over at International Bipolar Foundation facebook page , https://www.facebook.com/InternationalBipolarFoundation and had to share it with you all ,Enjoy!
From A to Zinc
By Lynn Santa Lucia
No doubt about it, the food we eat affects how we feel—from our head to our toes.
Research suggests that fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are important not only for our bodies but for our mental health, and may be useful in managing mood disorders.
In a 2001 University of Calgary study, 14 patients with bipolar took a supplement of vitamins and minerals (most about 10 times the Recommended Daily Allowance), concurrent with their meds over 44 weeks. The result: depression scores dropped by 55 percent and mania scores by 66 percent. The study’s author, Bonnie Kaplan, PhD, noted in an article published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, “We know that dietary minerals and vitamins are necessary in virtually every metabolic action that occurs in the mammalian brain,” and that “deficient levels of some nutrients are related to brain and behavior disorders.”
More specifically, experts from the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation in Los Angeles report that people with bipolar disorder are more likely to have deficiencies in B vitamins (particularly B1 (thiamin), B9 (folate) and B12), vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc.
Though a direct food to mood link needs to be further researched, Kaplan and other experts, like Jukka Hintikka, MD, lead author of a 2003 Finnish study that found that higher levels of vitamin B12 in depressed patients corresponded with a better outcome in treatment, speculate that a diet rich in “certain nutrients can help stabilize mood.”
According to registered dietitian Katherine Zeratsky, RD, LD, of the Mayo Clinic staff, eating a diet balanced in nutrientrich foods—that is, fruits and vegetables, protein, complex carbohydrates, and essential fatty acids—is critical to maintaining a healthy body and healthy brain function. “They provide energy naturally, without the depressive “crash” afterwards, like you see with sugar or caffeine,” she says.
Simply put, it can’t hurt to make healthier food choices every day. Here, we’ll make it easy for you with a delectable dozen “superfoods” you might want to consider including in your diet, starting today.
Avocados The monosaturated (“good”) fats in this heart-healthy fruit not only lower cholesterol but help keep the receptors in the brain sensitive to serotonin, thought to boost mood. These same fats will help lower blood pressure, another key to feeling relaxed.
Beans Of all the varieties, pinto, garbanzo (chick-peas) and mung are the greatest sources of vitamin B9 (folic acid, or folate). Studies have shown that a body that lacks folic acid has a higherthan- normal level of homocysteine, a condition that’s been linked to bipolar disorder. A cup of each will go a long way, meeting more than 40 percent of your RDA (recommended daily allowance).
Cereals Keep them fortified and whole grain. Whole grains not only add much-needed fiber to your diet, but break down slowly in the digestive tract, providing a steady stream of glucose to keep blood sugar levels stable for hours; this improves alertness and concentration. As an added bonus, whole grain cereal contains carbohydrates that trigger the release of “ahh”-inducing serotonin. To bolster your morning cereal’s moodenhancing benefits, sprinkle it with walnuts, peanuts or almonds.
Cottage cheese Not only is a good source of B12 but contains plenty of whey protein, which has been shown to decrease anxiety and irritability. A glass of milk is another way to get a good shot of whey in a hurry.
Fruit All of it is good! But a few favorites are B6-rich bananas (vitamin B6 is known to build serotonin levels) and energy boosting, vitamin C-packed pineapple (loaded also with manganese and thiamin, which help metabolize body-fueling carbohydrates).
Liver The liver of most any animal is packed with vitamin B9. Often appearing on the culinary scene as pâté, liver also shows up in sausage (liverwurst). Turkey liver provides the most folate (B9), with a 3-ounce (100g) serving reaching 173 percent of the RDA.
Salmon Raw, baked, broiled or grilled, salmon is one of the healthiest foods around. The omega-3 that shows up in abundance in salmon has been found to be necessary for healthy bodies and minds. Like mackerel, sardines, anchovies and albacore tuna, salmon also contains protein, for long-lasting energy, and tyrosine, which the body uses to create two mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine. And while helping prevent mood swings, salmon is also good for your heart, keeps blood pressure down, and helps protect against stroke.
Spinach Like mother may have said, eat your greens. It especially pays to eat your dark, leafy greens—“superfoods” of the “superfoods.” Spinach, like turnip greens and collards, is not only plentiful in folic acid, but also full of vitamin C, vitamin E and antioxidants, for overall good health. Raw versions provide the most folate.
Sunflower seeds Sunflower seeds are one of the best sources of vitamin B9. So eat them as a snack or addition to salads. One handful will give you more than half of your daily folate, as well as magnesium, needs.
Tofu This once beguiling bean curd is now considered a pure, health-giving food of the times. Made from the curds of soybean milk, tofu is highly nutritious and an important protein source in vegetarian diets. Numerous studies have shown that the soy protein found in tofu can help lower cholesterol, helping to prevent heart disease. It’s also rich in the amino acid tryptophan, thought to be a sleep aid probably due to its ability to increase brain levels of serotonin. Turkey This protein-rich food is also high in zinc. Protein is used by the body for long-lasting energy, while zinc helps build a healthy immune system.
Turkey is also another good source of tryptophan. Try a sandwich of roasted turkey on whole grain bread —for even more zinc— to get through a long day and the change of seasons.
Walnuts Perhaps the king of nuts—cholesterol-free, low in fat, and filled with vitamin B6, vitamin E, folate and protein. And if that weren’t good enough, they also boast omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. To help keep yourself on an even keel, sprinkle them on oatmeal or a salad.
BONUS: Since enjoying a “treat” is a mood-lifter in itself, if you’re going to grab for one then choose chocolate. The cocoa in chocolate contains a source of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and phenethylamine, all related to a feeling of well-being.
Lynn Santa Lucia is the editor of bp Magazine.