Protein and Mood – What To Do When You’re Feeling Blue

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Ten top tips to feeling good (Guest Post)

When many of us think about protein, we don’t automatically associate it with our mood. However, Nuzest Naturopath (BNat), Kerry Locatelli says perhaps it’s time we did. Here are several mood-enhancing factors to consider when it comes to feeling good.

  1. Protein is King

Protein is classified as an essential macronutrient, which means we need to get fairly large amounts of it from our diet daily. “Protein provides us with amino acids which our bodies use to build and repair. Amino acids are used by the body as the building blocks to produce our organs, muscles, bones, skin, hair and nails; as well as enzymes; hormones and neurotransmitters,” says Kerry. Amino acids are also important for immunity and can be used to produce energy.

Foods rich in protein contain amino acids which the body uses to produce neurotransmitters. Tryptophan is one such amino acid that plays a key role in preventing and treating mood disorders. Having protein-packed meals and snacks can help us get the essential amino acids we need, and it can help us avoid sugary, processed foods, which can also trigger mood disorders.

“It can be difficult to get all the protein you need in your daily diet, and that’s where a high-quality protein supplement can be handy,” says Kerry. Nuzest’s Clean Lean Protein is a great source of all nine essential amino acids the body requires for optimal health. Each serving has up to 209mg of tryptophan, the essential amino acid required to help make melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, and serotonin, also known as the ‘happy hormone’, can help to regulate appetite, sleep, mood, and pain.

A simple and fast way to achieve the required amount of protein in your diet and to help boost your mood, is a daily high protein smoothie, such as Nuzest’s Happy Hormone Smoothie.

  1. Sunshine and Vitamin D

Regular, healthy exposure to the sun and getting enough vitamin D is important for good health, as well as our mood.

  1. Essential Fatty Acids

We need a good supply of essential fatty acids, especially omega 3 fatty acids, for a healthy brain, nervous system, and a healthy mood.

  1. Vitamins and Minerals

Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to feeling blue. We need vitamins and minerals for our body to function optimally as they help to increase our vitality and resilience to the demands of daily life.

  1. Good Bacteria in the Gut

Did you know that up to 90% of serotonin (the happy hormone) is made in the gut? When the balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria is compromised, the production of this hormone can decrease, affecting our mood. Having a healthy gut microbiome is therefore crucial for whole body health.  

  1. Sleep

A lack of quality sleep can be damaging to our health and can alter our mood significantly. Prioritising sleep hygiene and getting 7-8 hours sleep at night are good daily habits to aim for.

  1. Exercise

Bring on those feel-good endorphins! Exercise is important not only for our physical health, but it can also improve our mental well-being too. Regular exercise is a great way to relieve tension.

  1. Meditation and Mindfulness

This can help to still the mind and calm the chaos of our busy lives. Studies have shown that as little as 13 minutes of meditation a day can decrease symptoms of low mood and anxiety.  

  1. Social Interactions – Time Spent with Family and Friends

We are social creatures, and we tend to thrive when we have quality social interactions where we feel a connection to others. Try and incorporate weekly fun activities that involve friends and family.

  1. Talk to a Professional

Sometimes we need a little extra support to identify the root cause of our problem. Counseling or working with a psychotherapist can make a big difference. We recommend speaking to a healthcare professional to find the right treatment plan for you. If you are experiencing emotional distress, you can also reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Nuzest’s Clean Lean Protein is powerfully plant-based and contains all nine essential amino acids. It’s a natural source of iron and encourages recovery, vitality, muscle repair and growth. The foundation of Clean Lean Protein comes from European golden peas – a simple product that works with nature. Clean Lean Protein contains no fillers, preservatives, or artificial flavours.

Nuzest Clean Lean Protein is available online and in select health food stores.

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