Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems in Britain. Research shows that physical activity can boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress and depression. But, it is not just how you move your body that can have an impact. What you put in your body can play a significant role too.
Serotonin is he brain chemical that promotes relaxation and is responsible for maintaining mood balance. A deficit of serotonin leads to depression.
Avocados helps our bodies to create serotonin by providing a source of the amino acid, tryptophan.
San Francisco nutritionist Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association says, “Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, and serotonin, a neurotransmitter, helps you feel calm.”
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, that must be derived from the foods we eat as our bodies do not produce it.
Research published in the August 2004 issue of the “Archives of General Psychiatry” indicates that study subjects with relapsed depression demonstrated worsened symptoms when their brains contained less tryptophan.
B Vitamins (including Folic Acid)
Studies have shown a relationship between the B vitamins and mood. Avocados are an excellent source of B-complex vitamins (including folic acid).
According to a study in the 2007 “Journal of Clinical Psychiatry,” not getting enough folic acid in your diet from can put you at greater risk of developing depression.
Folic acid helps with brain function and Avocados contain more folic acid per ounce than any other fruit.
A deficiency of vitamin B6 is also associated with depression. Just one avocado per day provides the average person with sufficient vitamin B6.
Essential Fatty Acids
Evidence continues to mount that consuming essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) can enhance our mood.
Dr. Carol Locke, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, who served on the faculty for 14 years, says, “An imbalance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 can result in an overall inflammatory response and related disorders such as depression, cardiac disease, cancer, dementia, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.”
Our bodies do not produce essential fatty acids, so we must get them from our diet. Avocado is an excellent source of essential fatty acids, providing omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9.
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