How Nutrition affects your Behavior and Mental Health

by Nanci

Dietary habits are shown to affect brain structure, influencing the body both chemically and physiologically. It is becoming clear that what you consume can lead to altered behavior: You are what you eat, so to speak. Look at the foods you and those around you eat and the corresponding behavioral patterns… what do you see?

Gary Johnston, a psychotherapist specializing in anxiety disorders for over 30 years, demonstrates the important role that nutrients play in mental and nervous system disorders.


Sight, vision, muscles, heart, lungs… our entire existence depends on the nervous system. With our current dietary habits, devoid of nutrients and extensive use of pharmaceutical and recreational drugs and things like antibiotics, which are known to deplete the intestinal tract of beneficial bacteria, its no wonder gastrointestinal problems, and gut mal-absorption are leading our bodies starving for nutrients. Prepackaged foods, loaded with neurotoxins and consisting primarily of flours, sugar, and dairy are devoid of many of the required nutrients our nervous system needs to function properly.

Alcohol and sugar especially interfere with the neurotransmitters in the brain, changing our perceptions, moods, emotions and thoughts, which then can lead to mood swings, nervous system disorders, anger, anxiety, depression, and aggressive behavior. Once the body is out of balance it reaches an acidic state, which also creates an addictive state craving more of these self-defeating substances.

The solution? Nourish your nervous system! Omega 3 Fatty acids, B Vitamins, Vitamin D, and amino acids, such as tryptophan which helps synthesize serotonin in the brain are all required to nourish your cells and help improve mood and mental stability. Avoiding substances like alcohol, sugar and processed foods is key to emotional wellbeing.

Dr. Tamlin Conner, a researcher for the Department of Psychology at the University of Otago in New Zealand did a study showing the “causal relationship between dietary intake of fruits and vegetables and mood”

“On days when people ate more fruits and vegetables, they reported feeling calmer, happier and more energetic than they normally did,” says Dr Conner.

Further study found that a 16oz glass of fresh vegetable/fruit juice met the researchers recommendations to help improve mood.

The benefits of drinking more alkaline, chlorophyll rich juiced vegetables, such as cucumber, celery and kale is they help offset the acidic effects of the sugars and alcohol and any processed foods. Dr. Gabriel Cousens, of the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center states that the more one dislikes the taste of greens, the more one needs to detoxify. Your body will adjust to the taste. Give yourself 7 days to adjust.

This “Green juice” is being found to help alter the addictive cravings for such processed foods, alcohol and sugars. Cucumbers alone are considered natures best hangover cure with a high dose of electrolytes and replenishing minerals for the nervous system, including the vital B vitamins which help hydrate and nourish the nervous system as a low glycemic antidote.

A favorite brain power whole food supplement is a blue-green algae, found at your local health food store. Rich in chlorophyll, phytonutrients and omega 3 fatty acids, you can take 1-2 Tbsp daily in a glass of juice to help lower inflammation in the body and nourish your nervous system, which may just lead to a healthier, happier, you.

Written by Kristin Fraser from Inner Glow Nutrition. Join her in Nicaragua in March of 2016!


You may also like

Leave a Comment