What happens when you pay attention to the habits of your mind?
All functions in life such as energy levels, mood, physical performance, sleep cycle, weight, pain, and cognitive thinking are constantly affected by neurotransmitters communicating chemical messages to nerves in the mind and body. Biological and chemical changes influence foreign objects (food, drugs, chemicals) undergo metabolism and excretion when consumed. Neurotransmitters fire or inhibits firing based on how the foreign object interacts with the body. Eventually the mind becomes hard-wired. Habits from repeated chemical reactions taking place in the brain burrow paths to and from receptors responsible for different functions in the body.
In-balances caused by poor diet, drugs, excessive antibiotics, and stress lead to tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms. Such is the case with diets high in antibiotics, sugar, and caffeine. Paying close attention to eating habits and the body’s reaction to food consumed is critical start to changing adverse mental and physical habits associated with diet and mood. People do in fact have the ability to balance chemical changes, transform, and assist in healing both physical and mental health by changing their diets, thoughts, and behaviors.
Monitoring the diet, irregularity, excessive gas, mood, and weight gain and loss will aid in how your diet influences your whole being. Look at your health from a neurological standpoint. Begin to develop a routine to reflect on eating habits and details personal to you. We all hear about diets high in sugar, corn, processed and refined food are no good but why are they no good for you in particular? How do these foods interact with your body, your health, your mind? What is your perception of food? How are these thoughts inhibiting your daily life? Do you eat breakfast and how does this affect metabolism, excretion, and your neurotransmitters connections? Consider ways to increase Serotonin and other neurotransmitters without drugs.
Let’s start by learning a little bit about how our own mindz and bodies work. Let’s look a little deeper into Metabolism and Excretion.
Metabolism can be thought of as using or breaking down foreign objects (Chemicals, Food, Substances) we put into our bodies though the liver, blood, lymph fluid, brain enzymes and chemicals, or by any tissue that recognizes the substance consumed into the body. It can also be viewed as the amount of time it takes to complete this process.
We are definitely what we eat!
The way this food is processed, stored, washed and cooked leaves traces of unintended foreign objects in our bodies. These substances still have to be processed, used, and inactivated though our metabolic system and fires or inhibits our Neurotransmitters in the process. Amines is a major neurotransmitter that includes Norepinephrien (Attention Span, Confidence, Energy), Dopamine (Motor Movements, Reinforcement Center, Emotional Stability), Histamine (Tissue Inflammation, Allergic Responses, Regulate Emotional Behavior/Sleep), Serotonin (Sleep, Sex, Appetite, Depression/Anxiety), and Acetylcholine (most active at nerve muscle junctions). Now that we have a little understanding on what these processes and communication centers do lets go a little deeper into a few to get an understanding of how everything is connected.
Acetylcholine for example helps to control mental sharpness or keen thought, memory, and learning but if food is improperly canned a bacteria called Clostridium Botulinum grows which once consumed becomes a Botulinum toxin that inhibits the release of Acetylcholine. Acetylcholine imbalance has been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.
Low levels of Serotonin due to chronic ingestion of naturally tryptophan-poor diets such as corn, for example can cause heightened sensitivity to painful stimuli. Increasing serotonin levels can restore pain sensitivity to normal values. Most notably, elevating Serotonin levels are a common practice at alleviating depression. Increasing vegetables feeds into your system slowly helping to regulate these levels. Foods rich in α-Lactalbumin, a minor constituent of milk, is one protein that contains relatively more amino acid Tryptophan than most proteins. Acute ingestion of α-lactalbumin (found in breast milk) by humans can improve mood and cognition in some circumstance. Other foods rich in Tryptophan like milk elk, eggs, seaweed, spriulina, and spinach though they have not been proven to increase the amino acid but help to maintain a healthy balance in the body. Exercise and light also help to boost Serotonin levels, especially in the winter months.
Vitamin B-12, B6, Floate, and Choline are involved in metabolism of Homocysteine. High Homocysteine is associated with low levels of these vitamins, renal disease, and heart disease. The best way to increase these levels is through eating meat, but there is more. The sulfur- containing compound produced in this process metabolism of amino acid Methionine are involved in the metabolism and reduction of Homocysteine. These vitamins are also crucial for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and many neurotransmitters. Extreme Vitamin B-12 Deficiencies are associated with damages in the Myelin sheath of the nerves, pernicious anemia, Atropic gastritis and other neurological problems but the onset of small deficiencies can effect the body in similar ways. Foods with larges Methionie levels are eggs, egg whites, and fishes like cod, salmon, and pollack. Foods rich in Vitamin B-12 are clam, liver, and trout.
Being mindful of this information empowers us to understand fundamentally how our bodies work. Our minds operate through making connections. The chemical connection between food, metabolism, neurotransmitters, and amino acids either impact our health optimally or negatively. Keep in mind intake and processing are only half the battle. The way we excrete waste and eliminate substances from our bodies also contributes significantly good health.
The primary organ used for excretion or elimination is the kidney, but we also eliminate through exhaling (lungs), sweat glands (skin), and using the restroom (urine and feces). If we think of metabolism as process, use, and conversion, we can think about excretion as release and detoxify. Some activities that promote good excreting waste and toxins are drinking plenty of water, working out, doing Yoga, adding minerals to your diet and reflecting on how you feel by doing these activities. It has been shown that physical activity reorganizes the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function –The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
Neurotransmitters is your magnificent brain’s way of communicating to your whole body, over and over again! Sometimes exercise and a change in diet is not enough alone to rewire hardwired connections. A step beyond regular exercise is needed like Yoga and meditation. Because even spiritual health is greatly affected but we must remember the excretion process is also preformed through the lungs. Any moment of the day you can take 10 deep inhales and exhales to breathe. It is difficult to achieve inner peace, self awareness, or find meaning and purpose in life when Dopamine,
serotonin, Endorphins and GABA are not sufficient, disrupted or in excess. There is a lot more to the story then just a simple eating habit or a smoking habit that you can’t kick. When organ systems do not function as they should the result can be mental and physical illness, diseases, addiction, and emotional problems. You may have the best intentions but just about everyone has had that moment where they felt like the situation is far beyond their control. Breath work and meditation helps to balance the mind, prayer helps us to let go to find peace, Yoga helps to manage and decrease of stress, but a combination of all these things plus knowledge of how YOUR body works can help you to experience change needed to live an enriched, healthy life.In addition, neurotransmitter connections are established through human interaction, sunlight, thoughts, emotions, decision making, behaviors, reading, writing, i.e. each one of these activities can enhance or deteriorate the process. There is no one solution for everybody to follow nor is there a guideline that will apply to you for your whole life because our human and spiritual life is ever transforming.
Fact: A study evaluating the effects of Hatha Yoga and meditation concluded Yogic practices for 3 months resulted in an improvement in cardiorespiratory performance, increased plasma melatonin and psychologic profile (Study of their personality and character by analyzing their behavior) in thirty healthy men in the age group of 25-35 years. 1. Prasad, C. (1998). Food, mood and health: a neurobiological outlook. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 31(12): 1517-1527.
Author Simon N. Young of “How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs”, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077351/ has additional information caring for and understanding mental health.