Vitamins. Necessary evil or mood enhancer??
So, no one is totally sure why, but some vitamins seem to affect our moods...B12 and D too...Both are thought to help increase the production of serotonin. Hmmmmm.
What's the point?? Well, I ran out of vitamins last week. I didn't have any time to go get more. And guess what. I was moody and sullen most of the week. Granted, I was busy and had a lot of stress too, but I'm curious to see how this week will play out. Now that I'm back on the vitamins, that is.
Interesting thing about serotonin...it's a neurotransmitter, but you knew that. Did you know this though...serotonin is made through a chemical process that converts tryptophan into the neurotransmitter. Yeah! That stuff in turkey that makes us sleepy on Thanksgiving! Well, B6 is thought to influence the rate that tryptophan is converted to serotonin. Anyway, serotonin production is thought to be instrumental in balancing our moods. Low serotonin levels are strongly correlated with depression. Scientists don't know if one causes the other, but both are often found together.
So, we need tryptophan to get serotonin?? Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that going around eating turkey non-stop will make you chemically happy. And thank goodness, because I'm not that big a fan of turkey! If you have a whole mess of extra tryptophan running around in your body, your brain only takes what it needs. If you want to get more tryptophan in to your brain, it turns out that you need more carbs...wait a minute! Carbs are generally viewed as 'comfort food'. Well, when you eat carbs, your body releases insulin. Insulin allows amino acids to be absorbed. Tryptophan is an amino acid, but it gets absorbed by the brain, not the body. Once in the brain, tryptophan gets converted to serotonin. And serotonin gets converted to happiness. Sorta.
Once I've had a chance to get the vitamins back in my system...remember to ask me how I'm feeling!
Date-night dinner at Fire and Ice
dinner salad in class tonight
at home tonight: 100 calorie popcorn, nachos and pumpkin ice cream (talk about eating to soothe the self!)
I guess I forgot to photograph it...but I had eggs and a sausage patty for breakfast