Food, without it there is no life!

It affects the chemicals in your brain; these chemicals are called neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters control many of the bodies’ functions including mood, appetite, thoughts, feelings and indeed our behaviors.

As you probably know (especially if you've spoken to me:) brainwave entrainment helps to create some very important neurotransmitters that we all need for proper everyday functioning. What you may not know however is that many of the foods we eat also directly influence the production or non-production of important neurotransmitters that we need, to be happy and healthy in our lives.

For example; one neurotransmitter that affects mood is called serotonin. Serotonin can be produced by foods such as dairy, beef, poultry, nuts, beans, pasta and even some types of bread.

Most of the brains’ neurotransmitters are actually made from something called amino acids which are obtained from the proteins in various foods. Neurotransmitters are actually the brains’ chemicals that help to motivate, sedate, focus or frustrate us and their complex interaction is what is responsible for shifting your mood and helping to change your mind and how it functions.

You may have heard or read from other sources that it's good to load up on carbs if you need a burst of energy. In actuality you need to choose more protein when you're tired. Foods that are high in protein include fish, poultry, meat and eggs. Other foods which can be good sources of protein are legumes, cheese and milk.

These foods are broken down during digestion and become amino acid building blocks including Tyrosine, which help to increase the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, which in turn can bring increased energy and mental alertness. On the other hand you need to be sure to avoid simple carbohydrates, such as foods made with white flour, for example; breads, pasta and rice as well as carbs high in sugar which can tend to lead to fatigue.

In order to get the most beneficial effects from either carbohydrates or proteins it's always best to eat them separately. The energy boosting effect that you can get from proteins will often be offset if you start out a lunch of fish for example (protein) with a role (mostly carbohydrates). Make the protein the first food that you eat and then go lightly on the carbohydrates (if it's mental alertness that you're after:).

Helpful hint number one... berries are loaded with antioxidants called anthocyanins which combat inflammation, and free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that can harm brain cells and impair brain function. Some research suggests that blueberries may also enable brain cells to send and receive messages more easily.

Eating carbohydrates can help to trigger the release of insulin into the bloodstream.

Insulin actually helps to clear all of the amino acids out of the blood with the exception of Tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that normally gets crowded out by other amino acids in its attempts to cross what is called the blood-brain barrier, but when its competitors are out of the way it can enter the brain. What is interesting about this is that the Tryptophan is actually converted to serotonin, and serotonin is a neurotransmitter that tends to have the effect of reducing pain, decreasing appetite and producing a sense of calm. Of course, if there's too much of it you can even induce sleep, which will explain why many people after a large Thanksgiving turkey dinner get very tired. Tryptophan is a very large component of turkey.

Helpful hint number two... Research is showing that dieters tend to become depressed about two weeks into a diet, about the time that their serotonin levels have dropped due to decreased carbohydrate intake.

Protein sources such as fish, chicken and red meat can help increase alertness. During the digestion process, protein rich foods are broken down into amino acids as well and some of those amino acids help to increase the production of neurotransmitters that are known to increase energy levels and alertness. For example; deficiency of folic acid has been linked to depression in clinical studies. This deficiency tends to cause serotonin levels in the brain to decrease, in fact it's been found that psychiatric patients with depression tend to have much higher rates of folic acid deficiency than is found in the general public. It has also been found that this kind of depression can often be relieved by as little as 200 mcg of cooked spinach or even a simple glass of orange juice.

Researcher Judith Wurtman suggested recently that serotonin deficiency could actually cause depression and thus could be helped by eating high carbohydrate foods thus increasing Tryptophan intake. According to Wurtman, food induced changes in energy and mood can be explained by the effect of foods on neurotransmitter levels. She suggests choosing foods on the basis of their content of principal amino acids and carbohydrate/protein ratios. For example; Tryptophan uptake in the brain is actually enhanced if it is ingested along with sugar and not with other competing amino acids.

Research that has been conducted by the Brain and Behavior Institute at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands has shown that foods depleted in the amino acid Tryptophan can commonly cause depression. It appears that Tryptophan is a metabolic precursor to the chemical messenger serotonin (this simply means that you need one to get the other), and is found in foods such as milk, bread, cheese and bananas as well as meats such as Turkey. What they actually found was that the depletion of serotonin levels in the brain can actually result in depression and other mental problems, all of which can be helped greatly by one's diet and nutritional intake.

Helpful hint number three... The early warning signs of serotonin deficiency may be a noticeable loss of enthusiasm for your favorite activity or a lack of joy when eating your favorite foods, also physical symptoms like weight gain or skin breakouts may signal to you that you have a biochemical imbalance.

Endorphins are another type of chemical that also has a great deal of an effect on our moods and energy levels. A food substance that is related to Endorphins is phenyl ethylamine, and is found in chocolate. There is actually some evidence that chocolate can be responsible for improving mood temporarily due to its high levels of sugar, fat, phenyl ethylamine and caffeine. The sugar in chocolate is associated with the release of serotonin and phenyl ethylamine is associated with the release of endorphins. This can cause an effect that has been popularly called “optimal brain happiness”. Of course, the caffeine in chocolate also adds a temporary stimulant effect to help round out the complete chocolate experience.

You may find it interesting that when estrogen drops during menopause and before a woman's period each month, her serotonin levels also fall. This may explain why many women reach for chocolate at these times.

It has been noted that a lack of selenium can also have a role in causing bad moods. It seems that individuals who suffer from too little selenium have been shown to be more anxious, irritable, hostile and depressed than people who are in possession of normal levels. It is not quite known how selenium does what it does, but making sure to get enough in your diet is always a good idea. One way to do this is to eat foods like brazil nuts, tuna sandwiches, sunflower seeds and whole grain cereals.

Helpful hint number four... recently it has been found that many alternative methods aimed at raising neurotransmitter levels have been widely used with reportedly good success, especially in places such as Asia and Europe. Some of these methods include properly engineered brainwave entrainment, acupuncture, hypnosis, massage, reflexology, meditation, yoga as well as some herbal remedies. Actual neurotransmitter measurements of meditating Tibetan monks showed increased levels of serotonin, known in those circles as the “serenity” messenger. With scientific data like this that now supports the benefits of these ancient treatments, more western medical disciplines are becoming convinced and are integrating them into their practices.

Author's Bio: 

As a child I had many problems ranging from thousands of voices in my head to severe depression. I also had a very big mouth, was always getting into trouble and almost unbelievably accident prone (I have dislocated/separated my shoulders alone over 150 times, I won’t even get into the myriad of broken bones, shredded tendons and ligaments, concussions, etc.) As a matter of fact I remember thinking up the phrase... "Life is but a disease, for which there is no cure but death". I often thought about how great it would be, to be... not here anymore, not anywhere anymore.

Something inside me made me start looking into this field when I began to notice that sometimes time seemed to move faster and more pleasantly than other times. I eventually made the connection that when time seemed to move quicker, the sounds I was hearing were more, rhythmic in nature and when time seemed to painfully stand still, the surrounding sounds were far more disjointed in nature.

All of this started me on a multi-decade odyssey of research into the field of "brainwave entrainment".
After many years of using other people’s products with some limited success, I was determined to figure out why these recordings seemed to work, but only in a minor way, with little effect, when all of the research I read suggested the effects should be more dominant than what I was experiencing.

I decided that my best route to understanding might be by learning at the feet of an expert in the field—so I ended up contacting the world's foremost expert in the field of brainwave entrainment and learned invaluable information that could not be gotten anywhere else.

I was trained, and now I am currently the only one in the world who actually can claim to be a "Certified Brainwave Entrainment Engineer"—and I have the education to back it up!

Now I want to help others to be all they can be... naturally.