Many of the processed foods we eat contain chemicals, colors, flavor-enhancers and dyes that are known to disrupt proper neurotransmitter function. In addition, high-quality protein is needed on a daily basis to supply the necessary amino acids to allow the body to produce neurotransmitters. Unfortunately, the SAD diet is very high in refined carbohydrates and low in good-quality protein, which provides insufficient amino acid precursors to produce adequate neurotransmitters while simultaneously over-stimulating the body causing greater destruction of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. This can create a tremendous disparity over time, leading to neurotransmitter imbalance(s).
In addition to consuming too many processed foods, allergenic foods and poor quality proteins, there are other habits that also create neurotransmitter imbalance, including eating fast-food regularly and/or high-fat, high-sugar foods, and not eating sizeable portions of vegetables (i.e., which provide many of the vitamins and minerals needed by the body) on a daily basis.
The reason is two-fold: (1) a poor quality diet doesn’t supply the body with the necessary building blocks (i.e., amino acids and cofactors (i.e., vitamins and minerals)) to make the necessary neurotransmitters, and (2) most of these foods are so depleted in nutrients that they actually rob the body of vitamins and minerals in order to process them. Either way, following the SAD is a sure-fire way to elicit or exacerbate neurotransmitter imbalances over time. This means that getting the right foods into your body is a key to correcting these obstacles over time and absolutely essential in order to eliminate or reduce the need for amino acid therapy over the long term.
The final installment of this three-part series will focus on the impact what we drink has on our neurotransmitter balance.