Are Carbs Really Evil?
There has been a craze about low-carb diets for centuries, most commonly people know the Atkins diet, where every scientist said how horrible that diet really was. I think most currently common is the Ketogenic diet, which does have a lot of good scientific research backing it up. But when struggling with mental health it becomes a whole new world.
Now, I am not talking about a big old donut full of carbs from Timmies. Or about a can of pasta or bowl of cereal that says “whole grains” either. I am talking about non-processed whole grains, oats, rice, quinoa, millet, etc. These beauties help play a role in producing many neurotransmitters that basically help balance and control our moods.
Most people now of days know the importance of protein, whether it is completely based off of plant protein or animal protein. We know we need protein for our body’s to function. Proteins make our amino acids which are the building blocks for our tissues, muscles, and cellular function. When it comes to mental health Tryptophan (amino acid) can be converted into neurotransmitters, which are crucial for mental health.
So where do the whole grains come into play?
Whole grains are rich in many nutrients, one of them being Tryptophan. They are also very rich in vitamin B6 and folic acid. These 2 nutrients need to be present in order for the wonderful amino acid to be converted to serotonin which elevates moods. Also, they are rich in magnesium which has a calming effect on the body. Some whole grains contain vitamin B3. An insufficient amount of B3 in the diet it will result in the body using tryptophan to make it. With tryptophan being used to make B3, it will start to become depleted. This takes away from the amount of serotonin made, which can result in an imbalance in your moods. YAY Science
Unfortunately, carbs and grains get a bad rap for most of the health issues revolved around nutrition. I assure you carbs are good for you, and they are vital to many things, as it is our bodies primary source of fuel for energy. Stay focused on whole foods, and your body will love you for it. Our bodies know what to do with whole foods. They come with an added bonus, natural enzymes. So, each food has the ability to start breaking itself down, less work for your body.
If you are one to want to try this ketogenic diet out, do it properly. Work with a professional that knows about the diet and about whole foods. A lot of ketogenic foods focus on eggs and cream cheese daily. Check out my blog about Food and Mental Health, and learn why you should rotate your diet.
Struggling with your mental health? Looking for help on the next steps? Check out my Freedom Ready Programs.