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Mood


Most of us recognise to some degree that our day-to-day moods are affected by what we eat.  But people are often amazed at the enormous difference dietary change can make to how they feel – about themselves and the world - and also to how they behave.  Some examples are:.

  • One of the most important ways in which we can keep our moods stable is to eat in a way that keeps our blood sugar levels even through the day.  In the modern world, many of us don’t do this very well, and the results can affect our work performance as well as our home life.  Poor blood sugar management may increase our levels of anxiety and stress, and our moods can then begin to swing quite a lot.
  • It’s well known that clinical depression is caused in many cases by low levels of the mood chemical serotonin (which is why drugs such as Seroxat can sometimes help).  But with the right diet we should be able to make plenty of our own serotonin every day – we’re designed to do so!  Serotonin also helps us get a good night’s sleep.  A nutritionist will look into how well you are feeding the biochemical pathway responsible for making the “happy chemical” serotonin.
  • Seasonal affective disorder, which many people start to dread as summer moves into autumn, may well be influenced by the amount of vitamin D and other nutrients in the diet.
  • Even if we are eating healthily, we may not be absorbing the important nutrients for mood properly – perhaps because we have digestive problems or are over-stressed.
  • Children and young people can be very influenced by junk and processed food, by certain additives and by excess sugar in the diet – wreaking havoc at home and at school, and giving rise to problems such as hyperactivity or ADHD or just tantrums, as well as sleep problems and especially depression, which is increasing amongst the young.
  • I can also assist with nutritional investigation and help for specific mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, various anxiety disorders or autism.  There may be links between mental functioning and specific nutrient deficiencies or imbalances which may have triggered the problem in the first place.  These can be investigated and clinically tested, and in many cases corrected, often enabling sufferers and their families to lead a much more normal life.


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Sally Whitman of Blackberry Nutrition experienced nutrition consultant and nutritional therapist with a very busy clinic in Cheltenham, near Gloucester, Gloucestershire