The Food & Confidence Connection

Almond-Berry-and-Chicken-Spinach-Salad-with-a-delicious-and-easy-dressing 4

“You are what you eat so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake.”

Points to Ponder:
Is your diet providing you the opportunity to maximize your confidence?
Is it providing you the opportunity to optimize your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being?

Action Items:
1.  Consume 20-30 gram or 1 oz of protein per meal from: fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, cottage cheese, beans, grains, nuts and seeds (meats and eggs need to be free range and grass-fed, dairy needs to be organic, fish needs to be wild and not farm raised)

2.  If vegan, vegetarian, or serotonin levels/moods don’t increase with added protein, consume an effective and natural serotonin herbal remedy called Saint-John’s wort, which is equally as effective as Prozac in treating symptoms of depression.

Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Undoubtedly, when I began reading The Confidence Code, I never would’ve imagined all of the research that has been dedicated to determining the origin of confidence, how we get more of it and why some of us have more or less of it. And, I for sure would not have guessed that food (our diet) plays a real physiological role in our ability to have confidence. Honestly, The Confidence Code has not made the diet/confidence correlation (at least not that I’ve read yet). Rather, I have drawn this conclusion and here’s why:

In The Confidence Code, research has found that “having healthy levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter) in the prefrontal cortex of the brain enables us to make more rational decisions, because serotonin helps us remain calm. Our prefrontal cortex is the command center of our brain–it’s the home of executive function, rational thought and decision making. When that part of the brain is awash in serotonin, it encourages confidence in our decision making because we feel much less stress.”

Now, couple the serotonin piece with the findings from another compelling book, The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, which is based on 15 years of clinical results. She also sights that “if you have healthy and high levels of serotonin you are positive, confident, flexible, and easy-going. On the flip-side, if you have low or sinking levels of serotonin you’ll tend to become negative, obsessive, worried, irritable and sleepless. Furthermore, serotonin is emotionally vital in that it is our primary defense against depression and anxiety”. And so, if we are anxious or depressed, sustainable confidence is impossible.

Now, here’s the crazy but not surprising discovery found in the The Mood Cure. “Serotonin is made out of the foods we eat and is synthesized in your body from tryptophan, an amino acid (protein building block) found in foods like turkey, beef and cheese. And therefore, if we are not eating pro-serotonin foods like protein and healthy fats, and we are consuming too much anti-serotonin foods like caffeinated sodas, coffee, artificially sweetened foods and drinks (man-made/fake foods), chances are our serotonin levels are low, leaving us sluggish and not feeling confident. (Fast foods and skipped meals have depleted us from many of the vitamins and minerals that assist in the magic conversion of tryptophan to serotonin.)”

According to The Mood Cure, there are also three other neurotransmitters that affect our moods: catecholamines, GABA and endorphins. “If you are high in catecholamines, you are energized, upbeat, and alert. If you are low in catecholamines- you are sinking in lethargic funks. If you are high in GABA- you’re relaxed and stress free. If there’s a gap in your GABA- you’re wired, stressed and overwhelmed. If you are high in endorphins- you’re full of cozy feelings of comfort, pleasure and euphoria. If you are low in endorphins- you may be overly sensitive. And, to sum it all up, too much stress depletes the brain of the these “feel good” neurotransmitters. A good night’s sleep, adequate relaxation and appropriate down time are critical to restoring optimal levels of good-mood chemicals.”

I’ve always believed that ‘diet is king’ and plays a significant role in our health and happiness. After reading the scientific evidence in the The Confidence Code and The Mood Cure, I am now more convinced that the foods and drinks we consume are indeed directly related to our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual well-being and confidence.



4 thoughts on “The Food & Confidence Connection

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