Tips for Healthy Living: Pillar 5

Tips for  Healthy Living: Pillar 5

I’m a bit of a health nut…it’s probably obvious by now! In addition to to eating healthily, I try to get to the gym every day and keep up on health & fitness news. Following is a tip inspired by Pillar 2 of “The Nine Pillars of Successful Weight Loss” from Life Extension magazine (June 2009). – Carmelo Sigona

Pillar Number 5: Restore Brain Serotonin

A serotonin deficiency has been associated with the carbohydrate binging that contributes to the accumulation of excess body fat. Obese individuals have low blood tryptophan levels, which indicate that their overeating patterns may be related to a serotonin deficiency in the brain.

Studies have found that tryptophan is needed to produce serotonin in the brain. Luckily for us, there are several foods that are packed with tryptophan which can help, they include…

Foods that help increase levels of serotonin:

  • Turkey
  • Black eyed-peas
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds,
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cheeses: cheddar, gruyere, Swiss
  • Whole grains
  • Rice
  • Dairy products

I’d like to add…always try to eat nuts and seeds raw to receive all the health benefits.

Additionally, I also found this part of the 5th pillar interesting: In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, obese patients on protein-rich diets who received tryptophan (750 mg twice daily orally) had significant weight loss, compared with a placebo group. I always suggest proteins, good fats and lots of delicious veggies for healthy diet (choose a variety of different and interesting veggies to keep the pallet wanting the healthy phytonutrients!).

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