March 5, 2011

024 Food and Mood [10 August 2009]

Julia Ross in her 2004 book “The Mood Cure” shares good news for those suffering from mood disorders. She explains how we can feel better naturally, without the use of caffeine, alcohol, tobacco or anti-depressants. Furthermore she predicts that we can begin to see the results in just one day.

Whether we experience depression, anxiety, oversensitivity, compulsive behaviors, eating disorders, food cravings or addictions, Julia offers hope of a drug-free cure using a special diet and certain supplements.

The diet is high in protein and supplemented with amino acids to provide the building blocks for your body to synthesize the hormones and neurotransmitters that we need to feel good. The only carbs allowed are vegetables. [Note: in this respect the program is similar to the Atkins Diet]

The diet emphasizes Omega 3 efas (essential fatty acids), particularly DHA and EPA from fish oils, which improve our mood. Flax oil is a good source of ALA, another Omega 3 efa, but one that requires conversion by enzymes that are lacking in most of us. Olive oil is high in Omega 9, another good-mood efa, so is included in the diet. Omega 6 efas found in most vegetable oils and margarines worsen your mood and are replaced in the diet with healthy saturated fats like coconut oil and butter. In her book Ross explains that the myth of saturated fats as the cause of heart disease is not supported by nutritional studies [more on this in another column].

Other supplements used in Ross’ program may include Folic Acid, GABA and 5HTP. In her clinic, Ross found that the amino acid 5HTP could usually elevate mood noticeably within 24 hours. A 2001 study by Eli Lilly showed that 5HTP increased serotonin more than 4 times more effectively than Prozac. Other clinical studies found 5HTP at least as effective as SSRI anti-depressants but without the side effects.

An interesting “side effect” of Ross’ mood program is a 180 turn around in food cravings. Instead of craving unhealthy and fattening foods like ice cream and pasta, healthy foods like protein and vegetables become more appealing. The result is a return to a more healthy weight as well as a healthy mood. This is especially significant when one of the side effects of many antidepressants is weight gain.

This information was gleaned from articles published in the summer 2009 Healthy Horizons magazine. Stop in for your free copy. You can also look up Julia Ross’ website at

This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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