There’s a magazine I much enjoy, called “Wellbeing”.  And in one of the latest issues… a wonderful story on “Mood Foods”.   Yes, chocolate did get its’ own section.  Described as “often used as self-medication for a low mood,” I couldn’t help but agree.  But the most fascinating part of the story for me, was the calming influences some foods and herbs can have. 

Oats and whole grains – carbohydrates produce tryptophan, which triggers the production of serotonin, the calming drug your body produces in the womb and has made you feel wonderful ever since.

Dark, leafy and bitter greens – including kale, spinach, dandelion greens, rocket, broccoli, watercress, cos lettuce and bok choy.  Lettuces have been discovered to have an opiate-like substance called lactucarium that has a calming effect. 

Cold pressed oils and raw fats – are known to provide vital nutrients for brain development. 

Ginger – used for centuries to calm the stomach.  Use it freshly grated in teas and salad dressings as well as morning tonics.  

Then the writer, Sherry Strong, listed calming herbs for teas and tonics.  

Green tea contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can have a calming effect on the brain.  California poppy is the non-addictive cousin to the opium poppy and has a calming effect while improving concentration. 

Chamomile we’ve all heard of.  It contains a carminative volatile oil that can reduce flatulence and irritation of the gut wall.  Peppermint has calming effects on the intestinal tract and stomach, while Tulsi, also called holy basil, helps the body adapt to different causes of stress, whether mental, emotional, physical or environment.  Lemon balm calms the nervous system and Valerian is described as one of the most powerful, non-addictive, non-narcotic sedatives and a central nervous system relaxant. 

We all need a little help to stay calm at times.  It’s good to know that there are all of these natural alternatives to those offered by the pharmaceutical companies.  If you think one of these may help… head for google to find out more.  Have a great day.

Christine R.

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