Judith Wurtman's theme is women's health and how a wide variety of diets affect it. She and a colleague have written a book called The Power of the Serotonin Diet, one of the main manifestos for a new healthy lifestyle.
The point is that in order to lose weight, you need to have a lot of energy and enjoy life, and for this you need to make friends with your own appetite. It won't go off scale when you balance your serotonin levels. This chemical element is one of the brain's neurotransmitters, which is responsible for many important processes in our body. First of all - for appetite, mood and libido. When serotonin levels drop, we experience bouts of acute hunger - and one in which we terribly want something “tasty”, and the more harmful, the better. If serotonin in the brain is chronically low, this is already depression (Prozac and other antidepressants are designed in such a way that as a result, serotonin is increased). And when he is normal, we, on the contrary, feel the fullness of life - literally and figuratively, even if the last time we ate parsley six hours ago.
It is with a lack of serotonin that some doctors associate obesity "in the upper type" - when you get fat in the abdomen and waist. The synthesis of serotonin in the body stimulates tryptophan, an amino acid that is found in foods rich in fiber, proteins and complex carbohydrates (they are also called "slow" - they are digested for a long time and do not cause a sharp rise in glucose levels). Conversely, easily digestible empty carbohydrates, as well as strict protein diets, coffee and alcohol, reduce serotonin levels. In practice, this means that you need to eat oats and, in general, everything from whole grains, brown rice, legumes, turkey, seafood (they contain a lot of polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6), bananas, dates, figs, dried apricots, sesame seeds and other nuts, sweet potatoes, shrimp (rich in magnesium, which also indirectly increases serotonin levels), celery,cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, dark chocolate. Of all alcohol, only dry red wine is good for serotonin. This is a pleasant diet - you need to limit yourself just a little, you can eat bread, durum wheat pasta and other wonderful things. But it is very important when to eat and how much.
Dr. Wurtman's recommendations
- If you are hungry, slow carbs can help. It is better not to mix them with proteins - you must wait at least three hours before and after carbohydrates. The protein content in a carbohydrate portion should not exceed 4 g, fat - no more than 3 g.
- Eat carbohydrates at the beginning, not at the end of your meal. If the restaurant has brought bread (preferably from whole grain flour), you can quite afford a slice.
- Proteins are for breakfast and lunch, in the afternoon it is better to save yourself with carbohydrates (bananas, dried fruits, a piece of chocolate). For dinner - carbohydrates and quite a bit of protein (for example, pasta with asparagus and shrimp). Serotonin will rise, and you can easily do without sweets for tea. By the way, serotonin improves sleep quality.
- Stress - especially if you're doing a hundred things at once - triggers serotonin hunger. This means you need even more serotonin, which can be achieved with more movement and sun exposure. When it gets very cold, buy vitamins and minerals that have a beneficial effect on the nervous system: B6, B12, B5 and B8 (inositol), E, magnesium, chromium, zinc, selenium, L-lipoic acid and biotin. Drink it all down with St. John's wort, aka St. John's Wort.
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