The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”
Dutch researchers have concluded that you can indeed eat your way to a better mood. It’s not how much you eat, and in some cases the secret is what you don’t eat. But if you are easily frustrated and stressed, you may be able to avoid these moods.
Dutch researchers were investigating tryptophan, which the brain uses to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter that improves your mood. They prepared two chocolate drinks, one that contained a milk protein rich in tryptophan and another with casein, another milk protein. Volunteers who had been pre‑evaluated for their susceptibility for stress drank one or the other of these with breakfast and again later in the morning. At mid‑day, the volunteers spent 20 minutes at a computer doing math problems as loud industrial noise blared in the background. Researchers then evaluated each subject’s mood, pulse rate, stress hormones and brain serotonin levels. None of the subjects who had the tryptophan‑rich chocolate drink showed any stress factor, no matter how prone to stress they naturally were. Other research has shown that sugar or starch‑rich foods also raise serotonin in the brain. Researchers concluded that simple diet modifications that include tryptophan prior to expected times of stress can help the average person respond to stress. They also warn that meat protein blocks the brain’s absorption of tryptophan.
While we can cast all our fears and frustrations on the Lord, it is good to know that He has provided us with a way to better cope with nagging, daily stress.
Prayer: Lord, I cast all my cares on You, for You care for me. Amen.
Ref: Science News, 7/8/00, p. 23, “Stress‑prone? Altering the diet may help.”