Protein

Soy

Soy contains many wonderful elements.  Specifically, Omega-6, tryptophan and isoflavones, (plant hormones), which not only help improve mood, and prevent depression, but improves heart and circulatory health, lowers cholesterol, improves bone health, and improves pre-menopausal  transition.  Soy is also an excellent low fat alternative for animal proteins.

According to Monique Gilbert who wrote the book, "Virtues of Soy", your best sources are:

"tempeh, whole soybeans (like edamame), textured soy protein, soynuts, tofu and soymilk." 1

If you are turning your nose up to this suggestion, visit Monique's site (1) and give the "Recipe of the Month" a try.  YUM!!

 L-tryptophan, Dopamine, Norepinephrine and Noradrenaline

Magic!  Neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, noradrenaline, and L-tryptophan  helps our body produce serotonin.  Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps carry messages in our brain.  Serotonin is known to improve mood, prevent depression, alertness, promote restful sleep and  improve sex drive. 2,6

Source foods containing dopamine, norepinephrine and noradrenaline are readily found in chicken and turkey and other lean protein.  Turkey is slightly higher than chicken.  These  not only calm you but also make you more mentally alert.  Why do we fall asleep after a great turkey dinner then?  Probably all the carbohydrates that go along with the meal.2

Cooked with out their skins, they can be one of the best low fat alternatives.  Many complain that cooking in this manner removes all the flavor and makes the meat dry.  Marinating in a variety of juices and herbs can solve these problems, grilling, baking, sauté in defatted chicken broth, woking,  or my favorite, baking with a Reynold's baking bag, all provide a low fat version of these delights.  

Source foods  containing L-tryptophan include: heated milk, turkey,  "roasted pumpkin seeds, baked potatoes with their skin, and kelp" 3.   These food can really help "boost" your mood, especially in the winter.  You will also need to increase your intake of vitamin B6.  
(
we will cover foods containing B6 in the vitamin section)

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