ASK THE EXPERT – As seen in the Surprise Independent, April 8, 2015

Tracy Garrett - Sun Health Center For Health & WellnessAuthor Linda Grayson once said, “There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”

Chocolate, consumed in moderation of course, is the mother of all good-mood foods but there are other mothers in our cupboards, refrigerators and grocery stores worth getting to know. Researchers have identified several nutrients that can boost mood and keep stress at bay.

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Much of the research has focused on food’s impact on cortisol and serotonin, two naturally occurring chemicals in our bodies. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone because we produce more of it when we are under stress. High levels of cortisol can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular problems, digestive issues, chronic fatigue and insomnia. Serotonin is the “feel good” hormone known for calming and reducing anxiety. Low levels of serotonin have been linked to anxiety, stress and depression.

Tracy Garrett is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Sun Health Center for Health and Wellbeing in Surprise.

Information provided in the section is from a multidisciplinary team of Sun Health professionals at the Center for Health and Wellbeing, based in Surprise, Arizona. However, it should not be a substitute for medical advice from your physician. To submit a question for consideration, email besunhealthy@sunhealth.org.

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