Food Impacts Mood, Focus, Energy
Updated: Jan 14
Food impacts our mood, focus, and energy via the gut-brain axis. I talk to patients every day on how to optimize their food to feel better. There are 3 factors of food that we address and work on: 1) Nutritional deficiencies: When vitamins and minerals become deficient from alcohol, medications, caffeine, and low intake of certain foods. We can evaluate
2) Malabsorption: When nutrients from the food we eat do not get absorbed properly in the digestive tract. I look at how well someone is absorbing or digesting food two ways. One way to evaluate malabsorption is through metabolic markers in the urine. These compounds may reflect malabsorption or intestinal overgrowth.
Another way to evaluate how well we are digesting food is through stool testing.
Elastase 1 is a digestive enzyme secreted exclusively by the pancreas to break down fat, giving a direct indication of pancreatic function and how well we are breaking down our fats. Fecal fats in the stool (known as steatorrhea) are normally emulsified by bile salts and absorbed in the small intestines. High levels of fat in the stool may be an indication of maldigestion. High levels of fecal beta-glucuronidase can indicate unfavorable metabolic changes in the colon. Beta-glucuronidase may indicate gut imbalance and impaired detoxification. Immunoglobulin A is the primary immunoglobulin in the intestinal mucosa. It represents a “first line of defense” in response to antigens and pathogens in the GI and respiratory tracts. In addition to protecting against pathogens, secretory IgA plays a major role in helping to maintain balance in the gut microbiome and protecting against exposure to food-derived antigens. High secretory IgA may suggest food sensitivities. Anti-gliadin IgA is a marker that suggests how our gut is responding to gluten. Fecal calprotectin is the most studied marker of gastrointestinal inflammation. Inflammation in the gut leads to inflammation in the brain.
3) Food sensitivities or intolerances: When problems occur after a certain food is eaten. Food sensitivities can lead to pain, brain fog, fatigue, headaches, rashes, and more. Food testing is available for all ages with a finger prick test.
Once we begin working on these root cause factors, we can choose healthier options when eating out and implement small changes at home that work for our schedule. I provide shopping lists, meal plans, gut healing tips, and simple but effective solutions. Food and gut health are both vital keys to feeling better, having optimal focus, and achieving our health/life goals. 🍣🌮🥩🥦🥑🍑🍖🥗
This bowl is from @plummarket and contains chicken, salmon, kale, lentils, quinoa, couscous, navy beans, edamame, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, coconut milk, and sweet potato. On weekends, I enjoy eating out at least once and having a guilty pleasure of some kind. For the week, I plan my meals on Sunday. During the week, I cook at home. It's all about finding balance. Food builds us or breaks us. Choose yours wisely! I love helping people choose food that is best to enhance their energy, mood, and focus. Learn more at www.drfelty.com.