Could Amino Acids be the cause of your Mood Issue?


Amino Acids are not talked about enough and they are necessary in the body, especially for proper brain function. Making sure you are sufficient in amino acids helps to maintain balance in the entire body. Are you suffering from a mood related issue such as anxiety or depression and can’t figure out why?

What are Amino Acids?

Amino Acids are the building blocks to protein. They are responsible for strength, repair, and rebuilding inside the body.  Your cells, tissues and your brain get nourishment and protection from amino acids. 

Amino acids make up for nearly 75% of your body. Next to water, they make up the largest portion of our body weight.  80% of amino acids are manufactured in the liver. The others are obtained from diet so it is careful to be aware of the amino acids that you are ingesting.

These 9 are considered Essential Amino Acids. 

  • leucine
  • isoleucine
  • valine
  • lysine
  • threonine
  • tryptophan
  • methionine
  • phenylalanine
  • histidine.

Low Amino acid counts can result in:

  • Allergies
  • Ulcers
  • Anemia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Autoimmune
  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Certain Cancers
  • Depression
  • Cognitive Issues
  • insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Panic Attacks
  • Musculoskeletal Pain
  • ADD (attention deficit disorder) & ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder),

Amino Acids are found in foods like red meat, poultry, eggs, seafood and dairy products.  Plant foods will only supply some of the amino acids you need.  For this reason, a vegetarian diet should be balanced to ensure that amino acids are derived from all parts of the diet. Vegetable sources of protein such as nuts, beans, and grains are incredibly healthy, because they not only provide amino acids, but additional nutrients such as fiber, vitamins A and C.

  • Arginine – alfalfa, carrots, green leafy vegetables, beetroots, cucumber, celery, lettuce, radishes and potatoes.
  • Alanine – Main source being alfalfa, but also found in: celery, carrot, lettuce, cucumber, turnips, green pepper, spinach, plums, apples, guavas, grapes, oranges, almonds and strawberries.
  • Aspartic acid – carrots, celery, radishes, cucumber, mint, tomatoes, turnips, lemons, grapefruit, apples, plums, pineapples, melons and almonds.
  • Cystine – alfalfa, beet roots, carrots, cabbages, cauliflower, onions, garlic, apples, pineapples, raspberries, raisins.
  • Glutamic acid – found in carrots, turnips, cabbages, celery, beetroots, mint, lettuce, spinach and papaya.
  • Glycine – carrots, turnips, celery, mint, alfalfa, spinach, garlic, potatoes, figs, oranges, raspberries, pomegranates, melons and almonds.
  • Histidine – radishes, carrots, cucumber, beetroots, celery, garlic, onions, turnips, alfalfa, spinach, pineapples, apples, pomegranates and papaya.
  • Hydroxy glutamic acid – carrots, mint, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, grapes, raspberries, plums
  • Hydroxy praline – carrots, lettuce, beetroots, turnips, cucumber, plums, cherries, figs, radishes, grapes, olives, pineapples, almonds and coconut.
  • Lodogorgoic acid – carrots, celery, spinach, tomatoes, lettuce and pineapple.
  • Isoleucine – papaya, olives, coconuts, almonds, apricots, pistachios and walnuts.
  • Leucine – coconuts, almonds, apricots, papaya, olives, pistachios and walnuts.
  • Lysine – carrots, cucumber, beetroots, mint, celery, spinach, turnips, alfalfa, germinates soyabeans, plums, pears, papaya, apple and grapes.
  • Methionine – cabbages, garlic, cauliflower, pineapples and apples.
  • Phenylalanine – carrots, beetroots, spinach, mint, tomatoes, pineapples and apples.
  • Proline –carrots, beetroots, lettuce, turnips, cucumber, plums, cherries, figs, grapes, olive, oranges, pineapples, coconuts and almonds.
  • Serine –radishes, garlic, onion, carrots, beetroots, celery, cucumber, mint, spinach, cabbage, alfalfa, papaya, apples and pineapples.
  • Threonine – carrots, green leafy vegetables, alfalfa and papaya.
  • Thyroxine – carrots, celery, lettuce, turnips, spinach, tomatoes and pineapples.
  • Tryptophane – beetroots, carrots, celery, spinach, alfalfa and turnips.
  • Tyrosine – alfalfa, carrots, beetroots, cucumber, lettuce, mint, spinach,

Food based Amino Acid Supplements: 

Braggs Liquid Aminos NON-GMO soy (contains 16 amino acids/8 essential.) This product is great to use in place of regular and potentially toxic soy sauce.

Coconut Aminos contains 17 naturally occurring amino acids. Nutrient-dense, certified organic, dairy free, gluten-free, soy-free and raw-vegan friendly.

By ensuring that you are eating foods that are high in amino acids, or that you are supplementing via a well balanced protein powder or free form amino acids, you are improving your chances for optimal health, greater energy, strength, recovery, improved muscle definition, beautiful skin, better mood, better memory and enhanced brain function.

Amino Acids are link to Mood

Your key neurotransmitters are made up of amino acids.  Hundreds of research studies at Harvard, MIT, and elsewhere have confirmed the effectiveness of using just a few targeted amino acid precursors to increase the key neurotransmitters, thereby eliminating depression, anxiety, and cravings for food, alcohol, and drugs. 

The Amino Acids You Might Need:

  • 5HTP or/ Tryptophan to raise Serotonin levels
  • GABA, Taurine, and/or Theanine to raise GABA levels
  • Tyrosine or phenylalanine to raise levels of stimulating neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine
  • DLPA or D-phenylalanine to increase the availability of Endorphin
  • Glutamine to keep blood sugar levels stable and all neurotransmitters firing strongly and in concert

There are 4 mood groups that you might be able to relate to.
And there are ways to get out of feeling these ways by replacing
amino acids.  
The Dark Cloud of Depression

  • If you’re high in serotonin – you’re positive, confident, flexible, and easy-going.
  • If you’re sinking in serotonin – you’ll tend to become negative, obsessive, worried, irritable, and sleepless.

The Blues

  • If you’re high in catecholamines – you’re energized, upbeat, and alert
  • If your catecholamines have crashed – you’ll sink into a flat apathetic funk.

Anxiety and Stress   

  • If you’re high in GABA – you’re relaxed and stress-free.
  • If there’s a gap in your GABA – you’ll be wired, stressed, and overwhelmed.

Oversensitive Feelings

  • If you’re high in endorphins – you’re full of cozy feelings of comfort, pleasure, and euphoria.
  • If you’re near the end of your endorphins – you’ll be crying during commercials and overly sensitive to hurt.

This is taken from the book Mood Cure by Julia Ross. To find out more:

Answer these questions for 2 points each.  Add up your score and the end of each section.  If the number you get is more than the number noted then you might be depleted of one of the amino acids.

Type 1. Under a Dark Cloud: Low in SEROTONIN

  • Do you have a tendency to be negative, to see the glass as half-empty rather than half-full?
  • Do you have dark, pessimistic thoughts?
  • Do you really dislike the dark weather or have a clear-cut fall/winter depression (SAD)?
  • Are you often worried and anxious?
  • Do you have feelings of low self-esteem and lack confidence? Do you easily get to feeling self-critical and guilty?
  • Does your behavior often get a bit, or a lot, obsessive? Is it hard for you to make transitions, to be flexible? Are you a perfectionist, a neatnik, or a control freak? A computer, TV, or work addict?
  • Are you apt to be irritable, impatient, edgy, or angry?
  • Do you tend to be shy or fearful? Do you get nervous or panicky about heights, flying, enclosed spaces, public performance, spiders, snakes, bridges, crowds, leaving the house, or anything else?
  • Are you hyperactive, restless, can’t slow down or turn your brain off?
  • Have you had anxiety attacks or panic attacks (your heart races, it’s hard to breathe)?
  • Do you have facial or body tics, or Tourette’s?
  • Do you get PMS or menopausal moodiness (tears, anger, depression)?
  • Do you hate hot weather?
  • Are you a night owl, or do you often find it hard to get to sleep, even though you want to?
  • Do you wake up in the night, have restless or light sleep, or wake up too early in the morning?
  • Do you routinely like to have sweet or starchy snacks, wine, or marijuana in the afternoons, evenings, or in the middle of the night (but not earlier in the day)?
  • Do you find relief from any of the above symptoms through exercise?
  • Have you had fibromyalgia (unexplained muscle pain) or TMJ (pain, tension, and grinding associated with your jaw)?
  • Have you had suicidal thoughts or plans?

Total Score:

Type 2. Feeling the Blues: Low in NOREPINEPHRIN or Thyroid

  • Do you often feel depressed – the flat, bored, apathetic kind?
  • Are you low on physical or mental energy? Do you feel tired a lot, have to push yourself to exercise?
  • Is your drive, enthusiasm, and motivation quota on the low side?
  • Do you have difficulty focusing or concentrating?
  • Are you easily chilled? Do you have cold hands or feet?
  • Do you tend to put on weight too easily?
  • Do you feel the need to get more alert and motivated by consuming a lot of coffee or other “uppers” like sugar, diet soda, ephedra, or cocaine?

Total Score:

Type 3. Over Stressed: Low in GABA or Cortisol

  •  Do you often feel overworked, pressured, or deadlined?
  •  Do you have trouble relaxing or loosening up?
  •  Does your body tend to be stiff, uptight, tense?
  •  Are you easily upset, frustrated, or snappy under stress?
  •  Do you often feel overwhelmed or as though you just can’t get it all done?
  •  Do you feel weak or shaky at times?
  •  Are you sensitive to bright light, noise, or chemical fumes? Do you need to wear dark glasses a lot?
  •  Do you feel significantly worse if you skip meals or go too long without eating?
  •  Do you use tobacco, alcohol, food, or drugs to relax and calm down?

Total Score:

Type 4. Too Sensitive for Life’s Pain: Low in ENDORPHIN

  • Do you consider yourself or do others consider you to be very sensitive? Does emotional pain, or perhaps physical pain, really get to you?
  •  Do you tear up or cry easily – for instance, even during TV commercials?
  •  Do you tend to avoid dealing with painful issues?
  •  Do you find it hard to get over losses or get through grieving?
  •  Have you been through a great deal of physical or emotional pain?
  •  Do you crave pleasure, comfort, reward, enjoyment, or numbing from treats like chocolate, bread, wine, romance novels, marijuana, tobacco, or lattes?

Total Score:

Type 5. Mood Swinger: Unstable BLOOD SUGAR

  •  Do you crave a lift from sweets or alcohol, but later experience a drop in mood and energy after ingesting them?
  •  Do you get dizzy, weak, or headachy if meals are delayed?
  •  Do you have a family history of hypoglycemia, diabetes, or alcoholism?
  •  Are you nervous, jittery, irritable, inattentive on and off throughout the day; but calmer after meals?
  •  Do you have crying spells?
  •  Do you have intermittent mental confusion, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating?
  •  Do you have heart palpitations, rapid pulse?
  •  Do you have frequent thirst?
  •  Do you get night sweats (not menopausal)?
  •  Do you get sores on legs that take a long time to heal?

Total Score:

The Amino Acids You Might Need:

  • 5HTP or/ Tryptophan to raise Serotonin levels
  • GABA, Taurine, and/or Theanine to raise GABA levels
  • Tyrosine or phenylalanine to raise levels of stimulating neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine
  • DLPA or D-phenylalanine to increase the availability of Endorphin
  • Glutamine to keep blood sugar levels stable and all neurotransmitters firing strongly and in concert

Other mood supplements:

I recommend an Omega 3 supplement.  Omega 3 is the best good-mood fat. There is a correlation between the rate of depression and the amount of Omega 3’s one takes.  People report that they come alive when they are taking Omega 3’s.  Omega 3 comes in 2 forms.  One that comes from fish and is ready immediately for brain use.  The other from flaxseeds, chia seeds and other seeds and nuts that has to be worked by certain enzymes before they are absorbed into the brain.  The best source of Omega 3’s are from Wild Salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies and mackerel. They have 3 times more than other fish and 5 times more than flaxseed oil. Since it is very hard to eat the amount of fish needed, get a supplement of Omega 3’s and take 1200-2400 mg/day.

Vitamin D is also very important.  If you don’t get enough Vitamin D from the sun, then I recommend a Vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is a hormone that regulates the adrenals, the thyroid and calcium.  DO not exceed 400 mg/day. If you are out in the sun then no supplement is needed.  More and more studies are coming out about just how important vitamin D is in preventing and healing many diseases.

Magnesium works in great partnership with Vitamin D and calcium.  These can all help with mood and improve sleep.  Magnesium protects us from insomnia, depression, stress, anxiety, anger, heart attack, Alzeihmers, constipation, low blood sugar, PMS, osteoporosis, and chronic fatigue.




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