There are many reasons I love this book, as a clinician, family coach, and student of nutrition. The Mood Cure is easily consumable and loaded with helpful facts that link food to mood. What sets this book apart is Julia Ross‘ approach of addressing mood in a four step process: gaining perspective on your moods, eliminating the four most common mood imbalances, creating a nutritherapy master plan, and getting help with special mood repair projects.
Ross asks the reader to take a questionnaire to assess the different needs they may have in mood improvement. Based on your ratings, you are led to a series of action oriented steps–learning how to eat in a way that increases positivity (high protein diets with lots of fruits and veggies), what vitamins and supplements will lead to better brain functioning, and how to eliminate foods from your diet that invite negativity (like sugar and caffeine).
Ross helps you take a holistic approach to your mental health and shares information backed by research that helps you not only understand yourself better, but view your mood compassionately. For example, she sites that men have higher endorphin levels than women–showing that endorphins really do have a gender bias. Also, people exposed to emotional trauma like the loss of a loved one tend to have rising and falling endorphin levels, thus causing a person to experience their grief and pain in waves. If your store of endorphins depletes around such a circumstance, it is likely that a person will turn to synthetic painkillers like sugar, alcohol, or drugs to keep the pain numbed. This book offers effective nutritional tools to help rebuild endorphin levels, promoting healthier recovery from trauma.
Her plan also works in conjunction with Western medicine. Ross sites a study that found when the supplement 5-HTP is taken with Prozac, it increased serotonin activity by 615 percent, compared to 150 percent with only Prozac alone. The Mood Cure is a natural fit with integrative approaches and in my clinical opinion, would be optimal as someone is working in talk therapy and maintaining a regular exercise routine.
This book helps the reader understand the biological and environmental factors that contribute to mood. It is an important reminder that putting the right things into your body contributes to healthy mood and outlook.