Vitamin D enables your body to absorb calcium from food. Exposure to sunlight is the most natural way to help your body make vitamin D but it is important to balance your sun exposure. Overexposure to sunlight could make some women vulnerable to skin cancer. Also, depending on where you live and the time of year, sunlight may not always be available. For these reasons, the medical community no longer recommends relying only on sunlight as the primary source for getting vitamin D. It’s wiser to also consider food sources such as yogurt, orange juice, fish (mackerel, salmon), and fortified cereals.
The effect of a nutritional source of tryptophan on dieting-induced
changes in brain 5-HT function.
Psychol Med. 2003.
Dieting in healthy women results in a decrease in the availability of tryptophan, the amino-acid precursor of serotonin, for brain serotonin synthesis. This is associated with increases in the prolactin response to serotonin drug challenge suggesting a 'supersensitivity' of serotonin neuroendocrine responses. The aim of the study was to assess whether increased tryptophan intake during dieting would prevent the changes in tryptophan availability and serotonin neuroendocrine function. Fifty female subjects underwent a 1000 kcal daily diet for 3 weeks. In the final week of the diet subjects were randomly allocated to receive either nutritionally-sourced tryptophan ( g daily) or placebo in a double-blind, parallel group, design. Tryptophan supplementation failed to modify the dieting-induced reduction in fasting tryptophan availability to the brain. However, in contrast to placebo-treated subjects, subjects receiving additional tryptophan did not show enhanced prolactin responses to intravenous tryptophan challenge. The decrease in tryptophan availability produced by dieting may be due to increased tryptophan metabolism rather than decreased tryptophan intake. While tryptophan treatment did not increase fasting tryptophan availability it may have modified the effect of dieting on brain serotonin function. Further studies will test the effect of tryptophan has consequences for the effectiveness of dieting as means of weight control.
Regular physical activity helps to improve sleep quality, reduce inflammation, boost confidence, improve energy levels and ease stress and tension. People with anxiety can benefit from exercises like yoga and tai chi because they promote relaxation and involve deep breathing techniques that help to reduce stress and muscle tension. A 2012 review published in Alternative Medicine Review found that of the 35 trials that addressed the effects of yoga on anxiety and stress, 25 of them noted a significant decrease in stress and anxiety symptoms as a result of practicing yoga. ( 22 ) In fact, yoga changes your brain by impacting your GABA levels and suppressing neural activity. Besides yoga and tai chi, you can practice other exercises that help to calm the body. For example, running, walking or hiking outdoors, lifting weights and even dancing can help to combat stress.