X Note: PMA refers to a lyric in the song, Attitude, by legendary hardcore punk band, Bad Brains. Here’s a link to a video of a 1979 performance of that song.
Foods for a Better P.M.A (a.k.a Positive Mental Attitude)- Daud Scott
No matter how much you watch what you place in your body, the amount you exercise in a week, or how often you make attempts to not slip into consistent negative thinking, once in a while sadness and or depression may try to creep into our lives.
So while we may have heard H.R scream about it, what does P.M.A look like when you just have an overall case of the ‘blahs’ while also adhering to Straight Edge principles, taking all steps to avoid psychotropic foods and herbs? The answer may be easier and closer to us than we think.
But before talking about simple foods that boost our P.M.A., it’s important to say a quick word about some of the things that kill your P.M.A in a heartbeat. Keeping consistent negative company, eating overly processed foods, and getting no exercise at all are perhaps the fastest and most damaging ways to watch your P.M.A levels vanish into the wind. Monitoring these three things on a regular basis lets you know just exactly what to adjust when it comes to your own personal energy and your overall mood.
But let’s face it- we all feel the stressors of life. For better for worse, the idea of keeping P.M.A all the time isn’t always based in reality. However, here is one thing constructed out of reality: food is medicine. Before the world was presented with an onslaught of pharmaceutical drugs, all humans had were foods, herbs, and seeds in their most natural forms to treat whatever ailments they were going through- including sadness and depression. So what are the best non-addictive foods and herbs to eat when you’re completely over it all?
Cacao: The natural and whole form of chocolate (before processing) is naturally high in magnesium and iron content which affects the blood-brain barrier providing oxygenation to where it matters most; the nervous system. Besides this, cacao is loaded with B-Vitamins which have been shown to play a positive role in maintaining healthy nerves and allowing blood flow in your body properly.
Flax: Flax is best when it is consumed in its ground powdered or oil forms. Flax is an excellent source of plant-based Omega-3s which is great news for vegans. It is high in fiber and antioxidants, which play a major role in mood function. Flax also helps adjust the friendly gut flora in your stomach that keep toxins flowing out your body. This necessary release of toxins boost moods naturally and brings oxygenation to the body.
Brazil Nuts: One of the highest sources of selenium in a food source, Brazil nuts is an ideal food to keep your nervous system stable and intact. A severe deficiency in selenium not only affects your nervous system, but can cause pain in your joints and muscles as well.
Dark Leafy Green Vegetables: Eating these on a regular, if not daily, basis is not only an option for good mental health, but physical health as well. These foods contain high amounts of folate combined with B-Vitamins. Spinach and Kale are some of the best foods to eat when it comes to detoxifying the body of processed foods and removal of pollutants that may be causing you to feel depressed.
Saffron: The spice that’s more expensive than gold, saffron has been used in some parts of the world (Persia, Arabia, and the Orient) to treat clinical depression, and was even tested head to head with Prozac. Saffron has long been considered a natural treatment for depression due to its ability to allow neurotransmitters to link closer together allowing the person to think critically about the stressful or traumatic event in a level headed manner.
Coconut: This versatile food is excellent for brain health; and better brain health usually means better moods and dispositions. Coconut has been shown to slow down the ‘fight or flight’ response system that triggers our stressors. Coconut oil also contains Multi-Chain Triglycerides, allowing the brain to be stimulated in a healthy way. At the same time it acts as a deterrent to Alzheimer’s disease as we age. This is good news in its own right for our health.
[psst… for a recipe that uses many of these ingredients, check out Sarah Kuretzky’s Raw Cacao Avocado Mousse]
While Positive Mental Attitude may be considered a state of mind, it’s what you place inside your body that can determine your state of mind. Keep in mind that these foods work best when you embrace a Holistic lifestyle. That means placing exercise and Mindfulness into the equation. However, no matter how you go about it, taking steps to include or increase these foods in your life on a regular basis just may have the results you’ve been looking for from a healthy natural source. We got that P.M.A.
Daud Scott is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner and Sufi Healing Arts Practitioner. Daud lives in Los Angeles, California with his family. To learn more about Daud’s approach to health and wellness you can visit him at: www.naturesfirstpath.com