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Protein and serotonin
This article about the science behind noisy eyeballs really fascinates me.

Although my eyeballs don't make noises, I suffer from problems blocking out exterior noise such that I find it difficult to work in even an averagely noisy office. I always attributed this to some form of autism, but the idea that it might be attached to my tendency to depression via lack of serotonin, and possibly remedied by sufficient protein (in particular, the amino acid tryptophan) is an exciting prospect.

I have long been a believer that protein is key to good nutrition - for example, getting enough seems to prevent me craving sweet or starchy food. But I doubt most people - vegetarians, vegans and those watching their weight especially - are getting anywhere near enough. You need 50g a day (more if you're exercising) - that's a litre of yoghurt, 200g of cheese, 3.5 eggs or 1kg of hummus.

This is not the same as saying that vegies should just get some meat - you can certainly get enough protein on a vege or vegan diet, but very likely not without paying attention to it and knowing where it is and isn't coming from.

Searching what you eat on the Nutrition Data website might be a good start.

Current obsession: Spots on my face. Irritating. Squirrels gave them to me.
Point of fashion: Floaty purple skirt for Scottish Country Dancing tonight

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Are you sure the protein thing isn't just a campaign by the meat and dairy industries?

I feel fine eating mostly raw vegetables and fruit, seeds and some nuts, but I doubt I an getting the recommended levels of everything the nutritionalists say I should be getting.

And how can thay say that everyone's bodies need the same things? I just don't think it is that simple to say you need to eat blah blah amount of protein a day.

I think that whatever you eat in probably fine for you if you feel absolutely fine in all ways, and yes - I imagine the amount of anything needed varies from person to person, althoguh I would've thought it would be within a certain ball-park.

I believe there are reasonable amounts of protein in seeds and nuts, so you may be getting enough there going by this measure. 1.47 cups of pumpkin seeds a day should net you 50g of protein.

I doubt that the amount of protein that the body needs per se would be a campaign by meat and dairy marketing, but they certainly do put out misleading information. For example, I often see leaflets on calcium in doctors' surgeries which compare meat or dairy source of calcium with a vegetable source which is known to be particularly low in calcium, thereby implying that you can't get sufficient calcium from vegetables. They also omit to mention that more people suffer from medical problems associated with too much calcium (eg, kidney stones) than not enough, and that the idea of a link between calcium intake and osteoparosis is contentious.

Mmmmm.... kilo of hummus...

Yes, I'm sure I could manage that without too much difficulty, as with the 1.47 cups of pumpkin seeds! Except that I'm allergic to most hummus as it's usually got garlic in it. Curses!

I hadn't even thought of the garlic issue. What do the hummuses without garlic use to give it that kick, do you know?

Chilli, black olive and/or lemon juice all work pretty well.

I'm totally with you on the protein - if I live on a diet containing plenty of protein (pref fish or chicken) and fresh vegetables, and no processed carbs (i.e. bread, biscuits, chips, etc), I feel like I have about three times the energy than if I don't watch my diet.

Oddly, I don't feel so great on red meat protein, unless I've just got back from a run and am utterly starving!

Of course currently I'm running out of inspiration for healthy things to do with fish, but I suppose you can't have it all... :)

Yup, I've tried a vegan diet but find I just don't recover from training hard. So dairy it is for me. Of course, being allergic to nuts really cuts down my options for vegan protein.

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I'm inclined to agree with you.

I function best with a diet of unrefined grains, protein and plenty of omega 3.

The protein is very important for me in avoiding bingeing/bulimic behaviour through ensuring adequate tryptophan and omega three (flaxseed is one example)is an excellent booster for serotonin and helps me regulate my moods.

There's alot mental health research in this area. You can find some good links here:

Oh in regard to sound, are you susceptible to migraines or any type of epilepsy?

I've had a few migraines in my life - four or five. No epilepsy though.

that's interesting, as we eat vegetarian+dairy at home but i sneak in my meat fix when i'm out or when travelling. i also cycle to work, usually corresponding to the vege days. i do have lots of cereals and bread (which has some protein in it), and a handful of nuts and seeds every day. maybe more eggs is the way forward!

oops forgot about quorn! in theory that should count as protein.

Yeah - I eat quorn quite a lot. I believe an average serving contains about 10-15g.

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