Online Degrees in Health Care and Nutrition-Understanding our Bodies and Stress

It is widely publicized that the health care industry is in great need of professionals. As the population ages, the health care industry needs workers across the board. In addition, there has never been a better time to break into this industry in the form of preventative medicine. Nutrition, sports medicine, psychology and mental health degrees are all available online. The healing sciences will be a large part of keeping people well in the coming decades. When it comes to health, there are no short cuts. Fad diets have been around as long as people have wanted to loose weight. Good nutrition has time and time again revealed itself as not only a weight loss method, but also a way to improve your mood.

Common sense tells us that committing to a healthy diet will eventually lead to a healthy weight but it should also be stressed that it will also lead to a healthy mental state. Getting your degree online allows you to get an education in an area that will be in high demand. Preventative medicine is extremely valuable and the aging, educated baby boomers will logically choose preventative as their first line of defense in taking care of themselves.

One of the more researched and proven theory that has a direct affect on an individual’s health is the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is what all of the new anti-depressant medicines (called SSRIs-selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) base their effectiveness on. These drugs work by blocking the receptor that absorbs the chemical serotonin so that more of it exists in the brain in order to affect an individual’s mood in a positive way. Most health professionals agree, if an individual is experiencing acute anxiety or depression, a medication is often one of the most appropriate things to prescribe. If that same person has reoccurring acute depression, a long term plan including medication is often the most agreed therapy a person must include. However, in any case, acute depression or a low mood, proper nutrition should always be included as part of a course of therapy. Often, when a person follows good nutrition including becoming well hydrated, and executes a regular exercise regime, not only will their mood greatly improve, but the prospects of good heath in the future will also become a reality.

Some facts about serotonin will arm you with knowledge that you can apply to an exciting career as well as to your own health.

  • Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has an important chemical role in our moods. Neurons communicate through specialized areas of their cells called synapses where they are really close together.
  • The first nerve cells dump neurotransmitters into the space between, and the second nerve cell on the other side of the receptors which recognize the transmitter and behave accordingly.
  • At the same time as soon as the transmitter is dumped between the cells, special proteins which are responsible for taking the transmitter back to the neurons start pumping, so the time that the transmitter is in between the cells is short.
  • As the receptors recognize the neurotransmitter, they send signals inside the second cell which pass the signal on and execute the particular response as dictated by the transmitter.
  • Then, the first cell has all its signal back inside it and the two neurons are back to their resting state to wait for another signal.

Serotonin’s job as a neurotransmitter is to regulate the intensity of serotonin that is dumped into the cell-sort of making it louder or softer.  If serotonin is too high, you can feel sedated. If you have too little serotonin, it can lead to depression. In other words, serotonin directly affects your mood. Surprisingly, about 80-90% of the human body’s total serotonin is found in specialized cells in our guts and not in our brains! In this way, serotonin has more to do with food we put into our bodies.

Serotonin and Nutrition-Chronic Fatigue Diet

Since serotonin plays such a major role in our bodies, the levels are really important to health both mentally and physically. There are a variety of foods that have high concentrations of tryptophan, an amino acid key to serotonin production in food, and some of the highest are found in:

  • Walnuts
  • Plantains
  • Pineapples
  • Bananas
  • Kiwis
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes

Furthermore, it’s not just tryptophan that is responsible for helping to get serotonin produced. Vitamin B that’s found in folic acid is also strongly linked to serotonin levels. Folic acid or foliate has also shown to improve mood and cognitive function.


In addition, our behavior can affect serotonin levels as well. Exercise is long established as a way boost mood and it happens to be one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get serotonin immediately into the blood stream.


Getting sleep is another way to make sure you have enough serotonin. Lack of sleep can negatively affect our brains and signaling including how it responds to serotonin.

Getting Outdoors

Just getting outside into the light and sunshine can also help with serotonin production. Many people are affected by seasonal disorders that occur in the long, dark winter months when people are trapped inside without any natural light.

Lack of Energy and Proper Fluid Intake

One of the little known reasons for low energy is dehydration.  Water makes up for about 75% of the body and 85% of the brain and some experts agree that some 75% of the U.S. population is chronically dehydrated. The body uses water to transport nutrients, hormones and waste and water is an essential component in maintaining cell structure. So make sure that you are getting at least 8 cups of water during the day and it should really help your health and mood. Not only will preventative medicine make you healthier, but you will also look better naturally!

To search for online degrees in health, psychology and medicine, please visit the free web site

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