You can certainly help to chase them with the proper diet. Like every other part of our bodies, our brains are made of substances that come from the foods we eat. Common sense dictates that what we eat will affect all our functions, including our moods. But it is only in the last decade or so that scientists have gained insight into what the brain chemicals are, how they work, and how nutrition influences their activity.
One important brain chemical is the neurotransmitter serotonin, which sends messages along the nerve pathways. Too low a level of serotonin has been correlated with, among other disorders, depression and sleeplessness, although it is not the only factor in those conditions. The body makes serotonin from tryptophan, an amino acid or subunit of protein, which we get from protein-rich foods.
Among the tryptophan foods that nutrition experts think may help relieve mild depression are turkey, chicken, bananas, cheese, pineapple, and yogurt. They should be combined with food high in the stress-fighting B vitamins, such as whole grains, green leafy vegetables, organ meats, and brown rice. Carbohydrate foods like pasta work too, because they increase the bodys output of insulin, which allows the small amount of tryptophan in the food to get to the brain and be converted to serotonin.