At this point in this article I think that it's important to mention that in general the food -- mood response can be short-term in nature. For instance, eating tuna at lunch may increase alertness and concentration for two to three hours after eating, just as having pasta with tomato sauce can produce a calming response for two to three hours.

Many people who are evening people, otherwise known as night owls, must understand that it is not only important to have breakfast, but to make sure that their breakfast has a protein-rich aspect. This is because protein provides the brain with Tyrosine which is an amino acid that acts as a precursor of neurochemicals that help to promote alertness. A midmorning snack is another good time to include protein rich foods such as cheese or yogurt.

People who skip breakfast are more likely to show erratic eating patterns throughout the day, such as eating less citrus fruits and giving into junk food cravings. They may even crave a midmorning sugar fix because they can't make it all the way to lunch time on an empty fuel tank.

As I mentioned earlier in this article, the brain actually synthesizes the neurotransmitters from certain amino acids that are known as neurotransmitter precursors, and are gained in many cases from the foods that we eat. The most important of these neurotransmitter precursors are phenylalinanine, glutamine, tyrosine and tryptophan. One reason why this is important is that a major facet of drug addiction is the depletion of these precursor molecules to the point where neurotransmitter production is impaired. When neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin drop to below normal levels, unpleasant feelings can arise; agitation in patients can become the norm and all of this can start a craving for substances or activities that will help to stimulate the production of these missing or low level neurotransmitters. Often times this can and does result in the use and the abuse of illicit drugs and or alcohol abuse in an effort to restore the feelings that result from normal levels of these neurotransmitters.

Helpful hint number five... it's important for you to be aware of the fact that stimulant type foods such as coffee, tea and chocolate only temporarily boost some neurotransmitter levels. Low-level carbohydrates such as refined white sugar, potato chips, white bread or anything for that matter made with refined flour will tend to boost your serotonin levels only temporarily and you can count on these foods to drop you back down even faster than they seemed to lift you up.

Low levels of serotonin can create anxiety, feelings of insecurity, anger, fear, depression, and even induce suicidal thoughts. Higher levels of serotonin can influence your concentration, as it is relaxing and calming. Carbohydrates help to raise the levels of serotonin in the body. Stress busting foods which are high in carbohydrates include whole grains, fruit, high-fiber cereals, rice and potatoes.

How many commercials have you seen were someone who stressed-out suddenly becomes calm after one piece of chocolate? When you're stressed you've probably been told that carbohydrates help. However be sure that it's not a bad carbohydrate, you see that favorite candy bar that's calling your name is not a good one.. Good carbs such as whole grain breads, grains, pasta, as well as rice, cereal and fruit trigger the release of insulin and as I mentioned earlier, insulin clears amino acids out of the brain with the exception of tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin when it enters the brain. Known for reducing pain as well as lessening anxiety, serotonin also decreases appetite (unlike bad carbohydrates which can increase appetite). Of course too much serotonin can also contribute to becoming sleepy.

In some cases producing too much serotonin can also make you extremely nervous and paranoid. Excessive levels of serotonin can lead to feelings of inadequacy and inferiority as well as contribute to sadness, depression, anger and desperation.

Another factor that influences alertness and performance can be the size of a meal. For example, large lunches containing 1000 calories have been associated with decreased performance in the afternoon. Such high calorie lunches tend to be high in fat. A lunch consisting of a double hamburger, french fries and a milkshake would fit into this category. You see, the size of the meal makes a difference as fat slows down absorption and because blood flow to the stomach is increased for a longer period of time. This results in less blood flow to the brain often resulting in a sleepy and sluggish feeling.

Most people will tend to eat a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fat during the course of a meal. Since the neurotransmitter for protein (norepinephrine) tends to dominate after eating a meal containing carbohydrates, fats and protein, you might feel more alert but your craving will probably not be satisfied. Thus, you might tend to eat more, or crave foods high in carbohydrates and fat. This will tend to increase serotonin levels in the brain and satisfy your craving. Remember however, that fat should not exceed 30% of your total daily calories.

You're probably noticing at this point that you can actually plan your meals according to how you plan on using your brain during the day. For instance, a low calorie, high-protein meal that also contains complex carbohydrates makes you more alert and would be perfect for breakfast and lunch. A higher calorie, higher carbohydrate and lower protein meal could help you to relax and fall asleep in the evening.

Helpful hint number six... chocolate bars are loaded with salt, sugar, caffeine and fat. Many are up to 300 calories per bar. Like a body demanding heroine for its balance, the body will crave sugar, salt and fat. If you take candy from a sugar junkie look out. Remove sugar, processed fat or salt from your diet and you will crave them. You will be likely to face withdrawal symptoms similar to what you may face by withdrawing from drugs.

Strawberries and bananas don't cause cravings. You never feel guilty about eating too many cantaloupes:). You never hear little voices in the back of your head saying “eat eat eat cantaloupe”, because natural foods balance the body and physical cravings are caused by biochemical imbalances. Street drugs, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, salt, saturated fat, refined starch and refined sugars cause cravings because they imbalance the body's chemistry.

Addictive substances cause the body to become dependent on unnatural substances for homeostatic balance. When they are removed suddenly they may cause symptoms often associated with withdrawal. During withdrawal, the addict suffers through painful readjustment as the body cries out for the missing substance.

In this section I’d like to go over some of the facts that you may or may not know about your brain function and nutrition...

Morning people need protein rich foods during the afternoon and evening, particularly if they need to be focused later in the day for a meeting or some other work that requires their attention to be focused on detail.

Instead of a lunch of pasta with marinara sauce for example, morning people would be more alert in the afternoon if they added some grilled chicken, seafood or other protein source to their pasta --, this would help to increase their levels of dopamine and norepinephrine.

Eating too little fat can make you feel grouchy. Foods that are high in fat increase endorphin levels and tend to make you happy. Endorphins are opiate like chemicals that are often called the feel-good neurotransmitters. In order to help keep your moods on an even keel, choose healthy fats such as monounsaturated fats like the ones found in olive oil, almonds and avocados.

Author's Bio: 

As a child I had many problems ranging from thousands of voices in my head to severe depression. I also had a very big mouth, was always getting into trouble and almost unbelievably accident prone (I have dislocated/separated my shoulders alone over 150 times, I won’t even get into the myriad of broken bones, shredded tendons and ligaments, concussions, etc.) As a matter of fact I remember thinking up the phrase... "Life is but a disease, for which there is no cure but death". I often thought about how great it would be, to be... not here anymore, not anywhere anymore.

Something inside me made me start looking into this field when I began to notice that sometimes time seemed to move faster and more pleasantly than other times. I eventually made the connection that when time seemed to move quicker, the sounds I was hearing were more, rhythmic in nature and when time seemed to painfully stand still, the surrounding sounds were far more disjointed in nature.

All of this started me on a multi-decade odyssey of research into the field of "brainwave entrainment".
After many years of using other people’s products with some limited success, I was determined to figure out why these recordings seemed to work, but only in a minor way, with little effect, when all of the research I read suggested the effects should be more dominant than what I was experiencing.

I decided that my best route to understanding might be by learning at the feet of an expert in the field—so I ended up contacting the world's foremost expert in the field of brainwave entrainment and learned invaluable information that could not be gotten anywhere else.

I was trained, and now I am currently the only one in the world who actually can claim to be a "Certified Brainwave Entrainment Engineer"—and I have the education to back it up!

Now I want to help others to be all they can be... naturally.