Healthy Body Healthy Mind
Have you heard the term ‘healthy body healthy mind’?
Sure you have.
Teenagers and young adults are facing an epidemic of anxiety: 25% of American 13 to 18 year olds suffer from anxiety and in Australia a study from 2008 showed that 15.4% of 16 to 24 years olds had experienced an anxiety disorder in the previous 12 months.
Could nutrition have anything to do with this?
Healthy nutrition is of course the key to a achieving a healthy body healthy mind. Of that, there really is no question.
Magnesium is needed to produce serotonin. A deficiency in magnesium has been associated with anxiety and depression. Most of the population is magnesium deficient – the estimates vary from 50-90% of Australians and this deficiency is clearly related to our processed diet.
The Omega 3 essential fatty acids called DHA and EPA and both are needed for optimal brain function, including a relaxed mood.
Tryptophan is an amino acid (a building block of proteins) found in oats and sesame seeds Increasing the intake of foods high in tryptophan can have a calming effect.
High Glycaemic foods like sugar, white bread, rice and potato, raise the blood sugar level quickly; our body releases insulin to reduce blood sugars to offset this but can often leave us with symptoms of feeling weak, anxious, followed by release of the stress hormone adrenaline.
These are just some examples of how significantly food impacts upon our brain and our emotional wellbeing.
Research is showing that children affected by disorders such as ADHD, asthma, allergies, autism, chronic illness, depression, learning and language delay, and digestive and behavioural disorders are coming from families with a history of “brain-immuno-gut disorders” triggered by toxins, malnutrition and infections.
The rise in childhood disease signals a need for preventative healthcare that focuses on cellular health by optimising nutrient intake while minimising toxins.
The food we put into ourselves in turn feeds our bacteria colonies.
Put refined white carbohydrates such as junk food in and you nourish the bad bacteria which in turn produce nasty and toxic byproducts which impact upon our nervous and immune systems.
Put wholefood unrefined carb’s such as sweet potato in and you nourish the good bacteria which in turn support positive brain chemistry and function.
Recent research has demonstrated that patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia are 2-3 times as likely to have immune reactivity or sensitivity to wheat. Another report in the American Journal of Psychiatry study showed high levels of gliadin antibodies (found in gluten) in the cord blood of mothers correlated with the later onset of psychosis in the offspring.”
Specific diets and foods are known to encourage the growth of good bacteria, preventing dysbiosis and restoring gut health. Examples of foods in this category include prebiotic foods (radishes, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, asparagus, carrots, sweet potato, onions and garlic are all particularly good) and probiotic foods (fermented foods such as kefir, yoghurt, kombucha and fermented vegetables, coconut cheese).
If you are getting a good dose of these foods daily, you should be well on your to a healthy body healthy mind!
Removing processed foods, gluten and sugar from our diet AND our kids is imperative if we want us and them to be in a happy mood, free from anxiety and concentration issues.
Have a watch of this video from the MINDD Foundation if you need further confirmation of the link that exists.