People generally understand that eating healthy is beneficial to physical health. Healthy eating can lower the risk of developing diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.
According to Roger Walsh in the October 2011 issue of The American Psychologist, there is now a sizable body of evidence indicating the importance of nutrition for mental health. A review of over 160 studies suggested that diet and nutrition can impact the mental health of nations (Gomez-Pinella, 2008).
In recent posts I discussed how unhealthy lifestyles and lack of exercise can contribute to an array of physical problems and can play can an equally important role your mental health and maintaining a sense of well-being.
This week, I will review nutrition specifically. I summarize, below, some of Walsh’s findings in his review of the literature exploring how nutrition impacts mental health.
Principles of Nutrition that Improve Well-Being
There is a vast and complex quantity of literature on the topic of nutrition. For the purposes of his review, Walsh identified 3 key principles of a diet that improves mental health and well-being.
A diet that consists of predominantly multicolored fruits and vegetables.
A diet that contains some fish, specifically those that are high in omega-3
fish oils, such as salmon.
A diet that reduces excessive calories.
Two diets have received that most study in relation to mental health. The
pesco-vegetarian diet- the regular intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains,
beans, eggs, dairy and fish, but no other meats—has been linked with the
prevention of some psychopathologies, improvements in academic performance and
the reduction of age-related cognitive decline.
In several studies, the Mediterranean diet—generally understood as a diet
that emphasizes abundant consumption of plant foods, beans, unrefined cereals
and fish, eating fruits for dessert, using olive oil in cooking, moderate
consumption of dairy products and wine and low consumption of other meats—has
been found to reduce incidence of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
These two diets are similar in their emphasis on fish, vegetables and fruits
and low consumption of other meats. Although these diets have received some
study, they are likely not the only two that can improve mental well-being.
Supplements and Mental Health
A growing body of research suggests that the absence of certain supplements
can lead to mental health problems. Fish and fish oil supply omega-3 fatty
acids, which are essential to neural function. Omega-3’s are also
anti-inflammatory and protective of multiple body systems. Some studies between
countries suggest that lower consumption of omega-3’s in the general population
is linked to greater symptom severity of schizophrenia and mood disorders, such
as depression and bipolar disorder.
Other deficiencies, such as a deficiency in vitamin D (a widespread problem
in the US) can impact mental health. Studies suggest associations between
vitamin D deficiency and cognitive impairments, depression, bipolar disorder and
The research on nutritional supplements and improvements in mental health is
complex and best explored with the help of a medical professional. However, it
is an important aspect of treatment to consider.
The wealth of information on nutrition and diet as it relates to physical and
mental health can be overwhelming. However, given the low risk of side effects
and the substantial positive effects, attending to nutrition is an important
factor to consider when you are looking to improve your mental well-being.
Check your pantry. Do you have any cereals, crackers, cookies, snack bars, soy milk or baby formula in there? How about anything with corn syrup or processed food made from corn on your shelves? If so, you are probably eating food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
GMOs are plant or meat products that have had their DNA altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria. For example, genetically modified corn contain a pesticide that cannot be washed off. Most GE food grown in the U.S. is "Roundup Ready," meaning it can withstand spraying of Monsanto's Roundup pesticide and live, while weeds around it die. (Well, that's how it works initially; now resistant "superweeds" have increased the amount of pesticides farmers must spray on their GE crops.)
Research links GMOs to allergies, organ toxicity, and other health issues, though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require safety testing for GMOs.
Market watchers estimate that upwards of 70 percent of processed foods in your local supermarket contain genetically modified ingredients. However, there's no way to be sure of the percentage because no labels are required to inform consumers about the presence of GMOs in food. (That may change if California voters approve Prop 37, a measure that would require labeling on foods containing GMOs.)
The top three GMO crops grown in the U.S. are soy, corn and cotton,
according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). During the past
12 years, the percentage of acreage planted with GMO crops soared to
over 80 percent for each of the top three. (See this graph at Mother Jones.)
Here are the Top 7 Genetically Modified Crops:
1. Corn: Corn is the No. 1 crop grown
in the U.S. and nearly all of it -- 88 percent -- is genetically
modified. In addition to being added to innumerable processed foods,
genetically modified corn is a staple of animal feed.
2. Soy: 93 percent of soy is
genetically modified. Soy is a staple of processed foods under various
names including hydrogenated oils, lecithin, emulsifiers, tocopherol (a
vitamin E supplement) and proteins.
3. Cottonseed: According to the USDA, 94 percent of cotton
grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. Cottonseeds are culled from
cotton, and then used for vegetable oil, margarine or shortening
production, or frying foods, such as potato chips.
4. Alfalfa: Farmers feed alfalfa to dairy cows, the source of milk,
butter, yogurt, meat and so much more. Alfalfa is the fourth largest
crop grown in the U.S., behind corn, soybeans, and wheat (though there
is no genetically engineered wheat on the market).
5. Papaya: 75 percent of the Hawaiian papaya crop is genetically modified to withstand the papaya ringspot virus.
6. Canola: About 90 percent of the U.S. canola crop
is genetically modified. Canola oil is used in cooking, as well as
biofuels. In North Dakota, genetically modified canola has been found
growing far from any planted fields, raising questions about what will
happen when "escaped" GE canola competes with wild plants.
7. Sugar Beets: More than half -- 54 percent -- of sugar sold in
America comes from sugar beets. Genetically modified sugar beets account
for 90 percent of the crop; however, that percentage is expected to
increase after a USDA's decision last year gave the green light to sugar beet planting before an environmental impact statement was completed.
The organization True Food Now has a list of foods currently being
tested for genetic modification, as well as those foods that are
approved but not yet sold in the U.S. For a full snapshot of the future
GMO landscape, visit this link.
I saw a vision of a bull by a local river, it sniffed the water and jerked back a few yards shaking its head. It felt something was wrong. The government water is recycled sewage some of which they pump into the rivers.
Then I saw a vision of a tea kettle with a drooping spout,
it was saying that the medicines in water like estrogen from the woman’s birth control pill, affect male fertility, sperm counts have plummeted, men grow breasts and their thingy “don’t rise and shine no mo’” …. as the song says.
The Globe newspaper in Vancouver reported that the city water has nine type of medicines in it, and that the medicines can be detected in just one glass of the horrid water-sewage stuff ….wot comes out of the tap (faucet).
In Australia, we collected rain water, which is very pure and we used a simple filter to get the dust out and that water went into the bathes and washrooms, and the water for drinking additionally went through a reverse osmosis system so it was as pure as is feasibly possible.
You can buy a water condensation machine for use at home if catching rain water is not feasible. Stay away from government water and remember Starbucks use tap water for their coffee. And in Britain don’t drink Desani, it says pure water on the bottle but it’s processed Thames river water. They have been fined millions for the scam, but it tells ya how bent the water thing is.
The European Union has sadly passed laws to prohibit many common herbs like St. John’s Wort. Lot’s of stuff in the health food shops is no longer available. It’s all part of the Union’s insanity—their desire for themselves, expressed as a manic control trip, and, in part, the bans must be to feed the medical industry and protect pharmaceuticals like Prozac.
I was in a pharmacy in Ireland some months ago to get some aspirin, the assistant told me that buying aspirin over the counter is not allowed in Ireland, and that I needed a doctor’s prescription. I was gob-smacked what a lot of piffle.
A prescription in Ireland costs €55 for 30 seconds work, as the doc’ writes out a formal chit that says, “Give this twit some pills.” It is also about an hour of your life. Getting a prescription is very hazardous; as you often have to go into a heavy ghoul-environment of people’s emotions and fears, and they make you sit in a tiny crowded waiting room with lots of people that have contagious diseases. Running the gauntlet for a few aspirin is not worth it.
All this EU Nasty-Nazi stuff in the their Garden of Evil and Evil gets on my nerves, it’s not just—people must be set free to heal themselves naturally.
Many of the banned products are still available as seeds, so I decided to buy one million seeds of one thousand varieties of vegetables, flowers, medicinal herbs, small shrubs-rose hips etc. Some are so interesting, there’s a purple carrot that has been grown in Afghanistan since the 10th Century, and see-through clear tomatoes that are colorless from the 1500s, and many plants that were common in Victorian times, like cardoon, a type of globe artichoke some of these species have become quite rare now. (See below for link to a ‘heritage seeds’ supplier we use).
I don’t have a house so I’ve started planting gardens in friends’ houses. The concept is to have a high intensity permaculture garden that will feed many people, which also has a comprehensive range of everything one needs for common ailments, like willow for aspirin.
Potato Farmer’s with Vertical Potatoes in a Box
In a crisis it will be hard to buy food with money, there will be some food in the black market, but at skyrocket-to-the moon prices—“Have a tomato duckie—twelve bucks each! A pack of coffee, fifty bucks” etc.
People don’t realize how bad it will get; supermarkets with their thousands of products lull you into a false sense of security. Urban kids have never seen a tomato growing, they know little about the food they eat, they might help their mothers push the basket with wheels on it but that’s all the harvesting they know.
The cotton price passed its 150 year all-time high yesterday, rice has jumped 60% in eight months, corn is up 70% since May 2010. The crisis is already happening, and if and when oil supplies are seriously disrupted, which in my view is bound to happen, you are going to see petrol in Jerry cans at $20 a gallon.
We are selling all our petrol cars and vans and converting over to models that run on diesel. Diesel gives you a higher mileage per gallon; it is easier to store than petrol, which is governed by many safety regulations. For petrol one has to buy a specialist tank made of steel for commercial use, so you can issue petrol out to cars, whereas a diesel tank for home storage use is made of plastic. A 2000 liter specialist petrol storage tank in the UK costs £7000, while the same size diesel tank costs about £600.
In the oriental food shops here in Europe, a 20 kilo sack (44.09 pounds) of rice is €20, so one euro per kilo.
A large cup (just over 4 ounces or 130 grams) of uncooked rice will
feed four people. One 20 kilo sack of rice is good for about 150 meals
for a family of four—6oo individual servings—3.3 cents of a Euro per
plate (4.5 US cents). Easy-peasy-pass-the cheesy.
I bought 200 kilos of rice, so that’s 6000 individual servings.
People are going to be hungry. I want to make sure I can help them when
they get desperate. It’s an act of kindness to provide for people as
they have no idea what’s about to happen, they are innocent victims
really. I’m sad for them, it hurts me; they trudge blindly on towards
catastrophe making no proper arrangements. It’s not their fault; they
are set to become victims of markets that have gone insane, driven by
speculation and fear.
By the way, I also got five loaves and two fishes in case my other system breaks down—just kiddin’.
Ok by for now. (sw)
That's enough for today. I thought I'd take some photos of my own vegetable plants and herbs garden and till the next month - good bye (NM). The pictures include parsley, hot chili, tarragon, thyme, majoram, coriander, tomatoes, rosemary, young lemon tree, mint, vvietnamese fragrant mint, potatoes, European mint, wild strawberry and spring onion: