5 Foods To Boost Your Mental Health

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Boost your mental health by including these 5 foods in your diet

International Business Times

Dementia cases can be prevented by adding right kind of foods to the diet. Read on to know more.

A healthy body is necessary for having a healthy mind. And to achieve that, all you need to do is consume the right kind of food.

According to a study published in medical journal The Lancet in July, one in three cases of dementia can be prevented if people strengthen their mental health by improving their diet.

Therefore, include these foods in your diet to have a sound mind:

Salmon

Salmon is rich in Omega-3 and anti-inflammatory fatty acids such as EPA and DHA, which are healthy fats required for the brain. Andrea D’Ambrosio, a spokesperson for Dieticians of Canada and registered dietician at Dietetic Directions told Global News: “The fatty acids basically help protect our brains and cells and help with anti-inflammation so our brain can send signals to other parts of our body.”

“An imbalance of Omega-3 fats also impacts how our brain cells communicate with one another, and research has found that a lower intake of Omega-3 is associated with a higher risk of depression,” explains D’Ambrosio.

Berries and cherries

Shamsah Sonawalla, consultant psychiatrist, Jaslok Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai told LiveMint that for a good brain health, it’s important to have foods that reduce inflammation. Since berries and cherries are rich in antioxidants, it protects our brain from developing neuropsychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression, as well as Alzheimer’s. “In addition, they contain flavonoids that enhance mood, help in hormonal balance and reduce cortisol, the stress hormone,” she added.

Walnuts

The brain-shaped nuts are good for the brain. They are one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids for the vegetarians. The omega 3 fatty acids present in the nuts are essential to reduce stress, improve your mood, and boost concentration.

Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene. Also, it can be helpful in reducing the oxidative stress on DNA, which has been linked to several neuropsychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

Bananas

Bananas are loaded with B-complex vitamins that help in soothing the nervous system. Apart from that, the fruit has magnesium which is again essential for good brain functioning.

“Bananas are mood-enhancing because it affects tryptophan, which is another essential amino acid that helps produce serotonin…Tryptophan also helps with sleep, regulates our food intake – both which are associated with impacting mood as well,” says D’Ambrosio.

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Study Finds Clear Differences Between Organic And Non-Organic Milk And Meat

Organic Milk
Organic Meat

Organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products, new research has shown:
• both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products
• organic meat had slightly lower concentrations of two saturated fats (myristic and palmitic acid) that are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease
• organic milk contains 40% more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
• organic milk contains slightly higher concentrations of iron, Vitamin E and some carotenoids
• conventional milk contained 74% more of the essential mineral iodine and slightly more selenium

In the largest systematic reviews of their kind, an international team of experts led by Newcastle University, UK, has shown that both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products.

Analysing data from around the world, the team reviewed 196 papers on milk and 67 papers on meat and found clear differences between organic and conventional milk and meat, especially in terms of fatty acid composition, and the concentrations of certain essential minerals and antioxidants.

Publishing their findings today in the British Journal of Nutrition, the team say the data show a switch to organic meat and milk would go some way towards increasing our intake of nutritionally important fatty acids.

Chris Seal, Professor of Food and Human Nutrition at Newcastle University explains:
“Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function. “Western European diets are recognised as being too low in these fatty acids and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends we should double our intake.

“But getting enough in our diet is difficult. Our study suggests that switching to organic would go some way towards improving intakes of these important nutrients.” Western European diets are too low in omega-3 fatty acids

The systematic literature reviews analysed data from around the world and found that organic milk and meat have more desirable fat profiles than conventional milk and meat.

Nutrition News Trace Minerals I Cover
Omega 3 Rich Salomon

Most importantly, a switch from conventional to organic would raise omega-3 fat intake without increasing calories and undesirable saturated fat. For example, half a litre of organic full fat milk (or equivalent fat intakes from other dairy products like butter and cheese) provides an estimated 16% (39 mg) of the recommended, daily intake of very long-chain omega-3, while conventional milk provides 11% (25 mg).

Other positive changes in fat profiles included lower levels of myristic and palmitic acid in organic meat and a lower omega-3/omega-6 ratio in organic milk. Higher levels of fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin E and carotenoids and 40% more CLA in organic milk were also observed.

The study showed that the more desirable fat profiles in organic milk were closely linked to outdoor grazing and low concentrate feeding in dairy diets, as prescribed by organic farming standards.

The two new systematic literature reviews also describe recently published results from several mother and child cohort studies linking organic milk, dairy product and vegetable consumption to a reduced risk of certain diseases. This included reduced risks of eczema and hypospadias in babies and pre-eclampsia in mothers.

Newcastle University’s Professor Carlo Leifert, who led the studies, said:
“People choose organic milk and meat for three main reasons: improved animal welfare, the positive impacts of organic farming on the environment, and the perceived health benefits. But much less is known about impacts on nutritional quality, hence the need for this study.
“Several of these differences stem from organic livestock production and are brought about by differences in production intensity, with outdoor-reared, grass-fed animals producing milk and meat that is consistently higher in desirable fatty acids such as the omega-3s, and lower in fatty acids that can promote heart disease and other chronic diseases.”

Avoiding iodine over- and under-supply from milk is a challenge
The study also found 74% more iodine in conventional milk which is important information, especially for UK consumers, where iodized table salt is not widely available.

Iodine is low in most foods, except seafood, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends Iodine fortification of table salt to address this. Iodine fortification of cattle feeds is also widely used to increase iodine concentrations in both organic and conventional milk.
Gillian Butler, co-author and senior lecturer in animal nutrition at Newcastle University, explains:
“There is a relatively narrow margin between dietary Iodine deficiency (<140 µg/day) and excessive intakes (> 500 µg/day) from our diet which can lead to thyrotoxicoxis.

“Optimising iodine intake is therefore challenging, since globally there seems to be as much concern about excessive rather than inadequate intake.”

In the USA, China, Brazil and many European countries, where Iodine fortified salt is widely used, elevated levels of iodine in milk may increase the risk of excessive intake for individuals with high dairy consumption. For this reason the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has proposed a reduction in the permitted level of iodine in cattle feed from 5 to 2 mg iodine per kg of feed.
However, in the UK, where iodized salt is not widely available, the population relies more on milk and dairy products for adequate iodine supply. National Diet and Nutrition Survey data (NDNS) suggest that milk and dairy products supply between 31-52% of iodine in the UK diet.

The daily recommended intake of iodine in the UK is 140 µg/day and just over half comes from dietary sources other than milk/dairy products. Based on results from the study, half a litre of milk would provide 53% of and 88% of the daily recommended intake from organic and conventional milk respectively. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women have a higher iodine requirement (250 µg/day) and are therefore more at risk of iodine deficiency, which could affect neurological development in babies.
Further evidence of the health benefits of organic food

The work builds on a previous study by the team – involving experts from the UK, US, France, Italy, Switzerland, Norway and Poland – investigating the composition of organic and conventionally-grown crops.

This previous study – also published in the British Journal of Nutrition – showed that organic crops and crop-based foods are up to 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants than conventionally-grown crops and contained less of the toxic metal cadmium.

“We have shown without doubt there are composition differences between organic and conventional food. Taken together, the three studies on crops, meat and milk suggest that a switch to organic fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products would provide significantly higher amounts of dietary antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids,” concludes Professor Leifert.

“We need substantially more, well designed studies and surveys before we can accurately estimate composition differences in meat from different farm animals and for many nutritionally important compounds (vitamins, minerals, toxic metal and pesticide residues), as there is currently too little data to make comparisons.

“However, the fact that there are now several mother and child cohort studies linking organic food consumption to positive health impacts shows why it is important to further investigate the impact of the way we produce our food on human health.
The authors highlight that only a small number of studies have been carried out comparing organic and non-organic meat, and that even significant results may still carry a high level of uncertainty.

Fish Oil Supplements Show Heart Rate Benefits: Meta-analysis

The Fats Of Life Revealed

The Fats Of Life Revealed

The heart health benefits of omega-3-rich fish oil may be linked to its ability to favorably influence the variability in heart rates, says a meta-analysis of 15 studies. Read more at Nutraingredients.

Omega -3s Aid Recovery After Traumatic Spinal Cord Injuries

Omega -3s Aid Recovery After

Traumatic Spinal Cord Injuries

LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY
January 29, 2013; 01:28 PM

Researchers at Loma Linda University Center for Health Disparities and Molecular Medicine are the first to determine that a preventive diet high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids accelerates recovery and improves the ability to walk after traumatic injury to the spinal cord.

thumb_fats_and_oils_cover“Our findings suggest that a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can be part of a comprehensive approach to enhance the prospect of recovery following damage to the nervous system,” said Dr. Marino De Leon, professor and senior author on the study. “Although much more work is needed to address this critical health problem, our findings illustrate that what you eat can be part of the solution.”

The study reports that this preventative nutritional intervention enriched in docosahexaenoic acids (DHA) prepares neural cells to respond to injury by modifying the cell membrane composition. In addition, the study shows that a diet enriched in omega-3 fatty acids favors the metabolism of protective lipids and promotes the expression of genes associated with cell survival and resiliency.

“Unfortunately, trauma to the brain and the spinal cord are common in contact sports, car accidents, and during military combat; and in most cases they are impossible to predict. Even minor impacts to the brain and the cord can be disabling as they can accumulate over time,” says Dr. De Leon.

LLU postdoctoral research specialist and the first author of the study, Dr. Johnny D. Figueroa, says the study identifies cellular targets important in the effects of nutritional omega-3 fatty acids in health and disease. “Because our bodies can’t produce DHA,” he says, “it must be acquired through the diet. Our study illustrates the therapeutic value of dietary omega-3 fatty acids, particularly in situations of anticipated damage to the nervous system. Importantly, we demonstrate for the first time the metabolomics lipids fingerprinting of the injured spinal cord after being subjected to a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids.”

Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseed, walnuts and salmon.

The findings were published on Jan. 10 in the “Journal of Neurotrama,” a leading peer-reviewed journal in the field of traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries. The study was co-authored by Kathia Cordero and Miguel S. Illan, both MD-PhD students at LLU School of Medicine. The research was supported by grants 5R25GM060507 and 1P20MD001632 from the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Omega-3 Deficiency Causes 96,000 Deaths Annually

 

The Fats Of Life Revealed

The Fats Of Life Revealed

A new study from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found omega-3 deficient diets cause up to 96,000 preventable deaths annually in the United States.

PLoS Med. 2009 Apr 28;6(4):e1000058. Epub 2009 Apr 28.

The preventable causes of death in the United States: comparative risk assessment of dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors.

Source

Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

Erratum in PLoS Med. 2011 Jan;8(1). doi: 10.1371/annotation/0ef47acd-9dcc-4296-a897-872d182cde57.

Background

Knowledge of the number of deaths caused by risk factors is needed for health policy and priority setting. Our aim was to estimate the mortality effects of the following 12 modifiable dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors in the United States (US) using consistent and comparable methods: high blood glucose, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and blood pressure; overweight–obesity; high dietary trans fatty acids and salt; low dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids (seafood), and fruits and vegetables; physical inactivity; alcohol use; and tobacco smoking.

Methods and Findings

We used data on risk factor exposures in the US population from nationally representative health surveys and disease-specific mortality statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics. We obtained the etiological effects of risk factors on disease-specific mortality, by age, from systematic reviews and meta-analyses of epidemiological studies that had adjusted (i) for major potential confounders, and (ii) where possible for regression dilution bias. We estimated the number of disease-specific deaths attributable to all non-optimal levels of each risk factor exposure, by age and sex. In 2005, tobacco smoking and high blood pressure were responsible for an estimated 467,000 (95% confidence interval [CI] 436,000–500,000) and 395,000 (372,000–414,000) deaths, accounting for about one in five or six deaths in US adults. Overweight–obesity (216,000; 188,000–237,000) and physical inactivity (191,000; 164,000–222,000) were each responsible for nearly 1 in 10 deaths. High dietary salt (102,000; 97,000–107,000), low dietary omega-3 fatty acids (84,000; 72,000–96,000), and high dietary trans fatty acids (82,000; 63,000–97,000) were the dietary risks with the largest mortality effects. Although 26,000 (23,000–40,000) deaths from ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, and diabetes were averted by current alcohol use, they were outweighed by 90,000 (88,000–94,000) deaths from other cardiovascular diseases, cancers, liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, alcohol use disorders, road traffic and other injuries, and violence.

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