Food and Mental Health
There is overwhelming evidence that over 65% of depression and other brain issues caused by poor food choices.
- Professor Felicity Jacka presented a breakthrough paper at the Rotary Conference of district 9680 in Wollongong on the weekend (18/3/12) at the WIN entertainment centre in front of several hundred business leaders and academics that was completed only three months ago and approved as a PhD document last month. It was published in the leading prestigious New York Psychiatric Journal and was actually the front page article.
- Basically, Prof Jacka has discovered that around 65% of several mental conditions can be prevented and overcome by improving food choices.
- Dr Adrian Lopresti and Dr Hyla Cass subsequently announced at the International Congress on Functional Medicine in Brisbane in June, 2016 that:
- inflammation can cause depression and that may be reversed by among other natural techniques, including phytotherapy (herbal medicine).
- Foods that are favourable also for improving mental health include fresh fruit and vegetables.
- To add to that, our own findings in this area show that food selections may be more accurately refined to give an even better result by assessing the individual’s phenotype.
- Not only that but Danielle Fairbrother also showed evidence at the latter congress that specific food supplements may be interchanged in individual cases where freshly-picked, wholesome fruit and vegetables are not available. These latter findings have been developed over the years and our clinical outcomes match the successful studies.
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Clearly, that is very pleasing to me as a naturopath/pharmacist because I have embraced the profession of naturopathy that has preached the health mantra of ‘fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh air and exercise’ for around the last 100 years or so, in preventing and overcoming chronic illness of many types.
While she has not yet researched the need for supplements, others have. A spectacular example is the Nurses’ study but there are literally hundreds of others. So, if you live in a mineral-deficient area such as Australia, then you will need to supplement with a multi-mineral preparation such as our 78/12, according to the Australian Dietary Survey.
Felicity informed us that her study also revealed that unhealthy intestines and bowels will also lead to massive health complications. The literature also shows us that it leads to a build-up of visceral fat and causes your immune system to go haywire, leading to all sorts of chronic illness – not just depression and anxiety. This part of her finding coincides with our own. When leaky gut happens it interferes with certain neuro-hormones and prevents normal duplication of brain cells that is called neuroplasticity. This in turn causes disruption to neuro-transmitters in those brain cells that, in turn, leads to mood swings, anxiety and depression.
So, Felicity also cautions of the absolute necessity to maintain bowel health. For that you need to practice regular bowel maintenance. You can achieve this by rigidly adhering to the policy that she espoused of taking two pieces of fruit and eight vegetables (all freshly picked) daily. We recommend a similar routine to this, provided that the fruit and salad vegetables have been purchased and prepared correctly (ask for our food selection charts in the clinic or contact us).
Leaky Gut repair
However, if for any reason you fall down on this routine and are worried about your gut health, you can make up for it by taking regular ‘bursts’ of our healthy gut mix in the absence of such fresh food. If you wish to have a more definite indication of your gut health status, contact us for a leaky gut test (Urinary Indicans). Felicity also reminded us that fresh, organic fruit and vegetables also provide health-giving soluble fibre and active plant healing compounds called bioflavonoids that do not appear in old or processed foods. We pack these into our Healthy Gut Mix.
Finally, our food charts are available on request and guide you to the yummy-tasting foods that are compatible with your phenotype. This prevents unnecessary strain on your intestinal membrane that is one cause of the abovementioned inflammatory response and leaky gut.