FOOD BITES: JULY 2018

Magnesium Treats Depression

As little as 248 mg of magnesium per day leads to an astounding reversal of depression syndrome, according to research conducted at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and published in the journal PLoS One in June 2017.

….FULL ARTICLE

FOOD BITES: AUGUST 2018

Source of Yuma E. Coli Romaine Found

Federal officials first announced on April 13 an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown and produced in the Yuma, Ariz., area. Federal investigators found the source of the outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 on July 28: canal water.

….FULL ARTICLE

FOOD BITES: NOVEMBER 2018

Lab-Grown Meat Gaining Traction

More and more meat is being grown in labs from cultured cells. Several start-ups, such as Mosa Meat, Memphis Meats, SuperMeat and Finless Foods, are developing lab-grown beef, pork, poultry and seafood. This burgeoning niche industry is attracting millions in funding; Memphis Meats gobbled

….FULL ARTICLE

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FOOD BITES: FEBRUARY 2019

Combat Anxiety With Food

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. Eighteen (18) percent of American adults – about 40 million individuals – struggle with anxiety, says the National Institute of Mental Health. Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. Of those who seek treatment, only some see benefits from pharmacological solutions. But changes in diet can alleviate anxiety and even depression for most people. It begins with eating a balanced, healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and limiting or avoiding alcohol and caffeine. Add whole grains, vegetables and fruits while eliminating processed foods and simple carbs. Because complex carbohydrates are metabolized more slowly and maintain a more even blood sugar level, they induce a calm feeling. Do not skip meals; this may cause you to feel jittery due to a drop in blood sugar. Magnesium has a calming effect in both humans and mice. Foods naturally rich in magnesium include spinach, Swiss chard, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Foods rich in zinc, such as oysters, cashews, liver, beef and egg yolks, have been linked to lowered anxiety. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids such as wild Alaskan salmon may also reduce anxiety. Probiotic-rich foods such as pickles, sauerkraut and kefir were found to lower social anxiety in a study published in the journal Psychiatry Research. Asparagus has also been found to have anti-anxiety properties; the Chinese government approved the use of asparagus extract in foods and beverages for this very purpose. Foods full of B vitamins, such as avocado and almonds, also spur the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.

Anxiety is thought to be correlated with a lowered total antioxidant state, so enhancing your diet with antioxidant foods may help ease anxiety symptoms. Foods the USDA has designated as high in antioxidant properties include small red dried beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans, apples, prunes, sweet cherries, plums, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, walnuts, pecans, artichokes, kale, spinach, beets, broccoli, turmeric and ginger.


Food Really Does Matter

From health, mental cognition, depression, prenatal through adolescent behavior, and all things in between, food makes all the difference, according to a decade of research from nutritionists, biologists, neurologists, psychiatrists and sociologists from different countries, cultures and socio-economic strata. Here is a condensed summary of compelling findings.


A healthy diet was just as affective as problem-solving therapy for primary care in preventing episodes of major depression for two years in older adults, according to research from the American Psychiatric Association ( June 2015).

A diet high in fruit, vegetables, fish and whole grains, like the Mediterranean diet (TMD), is associated with a reduced depression risk, according to research reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition ( January 2014).


TMD may contribute to the prevention of several brain diseases. High adherence to the diet was consistently associated with a reduced risk for stroke, depression and cognitive impairment (including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease). This protective effect due to diet was independent of age, according to Greek researchers in the journal Annals of Neurology (May 2013).


The average onset for anxiety disorders is age 6 years. It is 13 years for mood disorders. Unhealthy diets were linked to poorer mental health in children and adolescents; healthy diets resulted in good mental health. While this link had already been established in adults, an October 2014 study published in the American Journal of Public Health showed the same early in life.


Not only is poor diet related to depression and anxiety risk in adults and adolescents, but a mother’s prenatal diet and the child’s postnatal diet up to age 7 years matters. Higher intakes of unhealthy foods during pregnancy predicted externalizing problems (inattention, aggression) among children. Postnatally, children with an unhealthy diet had higher levels of both internalizing (emotionally reactive, anxious, depressed, withdrawn, somatic complaints) and externalizing problems. This information was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in October 2013. The same results were found among 7,814 mother-child pairs by other researchers in December 2014, as published in the journal Psychological Medicine and Cambridge University Press. Dutch researchers found high adherence to TMD during pregnancy was the healthiest for fetal brain development and subsequent child behavior. But the traditional Dutch diet or low adherence to the TMD was associated with externalizing problems, as outlined in the Generation R Study published in the Clinical Nutrition journal in February 2014.

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

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