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How Food Affects Your Mental Health

February 02, 2006 | 13,990 views

Two British health organizations have reported that the way food is produced in the modern age has altered the balance of key nutrients people consume, and consequently affected mental health.

Less Fresh Food

A smaller amount of fresh food, and more saturated fats and sugars, may be leading to depression and memory problems. Addressing mental health problems with dietary changes can show better results in some cases than either drugs or counseling.


People are eating 34 percent fewer vegetables and two-thirds less fish than they did 50 years ago. Fish are one of the few sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial to brain health, in the human diet.

These changes may be linked to depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Alzheimer's disease.


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Conventional medicine is finally starting to appreciate just how much eating the right types of foods affects your mental health.

Both of these British organizations agree with my position that the ways foods are processed and produced -- as fast food and genetically modified crops for example -- have significantly diminished the number of nutrients you eat, leading to potentially serious mental health issues.

Your body was designed to eat natural foods as they are found in nature. Processed foods -- containing high quantities of:

     ... have created an epidemic of degenerative diseases in the modern world.

    I would urge a return to the foods of your Paleolithic ancestors. Those are the foods that the human body adapted to over many hundreds of generations, long before fairly recent (in evolutionary terms) farming techniques loaded our diet with simple sugars and carbohydrates.

    If you really want to be healthy, reduce or eliminate grains and sugars from your diet, and eat the foods you evolved to eat.

    It still perplexes me, however, to know that some conventional medicine "experts" still shy away from making the connection between food and mental health, even though omega-3 fats -- specifically those found in a high-quality fish or cod liver oil, since fish itself contains too much mercury -- are a proven natural tool for fighting depression, and a folic-acid-rich diet has been found to slow a patient's mental decline.

    And, if you don't think you can afford to make the transition to whole food living, review Colleen Huber's awesome piece comparing the prices of organic and processed foods.

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