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Fruits & Vegetables May Have a Larger Mental Impact Than We Thought

Fruits & Vegetables May Have a Larger Mental Impact Than We Thought

According to new research, it just might. A new study found that high and low mental well being could be consistently associated with an individual’s consumption of fruits and vegetables.

In the study, a third of respondents with high mental well being reported eating five or more portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Less than 7 percent of those with high mental wellbeing ate less than one portion of fruits and vegetables in a day.

Dr. Saverio Stranges, the lead author of the research paper said in a statement, “The data suggest the higher an individual’s fruit and vegetable intake the lower the chance of their having low mental well being.”

Over half of respondents with low mental wellbeing ate four or less portions of fruits and vegetables daily.

“Along with smoking, fruit and vegetable consumption was the health-related behavior most consistently associated with both low and high mental well being,” Dr. Stranges said.

“These novel findings suggest that fruit and vegetable intake may play a potential role as a drive of, not just of physical, but also of mental wellbeing in the general population.”

Mental wellbeing is a key part of overall health, and it makes sense that what keeps the body healthy would keep the mind healthy as well. However, it’s about more than just a lack of mental health problems. Those with a high mental well being are more likely to be optimistic and happy, have high self-esteem, and good relationships with others.

It’s these factors that may lead some to make healthier choices with their lives, like eating more fruits and vegetables. Though the study found a link between produce and mental state, it’s hard to say which causes which, if either causes the other.

by Brandi, selected from Diets in Review

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Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

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Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

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I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 

Member International Association for Health Coaches 

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6 Mood-Boosting Foods

6 Mood-Boosting Foods

 

Can you eat your way to a better mood? More and more scientific research is saying so. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is important for your general health, so why should it be any different for your mental health? From depression-fighting seeds to anxiety-zapping greens, read about the best nutrients for your mood.

 

1. Sesame Seeds.

Good things come in small packages. The unassuming sesame seed is loaded with mood-boosting nutrients. Sesame seeds are on of the best vegetarian sources of zinc, a mineral that has been linked to depression and anxiety. One study found that zinc treatment lowered the depression and anger levels of young women. Other studies have suggested using the mineral as a treatment for depression.

 

2. Chocolate.

A few bites of real, dark chocolate each day will help your mood and your tastebuds! Studies have suggested that dark chocolate reduces the level of cortisol, a stress hormone, in your body; it may also relieve anxiety. Leesa recommends 85% organic dark chocolate from Vivani!

 

3. Spinach.

As if you needed another reason to love spinach! This leafy green is loaded with all sorts of mood-boosting nutrients, from depression-fighting folates (more on that later) to anxiety-easing magnesium. Spinach also contains plenty of zinc — studies have shown that, the less zinc you have in your body, the more likely you are to be depressed.

 

4. Yogurt.

Yogurt is an excellent vegetarian source of vitamin B12, a vital nutrient for the formation of red blood cells. For reasons scientists aren’t exactly clear on yet, B vitamins seem to play a vital role in our mental health. Vitamin B12 deficiencies in particular have been linked to high rates of depression, and studies have suggested that strong intake of the vitamin may improve depression treatment outcomes. If your body doesn’t get enough of the stuff, it can actually lead to serious mental health issues. Because plants cannot make Vitamin B12, your best sources for the stuff are dairy products, eggs, seafood, and meat. Vegans and older adults are especially at risk of a Vitamin B12 deficiency, and may want to talk with their doctors about supplements or fortified foods.

5. Lentils.

Lentils, along with other foods rich in folic acid, are a key nutrient for treating depression. Like it’s B vitamin cousin, vitamin B12, plenty of research has linked low levels of folic acid to depression. It’s also thought that high levels of the vitamin will actually help anti-depressants work more effectively.  Healthy carbs help boost serotonin levels.

Other Foods Rich in Folates: Pinto, black, navy, kidney & garbanzo beans; spinach, asparagus, turnip greens and broccoli.

6. Flaxseeds.

The countries with the lowest rates of depression tend to have one thing in common: they also eat the most fish. Scientists think this is because fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that these polysaturated fats can improve your mood, and help treat depression and postpartum depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Though fish is probably your best source of omega-3 fatty acids, most healthy people can get all of it they need from flaxseeds and flaxseed oil. You can also check out supplements or sea vegetables if you are a vegan or a vegetarian.

Leesa recommends choosing organic when available.

By Katie Waldeck 

Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

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Foods that Boost Serotonin

Foods that Boost Serotonin

Serotonin plays an important role in regulating happiness, problem-solving and  concentration. When the level of serotonin fluctuates, it can directly change an  individual’s mood, sleep  patterns, appetite, memory, ability to learn and comprehend, body  temperature, heart performance and muscular functioning. A deficiency in  serotonin is sometimes regulated with medication but consuming specific food  items can boost the level of this chemical in the brain.

Fruits that Increase Serotonin

Various fruits boost serotonin and other mood-improving chemicals in the  brain. Plums, pineapple, bananas and sour cherries can directly influence  serotonin production. Bananas contain high levels of a chemical called  tryptophan. This chemical is converted to serotonin in the brain. Melatonin, a  chemical known for improving sleep, is found in sour cherries.

Serotonin Boost from Protein Sources

Turkey is another food known to contain high levels of tryptophan. Many  people report feeling drowsy after eating turkey. The sleepiness following a  large meal with turkey, such as the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, is somewhat  due to tryptophan and serotonin but it is also due to eating a larger quantity  of food. Other foods that can boost serotonin in the protein family include  eggs, beef, wild fish and most animals that are free of growth-promoting  hormones.

Carbohydrate-based Foods that Increase Serotonin

Carbohydrates can make a person feel full. Any grain or sugar-containing item  is usually considered to be a carbohydrate source. When an individual feels the  full sensation in the stomach, it can be rewarding in different ways. The person  may feel satisfied because basic nourishment has been fulfilled, but the brain  may also produce more serotonin as a result of the sugar and make up of the  carbohydrate-based food. Examples of carbohydrate foods include pasta, bread and  white potatoes. Dairy products consist of sugars that boost serotonin  production. Examples include milk, Swiss cheese and cheddar cheese. The cheeses  can increase other mood-boosting chemicals in the body having the same effect as  an increase in serotonin.

Sweet Treats Boost Mood

Eating a favored sweet treat, like dark chocolate, can increase mood not just  because it is so well-liked but also because it increases serotonin levels in  the brain. Some sugary snacks can lead to a dip in energy, causing the  individual to feel sleepy instead of energized or happier. For the purpose of  increasing serotonin, foods lower in sugar will have a more lasting effect.

Things to Consider

Every individual will respond differently to various foods. The exact  quantity of each food needed in order to increase serotonin has yet to be  determined. Eating foods known to boost serotonin is not a recommended method of  treatment for depression or other mood disorders associated with serotonin  deficiencies. Instead, mood-boosting foods can be eaten during illness or other  short-term events that cause a negative mood, fatigue, trouble concentrating and  sleep problems.

by Sarah  Harding, Contributor to Holistic  Nutrition on Allthingshealing.com

All Things Healing (allthingshealing.com) is an online  portal and community dedicated to informing and educating people across the  globe about alternative healing of mind, body, spirit and the planet at large.  We are committed to bringing together a worldwide community of individuals and  organizations who are working to heal themselves, each other, and the world. We  offer 39 healing categories, 80 plus editors who are experts in their fields, a  forum for each category, and an extensive “Find Practitioners” listing. Our  Costa Rica Learning Center and Spiritual Retreat is coming soon. Join  us!

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