Thursday, September 24, 2015

A little-known cause of mental health problems

Mental health problems are on the rise, not only in the US but around the world.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least one in 10 people suffers from a mental health issue, and one in four will be hit by one in at some point in their life.

And when you’re talking mental health issues, most people think medication and psychotherapy.

But there is a little-known and frequently ignored underlying cause of many mental health issues, and all of the antidepressants and counseling in the world can’t change that. See if it may be affecting you or someone you love.

Do any of these describe you?
    ⁌ Become impatient quickly
    ⁌ Have a low energy level
    ⁌ Energy level is less than it used to be
    ⁌ Feel you have too much to do
    ⁌ Become anxious or tense easily
    ⁌ Easily become angry
    ⁌ Suffer from depression or anxiety
    ⁌ Have difficulty concentrating
    ⁌ Become nervous or hyperactive
    ⁌ Have poor memory
    ⁌ Have difficulty learning
If so, welcome to our modern day world of mental health issues and challenges.

At least one in ten of us suffers from a mental health problem, despite the fact that there’s no shortage of antidepressants, tranquilizers and antipsychotic medications out there, and increasing numbers of people are seeking psychotherapy.

So where are we missing the boat?

The answer lies in our diets.

Nutrients for the mind
One of the biggest disservices in the treatment of mental health issues is the fact that nutrition is frequently overlooked as a significant cause of those issues or worse yet, it’s considered unimportant to mental health!

Every single function your brain performs—your thinking, feeling, mental energy and ability to focus and remember—happens across an intricate network of interconnected brain cells, each one of which depends on the right nutrients to work efficiently.

Simply put, not only can you say you are what you eat, but you also think what you eat.

And you can change how you think and feel by changing what you put in your mouth.

Here are the five essential types of food for your brain:
  1. Glucose
  2. Essential fats
  3. Phospholipids
  4. Amino acids
  5. Other nutrients (certain vitamins and minerals)
Here’s how each of those contributes to tip-top brain performance:

Glucose—your brain’s petroleum
Your brain consumes more glucose than any other organ in your body.

Any imbalance in your brain’s glucose supply can cause fatigue, irritability, dizziness, insomnia, excessive sweating, poor concentration and forgetfulness, depression, crying spells and blurred vision.

Basically, the more carbohydrates you eat, the better your glucose supply and the better your brain works….but note that all carbohydrates are not created equal.

The best sources of glucose for your brain are complex carbohydrates like whole grains, lentils, beans and vegetables.  Stay away from refined carbs like sugars and white bread.

Essential fats—they’re where it’s at
Sixty percent of your brain is made up of fat, and these fats must constantly be replenished.

Deficiencies in essential fats have been linked to depression, dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, fatigue, memory problems, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.

Plus optimal amounts of fats are essential if you want to maximize your intelligence!

Your brain and nervous system are dependent on a group of fats:
  • Saturated and monounsaturated fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Omega-3 fat—especially EPA and DHA
  • Omega-6 fat—especially GLA and AA
The first two types can be synthesized by your body, but the Omegas have to come from your diet.

Most of us have very little trouble getting adequate Omega-6 fatty acids because our typical diets are inundated with these fats.

Where we fall short most times is with Omega-3 EFAs—especially the super important EPA and DHA.  The primary source of these fats is fresh fish, and that’s simply not something the average person eats on a daily basis.

And that’s why supplementing with a fish oil formula like VitalMega-3 can help ensure you have optimal levels of this crucial brain nutrient!

Every 2-capsule daily serving provides 600 mg EPA and 400 mg DHA, which is well above the 200 mg. minimum of each fat suggested by experts for proper brain function.

At the same time, it’s also important to avoid excessive amounts of meat, deep fried foods, sugar and alcohol, as well as smoking, stress and obesity, as these can all affect your ability to convert and use essential dietary fats.

Phospholipids—Alzheimer’s protection & much more
Phospholipids serve several crucial functions in your brain and nervous system.
  • They are insulators, helping to make up the myelin sheath that protects your nerves and helps your brain signals travel along smoothly.
  • They make acetylcholine, which is your brain’s memory neurotransmitter.
  • They enhance your mood, mind and mental performance.
  • They protect against age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Although your body can make phospholipids, getting them in your diet helps ensure you have enough.  Good sources of phospholipids include eggs, organ meats, fish, liver, soybeans, peanuts and other nuts.

Amino acids—better than drugs! 
Interestingly enough, amino acids (the building blocks of protein) work similar to psychiatric drugs—without the side effects!

They do this by influencing your neurotransmitters—your brain’s chemical messengers.  Here are some the main ones:
  • Adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine stimulate you, motivate you and help you deal with stressors.
  • GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) relaxes you and calms you down after stress.
  • Serotonin keeps you happy and improves your mood.
  • Acetylcholine keeps your brain sharp, improving memory and alertness.
  • Melatonin keeps you synched with day and night (thereby helping sleep) as well as the seasons.
Neurotransmitters are made from amino acids…so your levels of certain amino acids in turn affect your levels of specific neurotransmitters.

For example, serotonin is made from the amino acid tryptophan, so eating sources of tryptophan like turkey can improve your mood…without the dangers of an antidepressant!

GABA is made from glutamine (found in meat, milk, yogurt, cheese, spinach, tomatoes and cabbage) so having enough glutamine can help chill you out—Nature’s version of an antianxiety drug!

Getting a wide variety of protein sources—both from plant and animal foods—is essential to having proper levels of neurotransmitters.

Other nutrients
Here are other brain-loving nutrients, what a deficiency can cause, and the best ways to get what you need!
  
NUTRIENTDEFICIENCY EFFECTSBEST SOURCES
Vitamin B1Poor concentrationGrains, vegetables
Vitamin B3Depression; psychosisGrains, vegetables
Vitamin B5Poor memoryGrains, vegetables
Vitamin B6Poor memory; depression; irritabilityGrains, bananas
Folic acidAnxiety; depressionLeafy green vegetables
Vitamin B12Confusion; poor memoryMeat, dairy, eggs and Hydroxaden 2.5 B12 spray
Vitamin CDepression; psychosisCitrus fruits, vegetables
MagnesiumIrritability; insomnia; depressionGreen vegetables, nuts, seeds
ZincConfusion; depression; lack of concentrationFish, shellfish, nuts, seeds














Give yours what it needs!

If you want to sail into your golden years with a strong memory and sharp mind, it’s vital to make sure your brain is getting the nutrients it needs.

Stay away from the processed and fast foods and properly nourish your body…and MIND!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

PS:  We will releasing our brand new multi-vitamin formula “Super Core” this fall! More details to follow soon!

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