Foods

Strawberry Banana Pops

Homemade Strawberry and Banana Popsicles on a Stick
Homemade Strawberry and Banana Popsicles on a Stick

Strawberry Banana Pops

Ingredients:2 ripe bananas2 cups strawberries (fresh or frozen)1/2 cup orange or pineapple juice

Preparation:Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and add possible stick & lids. Freeze overnight. Eat & Enjoy!

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

Idea:  Freeze in ice cube trays for a quick snack or for teething babies.

Advertisements
Lifestyle

Can What You Eat Affect Your Mental Health

mentalhealth

Can What You Eat Affect Your Mental Health?

What’s for dinner? The question is popping up in an unexpected place — the psychiatrist‘s office.

More research is finding that a nutritious diet isn’t just good for the body; it’s great for the brain, too. The knowledge is giving rise to a concept called “nutritional (or food) psychiatry.”

“Traditionally, we haven’t been trained to ask about food and nutrition,” says psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, MD, an assistant clinical professor at Columbia University. “But diet is potentially the most powerful intervention we have. By helping people shape their diets, we can improve their mental health and decrease their risk of psychiatric disorders.”

Nearly 1 in 4 Americans have some type of mental illness each year. The CDC says that by 2020, depression will rank as the second leading cause of disability, after heart disease.

It’s not just a problem for adults. Half of all long-term mental disorders start by age 14. Today, childhood mental illness affects more than 17 million kids in the U.S.

Recent studies have shown “the risk of depression increases about 80% when you compare teens with the lowest-quality diet, or what we call the Western diet, to those who eat a higher-quality, whole-foods diet. The risk of attention-deficit disorder (ADD) doubles,” Ramsey says.

A Growing Idea

Just 5 years ago, the idea of nutritional psychiatry barely registered a blip on the health care radar. There had been a few studies examining how certain supplements (like omega-3 fatty acids) might balance mood. Solid, consistent data appeared to be lacking, though.

But experts say many well-conducted studies have since been published worldwide regarding a link between diet quality and common mental disorders — depression and anxiety — in both kids and adults.

“A very large body of evidence now exists that suggests diet is as important to mental health as it is to physical health,” says Felice Jacka, president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research. “A healthy diet is protective and an unhealthy diet is a risk factor for depression and anxiety.”

There is also interest in the possible role food allergies may play inschizophrenia and bipolar disorder, she says.

3 Ways Diet Impacts Your Mental Health

Here are some more details on how good nutrition impacts brain health:

  1. It’s crucial for brain development.

“We are, quite literally, what we eat,” says Roxanne Sukol, MD, preventive medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. “When we eat real food that nourishes us, it becomes the protein-building blocks, enzymes, brain tissue, and neurotransmitters that transfer information and signals between various parts of the brain and body.”

  1. Itputs the brain into grow mode.

Certain nutrients and dietary patterns are linked to changes in a brain protein that helps increase connections between brain cells. A diet rich in nutrients like omega-3s and zinc boosts levels of this substance.

On the other hand, “a diet high in saturated fats and refined sugars has a very potent negative impact on brain proteins,” Jacka says.

  1. It fills the gut with healthy bacteria.

And that’s good for the brain. Trillions of good bacteria live in the gut. They fend off bad germs and keep your immune system in check, which means they help tame inflammation in the body. Some gut germs even help make brain-powering B vitamins.

If you are having problems and need some help, please call us:

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

K. Miller

B. Nazario

312-972-Well

Diets and Weight Loss

Artificial Sweeteners Alters DNA

artificialsweeteners

Artificial Sweeteners Alters DNA

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener found in thousands of consumer foods and beverages. It is noncaloric and is 300 to 1,000 times as sweet as table sugar.

The chemical structure of sucralose is very similar to table sugar, but it contains three chlorine atoms, which table sugar does not.

The FDA claims that sucralose is safe for human consumption. But if you study the clinical literature behind sucralose, I don’t know how any person could come to that conclusion.

Animal studies found that large doses of sucralose disrupted intestinal flora by decreasing the amount of bacteria by 50 percent and increasing the pH level in the colon. This caused increases in body weight.

However, these results were found only when rats ingested very large amounts of sucralose.

There are many side effects associated with sucralose, including:

• Allergic reactions

• Blurred vision

• Dizziness

• Elevated blood sugar and insulin

• Gastrointestinal problems

• Migraines

• Seizures

• Weight gain

Sucralose was also found to alter the normal DNA in mice, a process that can cause cancer.

And if that isn’t bad enough, when it is heated sucralose can turn into toxic chloropropanols and other dioxin-like compounds.

Clearly, sucralose should be avoided. It has no therapeutic value and it is associated with a host of adverse effects, particularly when heated.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Articles

  1. Brownstein

312-972-WELL