Mediterranean Foods

Mediterranean Diet: Depression Free Living?

Eating your way out of depression has been a topic of some discussion for many years now and it would not be wrong to think there are many everyday foods out there that can help us do just that. With this in mind I would like to discuss yet another ‘we are what we eat’ claim.

Scientists have researched another healthy eating claim for depression. It appears that eating a Mediterranean diet could reduce the risk of depression by more than a third. The claim is that eating a traditional Mediterranean diet may be the trigger in achieving a depression-free living standard rather than eating single health-giving food.

The University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Clinic of the University of Navarra, Pamplona studied more than 10,000 Spaniards over a six years period closely monitoring their diets and mental health. The outcome was that those individuals who eat a Mediterranean diet as their lifestyle were far less at risk of developing depression, by some 30%, than those would do not. So if the reason for low mental health problems in the Mediterranean is their diet then just maybe we should adopt some of their ways and start eating lots more fruit and vegetables together with some lovely fish all topped off with a sprinkling of nuts.

The University has been reported as saying:

The dietary pattern may exert a degree of protection against depression. It may be more important than a single component.

If you break down the diet and take a look at the benefits each item brings then it is not an untrue statement. example… Fruit apart from the obvious vitamin C which we need to help protect our arteries by fighting against clogging, high blood pressure, and cholesterol damage. Vitamin C will also certainly boost the immune system. It is most important in forming collagen, a protein that gives structure to our bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. Vitamin C also gives us our resistance to fight infectious and immune-related diseases. It also helps for the absorption of iron and helps control blood cholesterol. We, humans, have no enzymatic capability, to manufacture vitamin C we need to take it in daily. Many other vitamins can be found in fruit such as Vitamin A an aid to our vision, it is also responsible for a healthy skin and keeping our mucous membranes up to the mark.

All the B vitamins can be found in fruit, fish, and nuts among others providing us with energy. They also provide us with healthy muscles and a healthy nervous system. The B vitamins are essential vitamin for children to ensure normal growth, as well as helping to stave off depression.

The Vitamin and Minerals section on this website looks at the benefits of healthy eating more closely, so for me, the statement ‘we are what we eat’ is no surprise. So a combined diet of fruit and vegetables, fish and nuts would surely have a high impact on our sustained good health and a possible reduction in depressed individuals.

Sweets & Chocolate Linked to Adult Violence

Assortment of Sweets

Child Treasure Trove (and mine also): Image: Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

While Julia Hunt of the Food and Drink Federation calls it utter nonsense or a distasteful April Fool joke, Dr. Moore and his team of researchers from Cardiff University think that there is a link between confectionery and adult violence but “did not believe additives in confectionery were to blame”.

I do not think it any great secret that our eating habits (diet) have been linked with behavioural problems which also includes aggression. However, the long-term effects of our eating habits in our childhood with regard to adult violence as never been studied. So the findings by Dr. Moore and his team of researchers is a first.

The researchers findings are published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, and comes from a study of 17,500 people. The team is quoted as saying: “Giving children sweets and chocolate regularly may stop them learning how to wait to obtain something they want. Not being able to defer gratification may push them towards more impulsive behaviour, which is associated with delinquency.”

It would appear that Dr. Moore and his team believe that bribing children for good behaviour with the promise of sweets and chocolate on a regular basis may stop them learning the art of patience and how to wait for something they would like to own.

The findings pointed to children at 10 years. of age who had consumed excessive amounts of confectionery daily having a much higher ratio of being convicted of violence at the age of 34 years.

So in a nutshell, it is more or less saying that when we bribe our children with the promise of a reward such as sweets and chocolate for good behaviour the child learns that being naughty at the right time will always lead to a reward for its continued good behaviour.

We take this learned behaviour, whether we realise it or not, into Adulthood. Where patience and consideration have not been learned you will find aggression. Aggression in the adult with no immediate reward may then lead to violence for no other reason than ‘I could not get my own way’

If you do accept that this behaviour is the result of adult violence then you would also have to consider that it does not only apply to sweets and chocolate.

The reward could also extend to that games machine etc. you will not get if you show me up in public again… or am I reading to much into the written word… kongang heyo.. Take care..