How Eating a Poor Diet Makes Us Feel Depressed
Recent studies have found that eating unhealthy foods, especially those high in sugar and fat, contribute directly to the biological and emotional states associated with depression.
Scientists are finding that when it comes to nutrition, the mind and body are linked far more intimately than previously believed. Recent studies have found that eating unhealthy foods, especially those high in sugar and fat, contribute directly to the biological and emotional states associated with depression. When we eat poorly, our body understands a lack of nutrients to be the consequence of a disease. In response, it releases proteins that attempt to combat the perceived intruder and cause subtle inflammation (similar to the swelling of a healing wound).
One study focused on a southern European population that slowly transitioned from the Mediterranean diet--rich in oils, vegetables, and nuts--to a western diet containing more sugar and fat.
It found that "those who lived almost exclusively on the traditional Mediterranean diet were about half as likely to develop depression over the period as those eating more unhealthy food – even when you control for things like education and economic status."
Many initiatives are currently underway to treat depression with healthier diets, including a trial program by the Defense Department that delivers nutrient rich foods to soldiers diagnosed with PTSD. In other cases, eating a healthy diet has proved to be an effective preventative measure against developing depression--as effective as preventative mental health counseling!
In his Big Think interview, fiction writer and animals rights advocate Jonathan Safran Foer explains that the environmental cost of one fast-food hamburger is $500, even though we may only pay $5 cash for it.
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Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
Turns out pushups are more telling than treadmill tests when it comes to cardiovascular health.
- Men who can perform 40 pushups in one minute are 96 percent less likely to have cardiovascular disease than those who do less than 10.
- The Harvard study focused on over 1,100 firefighters with a median age of 39.
- The exact results might not be applicable to men of other age groups or to women, researchers warn.
On Thursday, New Zealand moved to ban an array of semi-automatic guns and firearms components following a mass shooting that killed 50 people.
- Gun control supporters are pointing to the ban as an example of swift, decisive action that the U.S. desperately needs.
- Others note the inherent differences between the two nations, arguing that it is a good thing that it is relatively hard to pass such legislation in such a short timeframe.
- The ban will surely shape future conversations about gun control in the U.S.
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