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.
Read more at BBC Future
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Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.
A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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