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Food For Thought Improving Your Mental Health

 

By Karen Masterson Koch, CN, President of Aloe Life

People take their brain health for granted until a major behavior or thinking issue arises at work, school
or play. The brain controls every thought, mood and movement, including all growth and development
from infancy through every stage of life. The brain must function properly to support healthier thoughts
and actions, and that starts with whole foods.
Several studies over the years have shown that eating healthy foods rewards children with longer
attention spans, better cognition and higher test scores.
Adversely, bad behaviors are linked to allergies that are triggered by too much inflammatory or junk
food consumption; high salt, sugar and trans-fat diets. A nutritionally unbalanced diet can cause a
myriad of mental and behavioral issues. Cane sugar consumption alone has steadily risen over the years
at approximately 200 pounds per person, yearly. This parallels the rise of all diseases, including mental
illness.
The U.S. has a growing population with many types of mental and behavioral challenges, but only 1 in 4
adults and 1 in 6 teens and younger children receive treatment. Sadly, suicides from chronic depression
are up 25% from the past 20 years, rising above fatal traffic accident statistics.(1) Additionally, 1 in 7
children ages 2 – 8 have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and slow development from
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).(2)
Cognitive Function and Behavior
We tend to blame age or personality for under-performance, whether in a child or an adult, but it’s the
right combination of nutrients that supports optimal mind and body function. I recall a young cashier
who repeatedly forgot how to run the cash register. When asked if he ate breakfast, he responded, “I
never do!” This is a prime example of the effects of nutrient deficiency.
If you think of yourself or others as a “slow learner,” or experience confusion, depression or have health
or behavior problems, start by thinking about what was eaten that day for nourishment. Sometimes it is
not just what you eat, but what you don’t eat or digest properly, that robs the brain of wellness and
performance. (3)
Some excellent news for all people, including underachievers, special needs individuals and folks
wanting to take more preventative measures with their health, is that nourishing foods and key
supplements can help improve your mental health – just give it at least 45 days to test drive healthier
choices!
7 Key Brain Health Factors (4)
Daily Nutrition and Digestion – Eat a variety of quality proteins, vegetables, fruits. Avoid inflammatory

foods, such as sugars and starches, and shop organic as much as possible. Always read the labels!
Hydration – Body size matters! Approximately 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight, plus critical
electrolytes, is required from foods and beverages. The average adult needs 2 – 3 quarts of water daily.
Exercise – Challenging the brain and body with daily movement and thinking exercises for 30 – 45
minutes a day can be beneficial for stress reduction and mood improvement.
Limit Allergens and Junk Foods – Some of the most common inflammatory offenders are cane sugar,
cow’s milk, gluten, oats, whole grains and grain fibers, molds (on foods including nuts), ice cream, pizza,
gelatin capsules, trans-fats and food high in vegetable oils, such as fried foods and margarine.
Brain Supplements –
• Whole Leaf Aloe Vera concentrate
• Essential fatty acids (omegas 3, 6, 9, as well as DHA and EPA)
• Daily greens supplements (avoid if taking blood thinners)
• B-Complex with B12
• COQ-10 enzyme
• Amino acids
• Vitamin E, C and A, plus minerals like zinc and magnesium
• Trace minerals
Daily Detox and Cleansing – Raw celery, carrots, apples and beets support regularity. Popular
detoxification supplements include fiber, pre- and probiotics, liquid silver, and concentrated greens.
Avoid Toxins and Environmental Poisons – Lead, mercury, synthetic fragrances, non-stick pans (Teflon),
and herbicides/pesticides all include common carcinogens and nerve poisons that negatively affect
healthy brain function.
Choose greater health today!
Karen Masterson Koch is a certified nutritionist and the President of Aloe Life. She is also a health
researcher, educator, and the author of Beyond Gluten Intolerance. For more information visit
AloeLife.com.
1) 2017, National Institute of Health (NIH)
2) 2015, Center for Disease Control (CDC)
3) 1991, BIOMARKERS, Tuft’s University, Fireside, New York, NY.
4) 2012, Beyond Gluten Intolerance – GI S (1), Masterson, K.A., Isbn-13:978-0-
692-01650-3, Santee, CA.