Moods and Foods: What No One is Talking About
I’m no scientist but I am going to take a leap and say your brain is attached to the rest of your body. Crazy, I know. Now, I am really going to go out on a limb and say that the brain is a vital organ we ignore, better yet, shun. If our brain isn’t functioning; let’s say, up to par; we simply write it off. We dismiss illnesses of the brain. We shame the poor health of the brain. We take a diagnosis of the brain and we call it, “crazy.”
Last time I checked, no one called an illness of the heart, “psycho.” No on one has ever labeled an illness of the pancreas as “nutso.” In this day and age, most people, mildly agree to the notion that the way they live and the foods they eat influence their health. But not if that health is above the neckline. Nope, that is where we stop dead in our tracks.
Somehow, our culture has committed to the concept that high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease are correlated to poor eating habits and stressed lifestyles. We can all agree that type 2 diabetes, in large part, is due to the current obesity epidemic in America. But we can not board the train that says, your mood and food is related. No, we aren’t going to jump on that crazy train! This is where I am at a loss. Why can we adhere to the thought that the foods we consume affect the very heart that beats in our chest but it has no relevance when it comes to our brain?
What if we could agree that anxiety, depression, OCD, and ADHD were the illnesses of an inflamed, stressed, malnourished brain? What if there was something we could actually do about it? Unfortunately, I think it is easier to act as if we are powerless. It is easier to roll over and accept our fate. It is easier to point fingers and write people off for their intrinsic craziness. If we remain powerless and if we don’t ask any questions then we feel safe. Now I am an optimistic person. I believe in people. I think we have a great ability to change. If I didn’t believe people could change; I would not have become a therapist. But my pessimism begins to win out when I read the news articles about a shortened life span for the next generation. Not only will their life be cut short, they will be the saddest generation to live. According to Time magazine, the New York Times and every other national publication, the studies are in and it doesn’t look good. Anxiety and depression has increased in American teens by 30%. Soon depression will be the leading cause of disability in America. According to the World Health Organization, it is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Does anyone else wonder why this is happening?
As a parent, I feel responsible. I want to create change. At the very least, we can invoke a dialogue. We can connect the dots. How we eat matters. How we live matters. We can begin to make little changes for our little children. Where do you start? We start by talking about what no one is talking about. Are you with me?