The 10 Principles of Nutritional Psychiatry

By Amanda Froelich

After eating a particularly unhealthy meal, have you ever noticed that you don’t feel too great? Maybe you suffer from a headache; perhaps your digestion becomes sluggish; or, maybe you suffer from a bout of anxiety or depression for several days. If this sounds familiar, read on to discover more about the link between nutrition (or what you eat) and mental well-being.

As Amen Clinics reports, emerging evidence suggests that nutritional treatment may help prevent or treat a variety of disorders, including depressionbipolar disorderschizophreniaanxietyADD/ADHDautismaddiction, and eating disorders. After decades of anecdotal evidence, the scientific community is finally beginning to accept the fact that what we eat definitely plays a role in brain and mental health.

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Evidence for Nutritional Psychiatry

5 years ago, a group of 18 scientists discovered that “the emerging and compelling evidence for nutrition as a crucial factor in the high prevalence and incidence of mental disorders suggests that diet as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology, and gastroenterology.”

 “…diet is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology, and gastroenterology.” —The Lancet Psychiatry

Two years later, a 12-week study, known as the “SMILES trial”, focused on the impact of dietary support compared with social support in 67 people who suffered from moderate to severe depression and ate unhealthy diets. After the 12 weeks, 32 percent of participants receiving dietary support achieved remission, compared with only 8% in the social support group.

I personally learned the value of “making food my medicine” at the age of 15 (holy smokes – 2009!), when I suffered from chronic acne, depression, eating disorders, and anxiety. After ditching refined sugar, wheat, processed foods, and cutting down on meat, my afflictions dramatically improved. Hence, this is why I am so passionate about teaching others about the concept of making food one’s medicine.

10 Principles of Nutritional Psychiatry

If you feel encouraged to make food an integral part of your journey toward wellness, get started with the FREE Life in Bloom pantry list and getting started guide. Simply sign up for the newsletter (pop-up or side-bar here).

If you feel encouraged to make food an integral part of your journey toward wellness, keep the following rules in mind:

1.  Cultivate a love for the foods that love you back

When you first start eating healthier, you may think: “Gosh, this tastes like cardboard.” But this is typically a symptom of eating highly processed foods which “shock” the taste buds. As you include more healthy, plant-based (alllll the greens) foods into your diet, you will begin to develop a love for the foods that love you back.

This rule also means to consider the ingredients in your favorite foods. If they contain ingredients your grandma couldn’t pronounce or wouldn’t include in her cooking (Red #40, Yellow #5, preservatives), say “goodbye” to the pro-inflammatory vegetable oils, sugar, and MSG that can worsen ADD/ADHD symptoms and cause “mind-storms.”

2.  Focus on highest quality calories, versus calorie counting

If your body is missing out on essential nutrients (which is common in populations that depend on highly refined and low-nutrient food), you’ll continue to crave foods in order to obtain adequate stores of nutrients. This is why you can feel starving even after eating a high-calorie McDonald’s meal. It’s sugar and fat, and your body is literally malnourished.

Instead of focusing on calorie counting, focus on the quality of the foods you consume. The more greens, nuts, seeds, grass-fed meat and seafood, vegetables, fruit, and healthy oils (avocado, coconut oil, olive oil) you consume, the more satiated your body will become over time. At first, you may feel as if you need to gorge yourself. My honest advice is to listen to these signals and help your body know that it isn’t in starvation mode anymore. After it balances out, your hunger should, as well.

By taking steps to maintain a healthy weight, you will help reduce your risk for depression and Alzheimer’s disease (evidence suggests both are worsened by obesity).

3.  Eat and Cook with High-Quality Fat

Believe it or not, 60 percent of the solid weight of your brain is fat. For this reason, low-fat diets are not good for mental health, specifically when one is struggling with anxiety or depression. Healthy fat sources, such as avocado, wild-caught fish, coconut (oil, butter, shredded, fresh), nuts, and seeds will provide the omega-3 fatty acids your body needs to lubricate joints and nourish the brain.

4. Pick ‘Smart’ Carbohydrates

Just like fat, carbs are not the enemy. However, the quality of carbohydrates does matter, which is why this next tip is to pick colorful, low-glycemic, and high-fiber carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, acorn squash, brown rice, and activated legumes, when grocery shopping. These nourishing foods break down slowly and, as a result, will help keep blood sugar levels (and your mood) stable.

5. Eat High-Quality Protein at Every Meal

It is vital to eat easy-to-digest protein-rich foods to balance blood sugar, which will help keep your mood balanced. Protein-rich foods also help to curb cravings because your body actually feels satiated.

6. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Your brain is 80 percent water. Even being mildly dehydrated can negatively impact your mood, causing you to feel more anxious, tense, depressed, or angry. Skip high-calorie and dehydrating drinks, like coffee and soda. Stick to water, tea, and broth beverages.

7.  Make Use of Herbs and Spices

Nature provides us an array of tools to improve physical and mental well-being. For example, St. John’s Wort is an effective aid against depression. Yarrow is also soothing for the nerves, and lavender can help provide a sense of calm in the midst of chaos.

8. Eat as Clean as Possible

In the era of “orthorexia,” I want to clarify that this isn’t a suggestion to aspire to eat perfectly all of the time (which itself isn’t entirely healthy, due to rigidity). Rather, simply consider the source of your food and strive to eliminate all sweeteners, colors, preservatives, and foods in plastic containers.

9. Omit Brain Health/Mental Health Allergens

If you suffer from any brain health/mental health or physical issue, try eliminating sugar, MSG, gluten, corn, soy, and dairy for one month. See if your symptoms improve.

10.  Use Intermittent Fasting to Supercharge Your Brain

The benefits of fasting are extensive! Intermittent fasting, or “time-restricted feeding,” has been shown to improve both memory and mood.

11.  BONUS Tip: Exercise Regularly

Exercising improves oxygenation to your brain, improves overall wellness, and releases feel-good endorphins. Take care of yourself physically and you WILL reap the benefits mentally and emotionally.

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this article!

Article source: Life in Bloom

Mandy is a RHN, chef (vegan, paleo, live food), author, world traveler, artist, and business student. She lives in Colorado with her fiance, husky dog, and two cats. When she’s not working on new projects, she’s running, hiking, reading, or cooking healthy food.

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Natural Compound in Vegetables Helps Fight Fatty Liver Disease

A new study led by Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists shows how a natural compound found in many well-known and widely consumed vegetables can also be used to fight fatty liver disease.

The study demonstrates how non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, can be controlled by indole, a natural compound found in gut bacteria – and in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. It also addresses how this natural compound may lead to new treatments or preventive measures for NAFLD.

The study was recently published in Hepatology and can be found on

“Based on this research, we believe healthy foods with high capacity for indole production are essential for preventing NAFLD and are beneficial for improving the health of those with it,” said Chaodong Wu, M.D., Ph.D., a Texas A&M AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow and principal investigator for the study. “This is another example where altering the diet can help prevent or treat disease and improve the well-being of the individual.”

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About NAFLD and indole

NAFLD occurs when the liver becomes “marbled” with fat, sometimes due to unhealthy nutrition, such as excessive intake of saturated fats. If not properly addressed, this condition can lead to life-threatening liver disease, including cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Many diverse factors contribute to NAFLD. Fatty liver is seven to 10 times more common in people with obesity than in the general population. In addition, obesity causes inflammation in the body. Driving this inflammation are macrophages, types of white blood cells that normally battle infection. This inflammation exacerbates liver damage in those with liver disease.

Gut bacteria can also have an effect – either positive or negative — on the progression of fatty liver disease. These bacteria produce many different compounds, one of which is indole. This product of the amino acid tryptophan has been identified by clinical nutritionists and nutrition scientists as likely having preventive and therapeutic benefits to people with NAFLD.

The National Cancer Institute also notes the benefits of indole-3-carbinol found in cruciferous vegetables, including their anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties.

A comprehensive and multi-level study on fatty liver disease

The present study examined the effect of indole concentrations on people, animal models and individual cells to help determine indole’s effect on liver inflammation and its potential benefits to people with NAFLD. It investigated the extent to which indole alleviates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, incorporating previous findings on gut bacteria, intestinal inflammation and liver inflammation. It also incorporated investigation into how indole improves fatty liver in animal models.

For the study, researchers investigated the effects of indole on individuals with fatty livers. As research collaborator Qifu Li, M.D., was also a physician at Chongqing Medical University in China, the team decided he should lead the clinical research using Chinese participants.

In 137 subjects, the research team discovered people with a higher body mass index tended to have lower levels of indole in their blood. Additionally, the indole levels in those who were clinically obese were significantly lower than those who were considered lean. And in those with lower indole levels, there was also a higher amount of fat deposition in the liver.

This result will likely extend to other ethnicities, Li noted, though ethnic background may have some influence on gut bacteria populations and the exact levels of metabolites.

To further determine the impact of indole, the research team used animal models fed a low-fat diet as a control and high-fat diet to simulate the effects of NAFLD.

“The comparisons of animal models fed a low-fat diet and high-fat diet gave us a better understanding of how indole is relevant to NAFLD,” said Gianfranco Alpini, M.D., a study collaborator and former distinguished professor of Texas A&M Health Science Center, now the director of the Indiana Center for Liver Research.

Alpini said treatment of NAFLD-mimicking animal models with indole significantly decreased fat accumulation and inflammation in the liver.

The research team also studied how indole affected individual cells.

Shannon Glaser, M.D., a professor of Texas A&M Health Science Center, said that in addition to reducing the amount of fat in liver cells, indole also acts on cells in the intestine, which send out molecular signals that dampen inflammation.

“The link between the gut and the liver adds another layer of complexity to studies on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and future studies are very much needed to fully understand the role of indole,” Glaser said.

Additional nutrition research needed

“Foods with a high capacity of indole production or medicines that mimic its effects may be new therapies for treatment of NAFLD,” Wu said, adding prevention is another important aspect to consider.

“Preventing NAFLD’s development and progression may depend on nutritional approaches to ensure that gut microbes allow indole and other metabolites to function effectively,” he said. “Future research is needed to investigate how certain diets may be able to achieve this.”

Wu said in future research he hopes to collaborate with food scientists and clinical nutritionists to examine what healthy foods can alter gut microbiota and increase indole production.


Texas A&M AgriLife Communications

Journal article


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Coronavirus Fears – Protect Yourself and Boost Immunity With These 10 Methods

By Dr. Scott Graves

You may have already heard the news about the coronavirus that started in Wuhan, China. It is reported that dozens of people have died from viral pneumonia and thousands more are infected. They even have quarantined cities totaling 50 million+ people.

Viral pneumonia can occur when an initial cold virus worsens and causes air sacs in your lungs to fill with fluids or pus, making it hard to breathe. Symptoms can include chest pain, cough with phlegm (yellow or green), fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and shortness of breath.

Here is what is important to know about this virus. First, let’s get some perspective. Remember the swine flu and Ebola viruses? Many people panicked and the mainstream media spread fear throughout the world. Fortunately, neither of these viruses amounted to anything at that time. Many people don’t know that on average 30,000 people die every year in the USA from complications to colds and flus leading to pneumonia. This is especially tragic with infants and the elderly (over age 65) being the most susceptible due to compromised or weakened immunity. Could the hype with this coronavirus be just that…hype? We don’t know yet, but I urge you not to buy into the fear peddled around by the mainstream media. Don’t give your inner power away to fear. Instead, be reassured that knowledge is power and there are many things you can do to be ready and to powerfully support your immune function.

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What that being said, it is very wise to be armed and ready during flu season. The worst months of flu season are January and February, historically. A coronavirus is part of a family of viruses that typically causes the common cold, but can be more severe at times. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing and close contact. You also can be infected and not have any symptoms.

Here is my list of things to do to make sure that your immune system stays strong during this flu season.

1 – Wash your hands frequently but not obsessively (from fear). Please use organic soap. I suggest not using non-organic soaps and hand sanitizers due to them containing triclosan, parabens, synthetic fragrances, and alcohol, which are toxic and STRESS the immune system. My favorite organic hand soap is Dr. Bronners, which smells divine. Our obsession with germ-killing items has bred antibiotic-resistant bacteria around the world. We should not fear viruses and bacteria; instead, we should learn how to let go of our fears. Being in a state of fear severely weakens immune response.

2 – Many people don’t get a cold or the flu each year. Only 10% of the population gets sick with the flu every year. The flu is more severe than the common cold. An adult gets around 2 colds per year on average. What are the factors that separate people who get a cold or flu versus those who don’t? Rather than believing we “catch” a cold or flu, instead take the road of personal responsibility and realize that behaviors and habits we have (fear and stress) can lower our immunity for opportunistic pathogens to affect us. I personally am around many people who are sick every year in the clinic and I haven’t gotten a full-blown cold in 9 years.

3 – Immunity is compromised by eating foods that lower immunity, nutritional deficiencies and stress. Foods that lower immunity the most are refined sugar (even just a little), dairy products (yogurt, cow’s milk, cheese), GMO wheat, GMO corn, GMO soy, GMO canola (fried food), alcohol (even wine), pork and artificial sweeteners like Splenda. Sugar is perhaps the worst offender and can lower immune function by up to 33% for 24 hours.

4 – Make sure you are eating lots of nutrient-dense foods that support immunity including at least 3 servings (cups) of both vegetables and fruits per day and whole, unprocessed organic food. I recommend juicing vegetables with a juicer.

5 – Taking mega amounts (upwards of 30-60,000mgs per day or more) of vitamin C can often stop a cold or flu dead in its tracks. Start taking high amounts upon noticing first symptoms. This journal article outlines how to take the vitamin C. It is important to have vitamin C on hand AHEAD of time, before initial symptoms appear. The kind of vitamin C I recommend is found here. Otherwise, for an adult, it is safe to take 5,000mgs every day to prevent cold/flu and keep your immune system strong. The scientific studies they have done stating that taking vitamin C doesn’t help were done with less than 1,000mgs per day, which I can tell you will do almost nothing to cold or flu symptoms.

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6 – Taking mega amounts of zinc when you get first symptoms can also stop a cold/flu in its tracks. I suggest Good State Liquid Zinc Sulfate. Make sure you have this on hand AHEAD of time. Take 2 droppers full every four hours during the day. Repeat this for 3 days and go to one dropper full every day until symptoms disappear. You can also take a little zinc every day as a regular supplement.

7 – Taking mega amounts of vitamin D is also a powerful and inexpensive way to stop a cold/flu in its tracks. For example, one doctor reported giving his patients the vitamin D hammer who have influenza. This consists of a one-time 50,000IU dose daily or 10,000IU three times daily for 2 to 3 days. The results may be dramatic with complete resolution of symptoms in 48 to 72 hours. I have seen powerful results from this in the clinic as well. Make sure you have this on hand AHEAD of time. Most people are very deficient in vitamin D and it is very safe to take in large amounts. I recommend NOW Vitamin D3 – 5000IU. You can also take vitamin D every day as a regular supplement.

8 – Regular consumption of warming herbs during the winter can be very helpful including cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, ginger, garlic, fennel seeds. In the clinic I also use Immuplex and Congaplex from Standard Process to boost immunity and provide support while one has cold or flu symptoms. They are very powerful tools as well. Chinese medicine also has many herbal formulas for boosting immune function.

9 – Many people don’t know that acupuncture is a powerful way to strengthen the immune system and powerfully deal with colds and the flu. Get acupuncture regularly, but especially get it when you get first symptoms (runny nose, sore or itchy throat, congestion, headache, body ache, etc).

10 – Stress is one of the main depressors of immune function, especially fear and anger. One of the best tools that can help you to deal powerfully with stress is either tapping or The Sedona Method. I highly recommend using either one. You can also meditate daily for incredible learned relaxation. I suggest listening to this guided meditation every day for the next 60 days. Meditation is life changing.

We don’t have to fear this coronavirus or cold and flu season. Eating good clean organic foods, avoiding immune lowering foods and having some vitamin C, zinc and vitamin D ready during the cold and flu season can do wonders for increasing your immune function. Also, by learning how to relax in our stressful world can do wonders for our immune system. With these tools you will be armed and ready for cold and flu season.

Note: “Links to products in this post are through Amazon’s affiliate program. Dr. Scott Graves is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to The products are exactly the same cost as you would find through a regular search.”

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Walnuts May Slow Cognitive Decline in At-risk Elderly

Eating walnuts may help slow cognitive decline in at-risk groups of the elderly population, according to a study conducted by researchers in California and Spain.

The Walnuts and Healthy Aging Study, published this month in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that walnut consumption by healthy, elderly adults had little effect on cognitive function over two years, but it had greater effect on elderly adults who had smoked more and had a lower baseline neuropsychological test scores.

The study examined nearly 640 free-living elders in Loma Linda, California, USA, and in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. For two years, the test group included walnuts in their daily diet, and the control group abstained from walnuts.

Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols, which have previously been found to counteract oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are drivers of cognitive decline.

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Joan Sabaté, MD, DrPH, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Loma Linda University School of Public Health and the study’s principal investigator, said this was the largest and most well-controlled trial ever conducted on the effects of nuts on cognition.

“While this was a minor result, it could lead to better outcomes when conducted over longer periods of time,” Sabaté said. “Further investigation is definitely warranted based on our findings, especially for disadvantaged populations, who may have the most to gain from incorporating walnuts and other nuts into their diet.”

Sabaté and his research team at Loma Linda University were the first to discover the cholesterol-lowering effect of nut consumption — specifically walnuts — with lowering blood cholesterol. Findings were first published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1993.

Subsequently, findings from Loma Linda University researchers have linked nut consumption to lower risk of cardiovascular diseases.


Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center

Journal article

Image: Pixabay

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Malnutrition Is On The Rise In Older Adults – How To Spot The Signs

By Taibat Ibitoye, University of Reading

While the obesity crisis is still considered the foremost public health epidemic in the west, one often overlooked condition is quickly becoming a growing concern. Malnutrition, sometimes referred to as under-nutrition, affects an estimated 3 million people in the UK alone. Globally, around 462 million adults are malnourished.

Malnutrition is a condition where a person is deficient in nutrients, such as protein, vitamins and minerals, or not getting enough calories. This has many effects on health and body function, including increased frailty, delayed wound healing, and higher mortality.

Not only that, malnutrition will cost UK health services £13 billion this year alone – and is predicted to cost £15 billion in ten years. Reports also show that it’s also two to three times more expensive to treat someone who is malnourished, compared with someone who is well-nourished. This is because they need more resources to treat them, and a range of health conditions may develop as a result of malnutrition.

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But data shows that people aged 65 years and over are more likely to be malnourished compared with any other age group. And this number is on the rise. In the UK, adults over 60 admitted to hospital with malnutrition increased from 1,405 in 2008 to almost 5,000 in 2018.

Spotting the signs

Several things might contribute to malnutrition in the elderly, including swallowing difficulties, poor dentition (such as having missing teeth), mobility issues, acute and chronic illnesses, and not meeting changing nutrient demands – such as not getting enough protein. Another reason might be because almost 93% of people who are malnourished live at home, which means their nutritional health is often not monitored. Loneliness, depression, being unable to cook for themselves, having trouble accessing shops, and low income also contribute to poor nutrition in this age group.

A person is considered malnourished if they have a body mass index (BMI) under 18.5, or have unintentionally lost greater than 10% of their weight in the last three to six months. People with a BMI of less than 20 with an unintentional weight loss greater than 5% within the last three to six months might also be considered malnourished.

But it’s not always easy to spot the signs of malnutrition. Part of this is because it can happen gradually over a long period of time or signs often being considered as a natural part of ageing. But some common signs of malnutrition in older people may include their clothing, jewellery and dentures becoming loose, having a reduced appetite, lack of interest in food and drink, tiredness, altered mood, and weakness.

Lack of appetite or lost interest in food are only some telltale signs. antoniodiaz/ Shutterstock

Healthcare providers in primary care or care homes will use screening tools to identify those at risk of malnutrition, or needing further assessment. These tools look at a person’s BMI, alongside the amount of unplanned weight loss they’ve experienced in the last six months to determine their risk. But for those living on their own, their nutritional status could still be overlooked. As malnutrition numbers continue to grow, friends and family members of older people are being urged to look for possible signs of malnutrition.

The first step in preventing and managing malnutrition is to focus on increasing calories and protein intake using a food-first approach, which aims to improve a person’s nutrition through diet alone. This includes:

  • Encouraging people to eat little and often throughout the day, such as having three small meals plus two snacks between meals.
  • Drinking more nourishing fluids, such as milk, soups, or having powdered supplements that are high in energy and protein.
  • Eating high energy and high-protein foods, such as full-fat milk, yoghurt, and cheese.
  • Frozen, ready prepared meals, or home meal delivery services might also ensure better nutrition.

But improving nutrition alone might not be the only solution to malnutrition. People might need help with eating and drinking, they may need better fitting dentures, or they might need foods that are easier to chew and swallow. For those that are lonely, eating in a pleasant environment might also be key to building their appetite. And for those with financial difficulties, they might need help accessing food items.

In some cases, people with disease-related malnutrition might need oral nutrition supplements, which will provide them with energy, protein, and other essential nutrients and mineral. But evidence shows that providing dietary advice, support and guidance with or without an oral nutrient supplement, is effective in increasing nutritional intake and weight. In severe cases, nutrition can also be provided by tube feeding, which is usually done in a hospital or supervised by healthcare professionals.

Identifying those at risk of malnutrition early, understanding how to manage dietary needs and overcoming potential barriers to adequate food intake, is essential, given the serious health and financial consequences linked to malnutrition.The Conversation

Taibat Ibitoye, Registered Dietitian and PhD Researcher, University of Reading

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Top image: Spotting the signs isn’t always easy. Toa55/ Shutterstock

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New Study: Mediterranean, Fasting & Paleo Diets Improve Weight Loss and Health

There were some weight loss and health benefits for overweight adults who followed the Mediterranean, Intermittent Fasting and Paleo diets, though adherence to the diets dropped off considerably during the one-year study, new University of Otago research shows.

Intermittent fasting – whereby participants limit their energy intake to about 25 per cent of their usual diet (500kcal for women and 600kcal for men) on two self-selected days per week, led to slightly more weight loss than the other diets. The Mediterranean diet also improved blood sugar levels.

Co-lead author Dr Melyssa Roy, a Research Fellow in the Department of Medicine, says the amount of weight loss was modest – on average two to four kilograms for the 250 participants, but for those choosing the fasting or Mediterranean diets, clinically significant improvements in blood pressure were also seen.

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The aim of the research was to examine how effective all three diets were in a “real world” setting, where participants self-selected which diet they wished to follow, without any ongoing support from a dietitian.

Dr Roy says the evidence shows that for some people the Mediterranean, fasting or paleo (Paleolithic) diets can be “healthful, beneficial ways to eat”.

“This work supports the idea that there isn’t a single ‘right’ diet – there are a range of options that may suit different people and be effective. In this study, people were given dietary guidelines at the start and then continued with their diets in the real world while living normally. About half of the participants were still following their diets after a year and had experienced improvements in markers of health.

“Like the Mediterranean diet, intermittent fasting and paleo diets can also be valid healthy eating approaches – the best diet is the one that includes healthy foods and suits the individual.”

The Mediterranean diet encouraged consumption of fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, legumes, nuts, seeds and olive oil with moderate amounts of fish, chicken, eggs and diary and red meat once a week or less.

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The paleo diet consists of mostly less-processed foods with an emphasis on eating fruit and vegetables, animal proteins, nuts, coconut products and extra-virgin olive oil. While “original” Paleo diets strictly exclude all legumes, dairy and grains, this study used a modified version including some dairy as well as up to one serving daily of legumes and grain-based food.

Co-lead author Dr Michelle Jospe, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Medicine, says the results showed people found the Mediterranean diet to be the easiest to adhere to.

“Our participants could follow the diet’s guidelines more closely than the fasting and paleo diets and were more likely to stay with it after the year, as our retention rates showed.”

Most of the 250 participants (54 per cent) chose the fasting diet, while 27 per cent chose the Mediterranean and 18 per cent the paleo. After 12 months, the Mediterranean diet had the best retention rate with 57 per cent of participants continuing, with 54 per cent still fasting and 35 per cent still on the paleo diet.

After 12 months, the average weight loss was 4.0kg for those choosing the fasting diet, 2.8kg on the Mediterranean diet and 1.8kg on the paleo diet.

Reduced systolic blood pressure was observed among those participating in the fasting and Mediterranean diets, together with reduced blood sugar levels in the Mediterranean diet.

Dr Jospe explains participants who said they were still following their diet at 12 months lost even more weight, showing the importance of choosing a diet that is sustainable.

She believes the results of this study are relevant to the thousands of people following self-chosen diets with little supervision and indicates more realistic outcomes.


University of Otago

Journal article

Image: Pixabay

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Study: Petroleum-Based Additives Are Being Heavily Used In Popular Children’s Foods & Candy

By Arjun Walia

  • The Facts: A study published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics outlines the prevalence of artificial food coloring in a high percentage of foods sold at a conventional grocery store.
  • Reflect On: How often do you take the time to read food labels? In this day and age, if you want to be more health conscious it’s a necessary step to take.

Parents who wish to eliminate AFCs from their children’s diets face a challenge, as the current research found that about 4 in 10 packaged items in grocery store products marketed to children contain at least one AFC. Moreover, in some food categories almost all of the products contain AFCs, making it difficult for families to purchase those products without AFCs. Clinicians can educate parents about reading ingredient lists and avoiding certain products or categories, at least until companies implement policies to limit marketing of products containing AFCs. More effective, however, would be for the government to eliminate AFCs from all foods or, at the very least, require a warning notice on packages.

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That’s the conclusion of a study that was published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics that examined artificial food colors in food. The study found these chemicals, which are dangerous to human health for short and long term health, in 96.3 percent of candies, 94 percent of fruit-flavoured snacks and 89.7 percent of drink mixes and powders. 43.2 percent of children’s and adult foods combined actually contain artificial colors, and fresh produce was the only food category not made with artificial colors, which means that some meat, dairy and baked products also contain fake color.

Shockingly, this may be the only study to document the percentage of child-oriented products with AFCs.

As CancerNews points out,

The most egregious class of additives is certainly artificial colors, for which a strong body of evidence exists linking them to direct harm to children’s nervous systems. Evidence that artificial colors can produce hyperactive behavior in children has already led European countries to require warning labels on foods containing these ingredients. In fact, the same companies that use artificial colors in children’s products in the U.S. typically use naturally based colors for the same products in Europe.

On food labels, watch out for anything labeled a “dye” — a synthetic, petroleum-based coloring chemical, or a “lake” — the same color, but reformulated to be water-insoluble for use in dry or fatty foods. According to Center for Science in the Public Interest, the best policy is to avoid all foods made with artificial colors, not just because of the potential for health risks, but because artificially colored foods are typically low in nutritional value.

In fact, AFCs were originally manufactured from coal tar, which comes from coal. Early critics of artificial food colorings were quick to point this out. Today, most synthetic food dyes are derived from petroleum, or crude oil. Some critics will argue that eating oil is no better than eating coal. (source)

According to CancerNews, the most dangerous colors to watch out for are:

  • Red 40: This is the most widely used artificial color, found in soft drinks, candy, gelatin desserts, pastries and even sausages. Although red 40 is one of the most thoroughly tested dyes, the major studies that the FDA used to pronounce it safe are considered to be flawed — even by the FDA! Red 40 is known to cause allergic reaction in some people.
  • Blue 1: The second-most common dye, found in beverages, candy and baked goods. Studies have suggested that blue 1 may increase cancer risk and cause damage to neurons. It is also a known allergen.
  • Yellow 5: The third-most common dye, used in candy, baked goods and gelatin desserts. It has been shown to cause allergic reactions in some people, particularly those sensitive to aspirin, and is regularly contaminated with the carcinogens benzidine, 4-aminobiphenyl and their biological precursors.
  • Yellow 6: The last of the common dyes, found in beverages, candy and baked goods. Even industry-funded studies have linked it to kidney and adrenal gland tumors. It is also known to be contaminated with the same carcinogens (and precursors) as yellow 5.

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The study concludes that,

Parents who wish to eliminate AFCs from their children’s diets face a challenge, as the current research found that about 4 in 10 packaged items in grocery store products marketed to children contain at least one AFC. Moreover, in some food categories almost all of the products contain AFCs, making it difficult for families to purchase those products without AFCs. Clinicians can educate parents about reading ingredient lists and avoiding certain products or categories, at least until companies implement policies to limit marketing of products containing AFCs. More effective, however, would be for the government to eliminate AFCs from all foods or, at the very least, require a warning notice on packages.

In today’s day and age, it’s important for consumer, especially for parents, to actually read the labelling on foods and do their research into different food companies. It’s easy to simply grab something off of the shelf, but if you’re looking to be more health conscious, it’s a good practice to start reading food labels.

This article was sourced from Collective Evolution.

Arjun Walia — I joined the CE team in 2010 shortly after finishing university and have been grateful for the fact that I have been able to do this ever since 🙂 There are many things happening on the planet that don’t resonate with me, and I wanted to do what I could to play a role in creating change. It’s been great making changes in my own life and creating awareness and I look forward to more projects that move beyond awareness and into action and implementation. So stay tuned 🙂

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What Diet Is Best For You? The One That Makes You Feel Your Best.

By Amanda Warren

If you’re like me, you probably know at least one person who makes horrible dietary choices but still never seems to get sick, looks great, has tons of energy, and is always in a great mood.  In fact, that person may even be you.  Or maybe – once upon a time, that was you.

Many of us learned poor dietary habits from our parents.  Often times, they didn’t know better because they learned poor eating habits from their own parents.  Sometimes they were also misled by whatever diet was being touted by mainstream doctors at the time.

When I was growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, my mom was one of those parents who tried to stay current on what doctors were recommending.  Her parents had horrible diets, which she later learned and revised only after she went to college.  She wanted my sister and me to learn healthy eating habits when we were young.  This included forcing us to eat green vegetables every night at dinner – whether we liked them or not.

When doctors started recommending whole wheat bread over white bread, my mom started buying less bleached flour-based food products.  Bread, English muffins, bagels, pasta and pancakes often became whole wheat.  It was definitely not as tasty but we adapted.

Like everyone else, though, she was misled by other dietary recommendations.  My sister and I were slim and athletic and we didn’t have any chronic health problems.  But my mom still stopped making us eggs as often because she was concerned about us getting high cholesterol.  She stopped salting our food because there were warnings about salt.  She started buying low-fat milk and cheeses.  She started steaming and boiling vegetables more often than cooking them in oil.  Dinners seemed to become more about pasta than anything else because that was being recommended by doctors.  It seemed like she stopped buying and serving us as much meat too.  Fat was the enemy.

Of course, what we ate was still probably better than what many kids ate while growing up.  Even today, some people do just fine with that kind of diet.  Some people do just fine on vegetarian and vegan diets too.  Everybody is different because every body is different.

Because of health issues I was experiencing a few years ago, my doctor recommended that I try a Keto diet to see if I felt better.  Lots of protein and fat – less carbs including starchy vegetables.  Wow – what a difference.  Not only that – when you start eating this way, it doesn’t take long before you stop craving carbs and sugar.  It’s never a bad idea to have a cheat day once in a while – which I do.  But overall, I feel and look so much better on the Keto diet that I don’t really want to cheat that often.

There is so much information now readily available at everyone’s fingertips that we no longer have the excuse of being enslaved by our parents’ misinformation or bad choices.  Nor should we remain subservient to the often ethically compromised healthcare system and the medical doctors that are often beholden to it. You can easily learn for yourself about new findings that show the benefits of MCT oil, for example, or why it is so essential for the body to have enough hydrolyzed collagen to keep healthy joints and ligaments, as well as healthy skin that keeps you looking your best.

It is essential to begin finding the right combinations for your own body as early on as possible. Far too many people wind up letting their weight and general physical condition get so far out of hand that desperation forces them onto the toxic quick-fix “solutions” of prescription medications, or even the more radical weight loss programs that can have long-lasting negative consequences.

Remember:  Food should be your medicine, not a source of bodily injury.


Invitation to 90-Day Lifestyle Upgrade!

By Neenah Payne

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider.

Note: Natural Blaze does receive commissions from sales related to some of the products or services mentioned and linked to in this article.

Jeffrey Smith’s life-changing film Secret Ingredients is free online now until May 22.

Free Film “Secret Ingredients” May 15! explains why the film is so important for everyone.

You can see the film at:

The site offers you a rare opportunity to participate in a powerful 90-Day Lifestyle Upgrade!

Two Shocking Organixx Podcasts

Jeffrey Smith was interviewed in the following two shocking Organixx podcasts:

Jeffrey is the founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology. Masters of Health Magazine named Jeffrey the 2017 Person of the Year for more than two decades of work in 45 countries exposing how biotech companies mislead policymakers and the public and put the health of society at risk.

Jeffrey has counseled government leaders and healthcare practitioners from every continent. He has been quoted by thousands of news outlets including The New York Times, the Washington Post, and Time Magazine. He appears on influential radio and television programs, including the BBC, NPR, Fox News, Democracy Now, The Doctors, and the Dr. Oz Show.

Jeffrey is the author of Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating. His DVD Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives was awarded the 2012 Movie of the Year, and inspired millions to choose healthier non-GMO foods. Jeffrey is the author of the 2017 book Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.

Jeffrey’s film Secret Ingredients is available on Amazon Prime for rent and purchase.

People Often Heal Very Fast on an Organic Diet!

In the podcasts, Jeffrey explains that people are shocked to learn how QUICKLY so many people have been able to get better from very serious illness JUST by switching to organic foods! Viewers of the film become inspired to change their own lives – but sometimes don’t know what steps to take.

So, below the film is a link that invites you to do the 90-Day Lifestyle Upgrade. Jeffrey explained that a growing number of doctors are now prescribing organic diets for their patients. We are going through a Paradigm Shift that is not being reported in the corporate media. However, organic food is the fastest-growing segment of the food industry as more and more people choose health.

The 2017 USA Today article “Organic food is pricier, but shoppers crave it reports”:

After an 8.4% sales increase from the previous year and Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, it looks like organic food is growing into a normal part of American life. Organic food sales are setting records as more mainstream Americans fill their shopping carts with everything from eggs to gummy fruit snacks…organic food is among the faster-growing categories in supermarkets…Organic food producers, which now includes giants such as General Mills, are capturing more consumers.

Help Create a Non-GMO Organic World

See the exciting introductory video with Jeffrey at:

The Secret Ingredients film shows that GMO foods are making people sick. It explains that there is a direct correlation between the introduction of GMO foods in the 1990s and the sudden epidemic of chronic illnesses in children and adults.

Jeffrey explains in the Organixx podcasts that our food supply and health are increasingly at risk now because of the spread of GMO crops. Once a plant is genetically-modified, it cannot be reversed.

Jeffrey says in his video introduction that his goal is to create a Non-GMO Organic World!

You can join the 90-Day Lifestyle Upgrade and help spread the word! The 90-Day Lifestyle Upgrade is a rare opportunity to help yourself, your family, friends, and co-workers learn easy ways to make a huge upgrade in health. People often feel powerless, that there is little they can do to help make the world a better place. Doing the Lifestyle Upgrade is an easy way to be part of the solution now! You can empower yourself and others – just as people shown on the film have done. Imagine a more disease-free life for yourself and for those you love. Each person who chooses organic foods now helps support organic farmers. That makes organic foods more available and lowers the price so more people can afford them. You can help fuel this positive cycle to solve this growing national health epidemic now.

Discount Until May 25

The 90-Day Lifestyle Upgrade includes the GMO Summit that Jeffrey co-produced with John and Ocean Robbins and the 2019 Food Revolution Empowerment Package and is available at a discount for a limited time.

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Docuseries: Interconnected Heal From Within!

By Neenah Payne

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider.

Note: Natural Blaze does not receive commissions from sales related to any products or services mentioned in this article; they are strictly presented only as personal recommendations from this article’s author.

The free docuseries INTERCONNECTED: The Power To Heal From Within will be online from May 7-16.

It will be hosted by Dr. Pedram Shojai who interviews preeminent doctors, researchers, and other experts, along with patients who experienced health breakthroughs by optimizing their microbiomes.

Register at: and see the video introducing the docuseries. It shows that Allopathic Medicine is failing to address the health needs of Americans. It explains that we are going through a Paradigm Shift that is introducing the next frontier of medicine.

My 2018 article Functional Medicine: 21st Century Healthcare touched on many of the same themes.

Dr. Pedram Shojai: Urban Monk

Dr. Shojai is the author of the 2016 book The Urban Monk: Eastern Wisdom and Modern Hacks to Stop Time and Find Success, Happiness, and Peace.

Nine-Day Interconnected Docuseries

The docuseries will have the following episodes with 75 presenters:


Organixx Podcast With Dr. Pedram Shojai

Dr. Shojai was interviewed by Jonathan Hunsaker, founder of the Organixx supplement company and by the Organixx CEO TeriAnne Trevenen on April 23, 2019 in Episode 26 of their weekly podcasts called Achieving Optimum Health by Healing Your Gut and Microbiome.

The podcast explains that about 70% of our immune system — known as the “microbiome” — is in our guts. The microbiome informs the immune system to attack or relax. You can’t heal if your immune system is constantly battling — and that is determined by what’s in your gut.

Dr. Shojai is the New York Times Best Selling author of The Urban Monk, Rise and Shine and The Art of Stopping Time. He is the founder of Well.Org and the producer and director of the paradigm-shifting film The Road To Ruin or the Path to Prosperity. See the trailer. Also see the interview How To Create Prosperity. His other films are Vitality, Origins: Our, Roots, Our Planet, Our Future, and Interconnected.

Dr. Shojai is also a Taoist abbot, a doctor of Oriental medicine, a Kung Fu world traveler, a fierce global green warrior, an avid backpacker, a devout alchemist, a Qi Gong Master, and an old-school Jedi bio-hacker working to preserve our natural world and wake us up to our full potential.

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