Diet key to mental health

By Wendell Fowler

After locking my keys inside the car while it was idling and Sandra rolling over one morning inquiring, “Who are you and why are you in my bed?”, we acknowledged our mental health is indeed fading. There’s mounting acceptance on the use of food and supplements to provide essential nutrients as part of a treatment for mental health disorders relating to depression, cognitive function and dementia. As we age, memory blips will increase, although we needn’t extend the welcome mat.

The National Resource Center on Nutrition, Physical Activity & Aging reports one in four older Americans has poor nutrition. Malnutrition leaves children vulnerable to illness and infection. It can also lead to higher levels of aggression, hyperactivity and anxiety. Malnutrition also affects a developing child’s ability to learn.

Food choices profoundly affect mental health. The NIH reports a lack of wholesome vitamin nutrition from fresh, not canned plant food, contributes to the onset of poor mental health in people suffering from anxiety and depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

American’s profound disconnection from God’s garden after the Industrial Revolution and connection to “man’s version of God’s garden, left Americans woefully deprived in foods and vitamin supplements considered brain food: omega-3 fatty acids from cold water fish, flax and chia seeds, walnuts, cholesterol (yes cholesterol), D-3 and B-complex, especially B12.

Regarding cholesterol, at least a dozen reports show the risk of suicide substantially higher in people with low cholesterol. A French study tracked 6,393 men, published in the September 1996 issue of the British Medical Journal; those with low cholesterol were three times more likely than the other men to kill themselves. A link between low cholesterol and depression has turned up in other studies. Hmm…

In a world where we’re programmed to let others form our thoughts and opinions, we’ve forgotten God calls the shots and knows what’s best for His children, not Big Food. We’ve departed the road of nutritional righteousness: disconnected from source. It’s happened so slowly we’ve not noticed how far we’ve strayed from God’s perfect plant-based medicine.

Be mindful of the foods you choose to eat. You were gifted one strong, sacred and beautiful temple and a path. Embrace it with dietary self-love. Focus your thoughts on remaining the clear-headed, beautiful, unique being you are for as long as you can. From soil to soul, earth medicine is vital to our mental health. We deserve to come home to who we are.