“Every negative belief weakens the partnership between mind and body.”
– Deepak Chopra
_The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed
health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even_ lol on occasion.
Tuesday. The last full week of August means we are in the thick of “backto school” season. Pencil cases, back to school BOGO’s, new jeans, newsneakers–all the usual stuff. But there has been nothing “usual” about thelast year and a half for most kids. Mental health is an issue across all agegroups, but the trend is especially troubling amongst kids. Let’s dive in.
No Surprises Here.
Has the pandemic had an impact on kids’ mental health? Yes–the past year and ahalf has taken a toll on many of us, kids included. But mental health has beenan issue that predates February of last year. Our good ole’ Standard AmericanDiet (SAD on many accounts) has been around for longer than that, and that iswhat we are talking about today. We all know that the standard American diet(acronym SAD, because it makes us all SAD) leads to chronic conditions likediabetes and heart disease, but the connection between what we eat and how itimpacts our mental health is something that gets a lot less attention. Overalldiet quality, high sugar loads, and nutritional deficiencies (includingomega-3 fats, zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, and B vitamins) all drive behaviorproblems and mental health issues. The kicker? These mental health issues are startingearlier and earlier. One in six children has a neurodevelopmental disorder andmore than one in ten children haveADHD.Depression, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems are now a big dealin most schools. Kids taking prescription medication throughout the school dayis becoming more of the norm. It’s no wonder we are thirty-first in math,reading, and science in the world. We aren’t doing kids any favors by feeding them anaverage of 34 teaspoons of sugar aday. Alittle Captain Crunch for breakfast, pack a Gogurt for them for lunch, they’llget some low fat chocolate milk at school, scarf a granola bar on their wayhome, and then come home and earn themselves some dessert if they eat alltheir veggies. That’s an easy 34 teaspoons right there. The problem is thatalthough the cognitive and behavioral effects of sugar in children is welldocumented,nothing is really changing. Big food companies are also getting better atmasking sugar with dubious names on ingredient labels, making it that muchharder for parents to buy the right foods and snacks for their kids. Food hasalso been linked to mental health and violence. Thisstudy makesit pretty clear that junk food leads to kids acting more violently. In thisother studythat compared a high carb breakfast with a high protein breakfast, theresearchers found that the high carb group was more likely to engage innegative comments and actions towards others. And finally, this otherstudyshowed that those who consume high levels of refined oils (like the canola oilin Oatly’s garbage oat milk) had higher rates of depression, suicide, andhomicide. That’s right–homicide. I am not saying you should be careful aroundpeople that order oat milk lattes, but be careful. The solution? The usual. Ahealthier diet consisting of mostly whole foods- while minimizing refined seedoils and excess amounts of sugar- can literally solve some of the most vexingproblems we face today, mental health being one of them.
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Potential New Hobby–Swimming
Aerobic exercise is good for you. Duh. But what’s the deal with swimming andbrain health? Apparently, regular swimming has been shown to improve memory,cognitive function, immune response, andmood. Hmm…interesting. The same article also says that the benefits of swimming appearto boost learning in children too. Would you look at that! Scientists don’tquite understand what makes swimming so special, but the results in severalstudies speak for themselves. Some think it is because of the cardiovasculardemand of swimming combined with the fact that when you swim, you have to befully disconnected, which prompts a level of being mentally present that fewof us get nowadays. Might be time to find that old bathing suit and look for alap pool nearby.
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- A lot of talk about this covid-19 thing lately. Here is a great compilation of clinically proven tips to reduce your risk!
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Health isn’t just about _ food, movement, and mindset . It is alsoabout the_ _ interactions _we have and what we _ share with our fellowhumans._
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