Your Diet May Help Regulate Your Mood

Normally, eating when stressed is ill advised. The term usually brings to mind the image of someone who has just had some shocking news running frantically to their freezer in search of the curative pint of ice cream. He/she gorges greedily, only to awaken the next day not only to find their troubles still very much present, but an additional five pounds added to their body weight.

However, what if you learned that eating actually can relieve stress? You just need to make sure that when you open that freezer, you reach for the frozen grapes instead of the vanilla swirl.

The Anti-Stress Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
You may know that fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and nutrients, but did you know that they might also help to ease stress, anxiety, and depression. A recent study examined diet of 60,000 Australians aged 45 and up, only to reveal that those who had 3-4 servings of fruits and begins a day had 12% less psychological stress than those who had just one. Those who got five to seven servings had an even bigger reduction in stress, showing a 14% reduction as compared to the single serving percentage.

Ladies Only?
However, the researchers found that in a study based on a 10 question comparative survey focusing on anxiety and depression between the years of 2006 -2008 and 2010, males subjects did not show the same results. Says study co-author and University of Sidney PhD student, Binh Nguyen, “We found the fruit and vegetables were more protective for women than men, suggesting that women may benefit more from fruit and vegetables.” The questionnaire revealed that women who consumed 5 to 7 portions of vegetables and fruits experienced a 23% reaction in stress levels in comparison to ladies who only ate 0-1 portion. Two portions produced a reduction in stress of 16%.

Happy woman

More Work To Be Done
While you may not want to wait to start consuming more fruits and veggies, the authors of the studies do stipulate that there is more work to be done before any definite conclusions can be reached. They state that while the intake of fruits and vegetables may reduce the stress levels in middle-aged and older adults, the link between the diet and psychological distress requires further investigation.

Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
But while we wait for the final verdict, keep eating those veggies and fruits. The mental health charity “Mind” says, “Vegetables and fruit contain a lot of the minerals, vitamins, and fiber we need to keep us physically and mentally healthy. Eating a variety of different-colored fruits and vegetables every day means you’ll get a good range of nutrients-several portions of the same type of food won’t be so good for you.”

As for choosing the best fruits and veggies: tomatoes, bananas and mushrooms top the list for their high potassium levels which are “essential for your whole nervous system, including your brain. they also advise keeping fruits and veggies raw for the highest number of nutrients.

What do you think? Do fruits and veggies make you feel a little less stressed? Let us know the results of your private research.

The Connection Between A High Acid Diet and Kidney Stones

Kidney stones may have been plaguing humans since the beginning of time.  In 1901, archeologist E. Smith found a bladder stone from a 4500-5000-year-old mummy in El Amrah, Egypt.  The Hippocratic Oath, historically taken by newly trained physicians and initiated in the 4th century BC, mentions kidney stones. A painting from 1655 by Carel de Savoyen portrays Jan van Doot, a Dutch blacksmith and amateur kidney stone remover holding a knife and bladder stone after a successful extraction. Luckily, today’s surgeries are a lot less DIY.

Aminerals is a piece of material that forms when substances in the urine, like salt and minerals become highly concentrated.  Small ones can pass with little or no pain.  Larger ones can get stuck along the urinary tract, blocking the flow of urine  and cause severe pain and bleeding. There care four types of kidney stones.  Each requires different dietary plans to follow in order to lessen their occurrence.  Uric acid stones are the product of a high acid content in the urine and require an alkaline diet to balance the high acidity level

Purine
 Red meat and shellfish contain a chemical compound called purines.  Purines are acidic in the body and lead to a lower urine pH, which means urine is more acidic, enabling the formation of uric acid stones.

 To prevent uric acid stones, it is suggested that suffered swap high purine foods for a diet high in fruits and veggies, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.  Sugar-sweetened foods and drinks contain phosphorous and high fructose corn syrup which can increase acidity in urine. Alcohol and crash diets should be avoided as well as rapid weight loss increases uric acid.

Proteins
You’ll want to limit your protein intake, as proteins are high in purine.  You can safely eat 6 oz of poultry, fish, beef, lamb , veal, and eggs,  Limit your intake of beans and peas to two servings per week.  Avoid organ meats like liver, anchovies, mackerel and lobster.  Try incorporating nut and nut butter into your diet as a vegetarian protein alternative.

Dairy
While dairy products tend to be acidic in the body, they provide a great source of calcium and should not be eliminated from your diet. In order to keep the acid level down, choose low-fat or fat-free options when eating milk, yogurt, and cheese.  Saturated fat decreases the elimination of acid and can worsen kidney stones.

Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and veggies are always a really good choice for a low acid diet.  They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, limit your intake of spinach, mushrooms, asparagus and cauliflower to two servings per week.  They are a bit higher in purine.

Grains and Starches
Carbs are great for neutralizing acid.  Indulge in bread, pasta, cereal, rice potatoes and winter starch.  Limit your oats to 2/3 cup per day and wheat bran and wheat germ to 1/4 cups per day and be sure to read the ingredient list on products to check for these.  If they are  near the top of the list, chances are the food is pretty high in concentration of the ingredient. You’re best off skipping that one.