healthy-emotional-wellness
Healthy Emotional Wellness

Achieving and maintaining health and wellness is an active and dynamic process of change and growth that continues throughout your life, and it involves not only health and the body, but also health and the mind, as well.  Wellness means achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and  balance and integration of body, mind, and spirit, found a 2017 Canadian Veterinary Journal study reviewed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

So, knowing What Is the Best Diet 2020 and using it will go a long way in you living a life of health and well being.  A healthy, nutritious diet is one of the essential ingredients in achieving and maintaining your health and wellness.

Today, we will focus on the undeniable connection between nutrition, mental illness and health and emotional wellness.  The American Psychological Association (APA) 2017 “The Links Between Food and Mental Health” study agrees that there is a connection between nutrition and mental illness.

The 2008 Indian Journal of Psychiatry study and the NIH, found that few people are aware of the connection between nutrition and depression, while they easily understand the connection between nutritional deficiencies and physical illness.  A 2017  meta analysis conducted in China, published in Psychiatry Research (Elservier), suggests that “Western-Style” dietary habits, which is eating too many fast foods or convenience foods, may contribute to depression and other mental issues.

Another 2016 “The Mediterranean Diet and ADHD in Children and Adolescents” study published in Journal of Pediatrics, of 120 children and adolescents, consuming fast food, sugar and soft drinks, or the opposite to what is considered the healthiest diet and lifestyle which is the Mediterranean diet, was associated with a higher prevalence of diagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Other studies have compared “traditional” diets, like the Mediterranean diet and the traditional Japanese diet, to a typical “Western” diet and have shown that the risk of depression is 25 percent to 35 percent lower in those who eat a traditional diet like the Mediterranean diet.

According to a 2015 Harvard Medical School “Nutritional Psychiatry: Your Brain On Food” study scientists account for this nutritional difference because these traditional diets tend to be high in vegetables, fruits, unprocessed grains, and fish and seafood, and to contain only modest amounts of lean meats and dairy. A 2017 Psychiatry Reserve studio reviewed by the NIH also determined the results of this meta-analysis suggest that healthy pattern may decrease the risk of depression, whereas western-style eating may increase the risk of depression.

healthy-healing-nutrient-rich-mediterranean-diet
Healthy-Healing Nutrient-Rich Mediterranean Diet

More on the Mediterranean diet a little later.

Food and Emotions Particularly In Women

There is also mounting evidence that poor dietary habits and mental issues are more prevalent in women then men and reports, like this 2017 Binghampton University of New York “Diet Has Bigger Impact on Emotional Well-Being in Women Than in Men” report, that physicians and mental health professionals may want to start advising women about this connection.

Binghampton University research, reviewed by the NIH, also conducted a 2018 Journal of Nutritional Neuroscience study of 563 participants investigating the impact of nutritional deficiencies on mental well-being.

The study found women are more likely to require a well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle in order to maintain mental well-being, whereas, men are less effected.  They found that while men are more likely to experience mental well-being on less healthy diets, up to and until the point of true nutritional deficiencies, women are more likely to require a well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle in order to maintain mental well-being. Similar previous Anxiety and Depression Association of America research found women are twice as likely to experience anxiety and depression, with a higher risk of relapse, compared to their male counterparts.

Wikipedia describes depression this way:

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity, that affects a person’s thoughts, behaviors, tendencies, feelings, and well being.

For more on depression from Wikipedia read here.  Here is another article on depression you may enjoy reading, ““Natural Remedies To Depression.”

Can you remember a time when you might have been upset, stressed out, or sad, and food seemed to make everything, at least temporarily, better?  According to a 2010 Eating Disorder study reviewed by the NIH, emotional eating is one of the most common habits, with the way people deal with their ups and downs.  Those who emotionally eat do so to soothe negative feelings, and they may even feel guilt or shame after eating this way, leading to a cycle of excess eating and associated issues, like weight gain.  Why do some turn to food to feel better?

unhealthy-restless-sleep-due-to-poor-gut-health
Unhealthy Restless Sleep Due To Poor Gut Health

Negative feelings or emotions give a feelings of “emptiness”, and food provides a temporary escape to feelings of “wholeness”, according to Mayo Clinic “Feeding Your Feelings” research.  Referring to the Eating Disorder study again, most anything can cause emotional eating like stress, or family issues, or financial issues.  As we mentioned earlier, studies show poor eating habits and poor health is more prevalent in women than men.

It seems studies also show emotional eating is also higher in women, per a 2018 Harvard Medical School “Why Stress Causes People To Overeat” study.  Per the Mayo study above, an unhealthy cycle between negative emotions and emotional eating will continue until the emotional issues are addressed, and other remedies are found.  It’s not just an emotional response, as it turns out, it’s more of a gut and hormone one.

The Real Causes Of Emotional Eating

What causes these hormones to fluctuate or go out of balance causing inflammation, which affect your mental health?  Many things can cause hormones imbalance and eating poorly, such as: high stress levels, poor gut health, vitamin D deficiency, too much or too little exercise, exposure to toxins, low-grade inflammation, unhealthy lifestyle choices including smoking, high alcohol consumption, or using drugs, genetics, aging, and lack of sleep and relaxation.

It’s not enough most people already lead stressful and busy lives, but you add in poor diet and lack of healthy nutrition like you’ll find in What Is the Best Diet 2020,  it’s no wonder that metabolic disorders affect the majority of people. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. According to a 2019 Mayo Clinic “Metabolic Syndrome” study these conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Your digestive system contains neurons and other type cells that connect the brain and gut, known as the “gut-brain axis”, and it act like artificial intelligence, or like a “brain”, to control digestion and metabolism, according to a 2018 Frontier of Psychiatry study reviewed by the NIH.  Your gut is connected to your real brain by your nervous system, or vegus nerve, and it can also influence your brain by releasing hormones, that can cause psychiatric and inflammatory disorders.

The psychology of the gut-brain axis, or the relationship between the brain, the gastrointestinal tract, the bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract, and the bidirectional relationship between these systems, is confirmed in a 2017 Social and Personality Psychology Compass study reviewed by the NIH.   Then it’s important to look at how they are an impact upon cognition and a variety of stress‐related behaviors, including those relevant to anxiety and depression.

keep-a-healthy-gut-brain-axis
Keep A Healthy Gut-Brain Axis

Signals from your gut influence appetite, and forward signals to the brain, especially, parts of the brain that’s involved in stress, emotions, and sense of self, according to this NIH research “Relationships Among the Brain, the Digestive System, and Eating Behavior”.

Neurotransmitters are messenger molecules produced by nerve cells to communicate and control almost every function in the body, including mood, according to 2001 NIH research “What Defines a Neurotransmitter?”.  According to a 2018 Nutrients study reviewed by the NIH, one of the most powerful ways to influence our neurotransmitters is through your food choices.  And, of profound importance, several of your mood hormones are produced in your digestive system, not in your brain.

A 2017 Clinical Practice study reviewed by the NIH study confirmed that’s why maintaining a healthy digestive system is key in maintaining a healthy emotional and mental state, and what we choose to eat is so vitally important, in maintaining a healthy digestive system.  Many of your neurotransmitters are composed of amino acids, which you can only obtain from the foods you eat.  Without these amino acids we get from foods, we would not be able to produce the essential mood hormones, such as dopamine, epinephrine, and serotonin, found a 2017 Journal of Cell Physiology study reviewed by the NIH.

Serotonin is the neurotransmitter associated with feeling of well being and happiness, while dopamine, is the pleasure and reward hormone.  Amazingly, according to a 2015 California Institute of Technology study a huge percentage of your serotonin is produced in your gut.  Inflammation is also a major contributing factor to our production of mood hormones, and lifestyles, is about 90 percent of the inflammation problem.  The foods you eat, can either increase inflammation, or help balance it.

When you have increased inflammation from our fast-paced life or from the foods you eat, there are many evident unhealthy signs.  Stress and inflammation both increases the production of cortisol, the main harmful stress hormone, which, in itself, creates food cravings and inflammation in your digestive system, according to a 2018 Harvard Medical School “Why Stress Causes People To Overeat” study.  For, example, according to a 1999 Oxford Academics Immune Dysfunction In Patients With Diabetes Mellitus (DN) study, diabetics with increased blood sugar levels also suppresses immune function.

Imagine how your mood can change when your blood sugar is unbalanced, or when you are chronically depleted and ill.  There is overwhelming evidence that there are altered and varied patterns of cortisol secretion in many conditions associated with stress, including PTSD and major depressive disorder, determined a 2017 Frontier In Psychology study reviewed by the NIH.

Foods That Balance-The Mediterranean Diet

So, what is the Best Diet In 2020?  What foods can you consume on a daily basis that balances your hormones and reduces inflammation, helps you loose some weight, balancing your digestive system, your emotional health, and your overall health and well being?

Fresh Well-Balanced Foods

Foods that are high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, walnuts, flax, and whole grains are just some of them and are the best choices for healthy balance in the body, found a 2013 Harvard Medical School study “New Ways To Beat Osteoarthritis Pain”.  Spices such as ginger, sage, turmeric, chili peppers, and cumin, are also great additions.

For example, a 2019 Heliyon (ScienceDirect) “Potential application of herbs and spices and their effects in functional dairy products” study determined high quality herbs or spices can be added to dairy products to combat contaminating microorganisms in yoghurts, cheeses, butter, gee and ice creams. Natural fermented foods that replenish good bacteria flora in the gut are great too, according to a Harvard Medical School study “Can gut bacteria improve your health?”.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for proper hormone health and balance, and are essential because your body does not produce them, so you have to rely on obtaining them from foods, according to a 2019 NIH “Omega 3 Fatty Acids” fact sheet.

By increasing your cold-water fish intake to three times a week, such as eating salmon or cod, as well as, adding flax, chia, hemp, and walnuts, to your diet, is a great move.   Now that we have determined what is health wellness, how do you achieve it? It’s really simple, by adopting a lifestyle of eating foods traditionally grown in and around the Mediterranean Sea, or the Mediterranean diet, as it’s commonly referred to. Pairing the Mediterranean diet with a healthy lifestyle could even promote weight loss.

One 2016 American Journal of Medicine (NIH) review of 5 studies found that the Mediterranean diet was as effective as other popular diets like the low carb diet for weight loss, resulting in up to 22 pounds of weight loss over 1 year. Likewise, a large 2018 PLOS|ONE study reviewed by the NIH in over 32,000 people showed that long-term adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a decreased risk of gaining weight and belly fat over 5 years.

A well-balanced diet, like the Mediterranean diet, can improve energy, alertness, concentration, attention, and cognition, and prevent inflammation, and digestive issues, fatigue, decision-making, and concentration.  Nutritional and dietary strategies can help combat nutritional deficiences and any imbalance, which creates mood and emotional swings, that may have occurred as a result.

The Mediterranean diet was associated with a 25 percent lower risk all-cause mortality and prolonged survival in elderly people, according to a 2018 “Mediterranean diet and mortality in the elderly: a prospective cohort study and a meta-analysis” study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

The Mediterranean diet lowered overall mortality risk in a dose-response, progressive way. In other words, the more you follow the Mediterranean diet, the greater the gain in terms of mortality risk reduction, it was found. Previous research like a 2003 New England Journal Of Medicine “Adherence to a Mediterranean Diet and Survival in a Greek Population” study had shown, it is able to reduce the risk of mortality in the general population in a Greek population, but we did not know whether it would be the same specifically for elderly people.

A new study released in October 2019 out of the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands, has found that certain foods including legumes, bread, fish, nuts and wine, and other natural fermented foods, are associated with high levels of friendly gut bacteria that aids the biosynthesis of essential nutrients and the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), the main source of energy for cells lining the colon.

wellness-promoting-mediterranean-diet
Wellness-Promoting-diabetes-preventing-Mediterranean Diet

The findings support the idea that the Medi diet could be an effective management strategy for intestinal diseases, through the modulation of the gut bacteria. To follow up on their study, researchers at the University Medical Center Groningen are planning to conduct a trial to test the effects of a Mediterranean-style plant-rich eating pattern in people with Crohn’s disease.

Similar research, such as a 2020 Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), is also underway in the United States, where investigators are comparing the effects of a Mediterranean-style diet and an eating pattern known as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet in adults with Crohn’s disease.

According to a 2013 New England Journal of Medicine “Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet” study, following the Mediterranean diet has been correlated with preventing heart and cardiovascular disease.  A new Critical Review of Food Science Nutrition (NIH) study released in January 2019 of 41 reports showed that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke in people with diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association 2011 Spectrum study confirmed the rationale for the use of a Mediterranean Diet in Diabetes management.  In a study released in 2019 The American Heart Association Hypertension study found that Mediterranean-style diet improves systolic blood pressure and arterial stiffness in older adults.

The Mediterranean diet led to a significantly lower risk of gestational diabetes and a reduction in excess weight gain during pregnancy which was determined by a new PLOS|Medicine published in July 2019. A new Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics study just published 2019 determined low adherence to a Mediterranean diet might play a role in ADHD development. Our data support the notion that not only “specific nutrients” but also the “whole diet” should be considered in ADHD.

An earlier 2017 PLOS|ONE study concluded previously that additional extra virgin olive oil and pistachios, staples of the Medi diet, reduces the incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus. A 2018 Cell Reports “Pediatrics” study demonstrates that diet like the Medi diet affects the mammary gland microbiome, establishing an alternative mechanistic pathway for breast cancer prevention. found higher prevalence of ADHD diagnosis and symptoms for children consuming high quantities of sugar, fast food, and soft drinks found in the non-traditional “Western Diet”. For more detailed information on the Mediterranean diet and brain health read “Brain Food For Memory“.

Healthy, Nutritious Contributors

Antioxidants

Molecules in your body, called free radicals, are produced, as both a byproduct of normal body waste function, and a result of environmental exposures from harmful invaders such as pollution, and radiation.  Free radicals can damage cells and cause dysfunction within the human body and also can increase your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer, according to a 2008 International Journal of Biomedical Science reviewed by the NIH.

healthy-antioxidants
Healthy Antioxidants

A balanced diet containing antioxidants significantly reduce the damaging effects of free radicals, by repairing cell damage. Antioxidants also strengthen the immune system, and it supports your body in growth and repair, per a 2013 NIH “Antioxidants: In Depth” study. Sources of antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

Vitamin C. Fresh organic fruits and veggies high in Vitamin C are oranges, blueberries, strawberries, peppers, and tomatoes.

Vitamin E. Fresh organic raw nuts, monounsaturated oils, and veggies high in vitamin E are almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, sunflowers seeds, vegetable oil, spinach, tomatoes, and kiwi.

Zinc. lean organic grass-fed meats, veggies, free-range poultry, wild-caught fish, organic seeds, high in zinc are turkey, shrimp, sesame seeds, pumpkin, crimini mushrooms, and spinach.

Beta-Carotine. Fresh organic fruits and veggies high in beta-carotine are pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, broccoli, apricots, and cantaloupe.

Selenium. Wild-caught fish, fresh organic veggies, raw nuts, grass-fed dairy, and free-range poultry, high in selenium are brazil nuts, beans, legumes, organic whole grains, crimini mushrooms, chicken, turkey, eggs, and low-fat milk and cheese.

Complex Carbohydrates and Whole Grains

Carbohydrates and grains are one of the most widely studied nutrients regarding maintaining mental and emotional health.

healthy-carbohydrates
Healthy Carbohysrates

It has been found through studies, like a 1999 International Journal Food Science Nutrition study reviewed by the NIH, that high complex carb meals tend to result in feelings of fullness and of relaxation and calmness.  When a carb-dense meal is consumed, the hormone insulin is released by your body.  Insulin aids blood sugar in the cells, so it is used by the body for energy.

As levels of insulin increase in the cells, an amino acid called tryptopan enters the brain.  Tryptopan is an amino acid found in protein foods, which influences the brains chemical messages, or neurotransmitters.  As tryptopen levels enter your brain, the neurotransmitter, serotonin, is produced.

Serotonin levels enhance mood and have a sedating and calming effect on you, as confirmed by another 2016 Nutrients study reviewed by the NIH.  Studies have associated high serotonin levels with happy moods, and lesser of inferior mood levels, that result in symptoms of depression, fatigue, sleeplessness, and poor concentration.  Best sources of carbs are any whole-grain cereals and breads, most fresh organic fruits and veggies, legumes, sorghum, corn, and quinoa.

Lean Proteins

healthy-protein-foods
Healthy Protein Foods

Numerous studies, like a 2008 Regular Peptin study (NIH) suggest that a high-protein diet has major benefits for weight loss and metabolic health.  High protein intake significantly increases metabolism and the number of calories burned, found a 2009 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH).

Another 2005 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (NIH) study on proteins confirmed a direct correlation on metabolic health.  In a 1010 PLOS|ONE “Dietary Protein and Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review” study reviewed by the NIH of 40 trials on blood pressure and eating protein confirmed that consuming healthy proteins lower blood pressure.

A 2005 JAMA Works “Effects of Protein, Monounsaturated Fat, and Carbohydrate Intake on Blood Pressure and Serum Lipids” study found healthy proteins lowered LDL cholesterol and tryglycerides levels.  Proteins are long-chained molecules of 20 different amino acids, and are essential structural components of bodily tissue such as muscles, hair, and collagen.

These amino acids also produce enzymes, antibodies, and messengers.  Enzymes are responsible for regulating most of the chemical reactions in your cells, speeds up recovery after injury, and promote new molecule growth, determined a 2006 Nutrition Clinical Practice study reviewed by the NIH.

Antibodies destroy foreign particles creating common inflammation, but also rid your body of viruses, and bacteria.  Messengers are your hormones that transmit the signals between different cells, tissues, and organs.  Best sources of lean animal protein are wild-caught or cold-water fish and seafood such as salmon, mackerel, cod, tuna, sardines, and shrimp.  Others include free-range white meat poultry, grass-fed lean meats and pork, dairy, eggs, and all types of beans, particularly black beans, in vegetable proteins.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

anti-inflammatory-foods
Anti Inflammatory Foods

Your immune system becomes activated when your body recognizes anything that is foreign and invading, and it triggers the defensive process of inflammation, to destroy the invaders.  However, sometimes inflammation develops and persists on its own, from some imbalance, and becomes your enemy, resulting in autoimmune diseases, so it helps to eat anti-inflammatory-type foods.

Many major diseases that plague humans, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s, have been directly linked to inflammation.

Latest research, like a 2014 Current Allergy Asthma Report study reviewed by the NIH, is confirming what we eat, such as the Western diet, is the main contributor to excessive and persistent inflammation in our bodies.  Ultra-processing of foods changes the properties of whole foods and how these foods affect the gut microbiome negatively, promoting inflammation and can promote diverse forms of inflammatory disease, determined a 2018 Nutrients study reviewed by the NIH.

To reduce the potential of inflammation in your body, reduce the consumption of high inflammatory-causing foods, such as fried foods, sodas and high-sugar drinks, processed foods, high-sodium foods, fast foods, refined carbs and grains such as white bread and white rice, animal and saturated fats like lard, shortening, and margarine, processed meats and fatty meats.

Foods that combat inflammation are fresh organic tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, green leafy veggies, organic raw nuts like walnuts and almonds, cold-water fish and seafood like salmon, mackerel, cod, tuna, shrimp, and sardines. Fruits like strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

omega-3-fatty-acids-foods
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Foods

Research has shown that healthy monounsaturated fats, or MUFAs, such as extra virgin olive oil, can help prevent and reduce risks of many acute medical conditions and autoimmune diseases,such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, according to an NIH study.

According to a 2014 Lipids Health Discussion study (NIH) significant associations could only be found between higher intakes of olive oil and reduced risk of all-cause mortality by 11 percent, cardiovascular events by 9 percent, and stroke by 17 percent.  Another 2016 JAMA International Medicine (NIH) study confirmed the beneficial effects of extra virgin olive oil and all-cause mortality.

Healthy lean fats containing omegs-3 fatty acids, can aid in health and the mind promotion which prevents disease and illness, particularly, when consumed in appropriate amounts, with other monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil, one of the mainstays of the Mediterranean diet, or avocado oil.  By the way, the Mediterranean diet has been chosen the number one overall nutritional diet for this year by the U.S. News and World Report.

Consuming high omega-3 foods may reduce inflammation, alleviating fatigue, and improve concentration and mental clarity.  Psychologists are exploring the role of omega-3 fatty acids, because of its ability to reduce inflammation and its effects on dopamine and serotonin transmission, omega-3 has a role in brain development and functioning, with deficiencies linked to mental health problems, particularly, depression, found a 2014 Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity (NIH) study.

One 2020 Journal Clinical Child Adolescent Psychology study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, Mary A. Fristad, PhD, of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and colleagues, assigned 72 depressed 7- to 14-year-olds to receive 12 weeks of omega-3 alone, omega-3 plus psychotherapy, psychotherapy plus placebo or just a placebo.

healthy-omega-3-fats-wild-caught-fish
Healthy Omega 3 Fats Wild Caught Fisl

Results showed 77 percent of those who received psychotherapy and omega-3 achieved remission, compared with 56 percent of those who received a placebo.  Quoting Dr. Fristad:

Psychotherapy worked; omega-3 worked; their combination worked best.

Studies have been limited, however, suggesting that more research is needed to generate conclusions regarding its role in depression and mental health.    However, conclusive research has demonstrated relationship among individuals with low-dietary intake of omegs-3s, and higher levels of depression.  Nonetheless, omegs-3s are important for many bodily functions, including your brain, eyes, and nervous system, and most likely your mood.

In terms of weight loss, a larger 2016 Diabetic Care study reviewed by the NIH that combined the results of 24 other studies showed that high-MUFA diets are slightly more effective than high-carb diets for weight loss.  Various studies have shown that a high intake of monounsaturated fats and the Mediterranean diet can reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides and reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke, determined a 2010 Atheroscierosis study (NIH).  A large 2005 study by JAMA reviewed by the NIH of 164 people with high blood pressure found that a high-MUFA diet lowered blood pressure and the risk of heart disease, compared to a high-carb diet.

variety-antioxidant-rich-and-omega-3s-tree-nuts
Variety Antioxidant-Rich and Omega 3s Tree Nuts

One large 1998 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study (NIH) of 642 women found that those with the highest amounts of oleic acid, found in olive oil, in their fat tissue had the lowest rates of breast cancer. According to a 1995 Journal National Cancer Institute study (NIH), determined a reduced risk of breast cancer consumption of olive oil and vegetables has been confirmed in women in Greece eating the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, in several studies.

Best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fresh cold-water fish, such as salmon and sardines, lean pork, grass-fed eggs, organic flax seeds, and almonds, peanuts, cashews, and walnuts.  Other sources are canola and soy bean oils, cloves, romaine lettuce, avocados, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, kale, tofu, soy beans, summer and winter squash, and any dark green leafy veggies.

Natural Fermented Foods (Cultured) or Probiotic Foods. Studies have shown the importance of maintaining good “gut” flora, or microbiome, and consuming naturally fermented foods containing probiotic bacteria is beneficial to treating anxiety, per a 2019 Nutrients (NIH) study, and a connection with poor dietary patterns and depression, per a 2017 Psychiatry Research (NIH) study.  Probiotics also strengthen the immune system, such as protecting against upper respiratory infection in children, found a 2014 British Journal of Nutrition study reviewed by the NIH.

certified-organic-grass-fed-or-free-range-finished-meats
Certified Organic -Grass-Fed Or Free-Range Finished Meats

According to a 2009 BMC Gastroenterol study reviewed by the NIH fermented foods can reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of IBS and other digestive problems.  Good sources of fermented foods are kimchi, natural yogurt, cultured sauerkraut, fermented wine, miso, kefir, tempeh, natto, and beer.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 has a role in converting tryptophan into serotonin, as discussed earlier, which gives you that calming effect.  Food sources for vitamin B6 are lean grass-fed beef and pork, free-range chicken, wild-caught seafood like salmon, whole-grains, bananas, and potatoes.

According to a 2007 American Nutrition Metabolism study reviewed by the NIH, vitamins and minerals are vital for growth, immune function, brain development and many other important functions, including preventing disease, according to a 2001 International Journal of Cancer (NIH).  Deficiences in folic acid and B12, have been associated with depression, according to a 2005 Psychopharmacol study reviewed by the NIH.

Folic acid, also referred to as a folate, is a B-complex vitamin that has very important roles. Its most notable role is in preventing pregnancy and neutral tube defects, but it also aids in proper red blood cell formation and development, cell growth, and supporting your nervous system.  Due to its relationship to the nervous system, a folate deficiency or a diet low in folate is associated with depression irritability, mental fatigue, and insomnia, per a 2020 NIH StatPearls “Folic Acid Deficiency” study.

Research has linked an adequate dietary intake of vitamins A and C with a lower risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer, per a 2001 European Journal of Cancer (NIH); and colorectal cancer, found a 2000 European Journal of Cancer (NIH).  A 2015 Nutrition Metabolism Cardiovascular Disease study and NIH review of 22 studies noticed that adequate calcium intake decreases the risk of death from heart disease and all other causes.

foods-high-in-vitamins-minerals
foods high in vitamins minerals

Excellent sources of folates are spinach, asparagus, romaine, mustard greens, collard greens, broccoli, beets,lentils, parsley, cauliflower, summer squash, bell peppers, green beans, tomatoes, peas, brussels sprouts, black beans, kidney beans, strawberries, papaya, and fennel.Vitamin B12 works closely together with folates in your body.

If your body lacks B12, you will not be able to assimilate folate-type foods. In addition, vitamin B12, has roles in the brain and nervous system functioning, bone metabolism, and aiding bodily cells to metabolize proteins, carbs, and fats.

A deficiency in B12, may also result in symptoms of depression, as well as, weakness, fatigue, and depletion of energy, determined a 2020 Nutrients study reviewed by the NIH.  Sources of B12 are lean grass-fed meats and pork, free-range poultry either chicken or turkey, wild-caught salmon, tuna, shrimp, grass-fed eggs and dairy products milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Vitamin D. The evidence is conclusive that vitamin D deficiency has a direct connection to depression and mental disorders, determined a 2011 Issues In Mental Health Nursing study reviewed by the NIH.  Vitamin D is normally the one we receive from getting sunlight, but with virtually everyone protecting their bodies from skin exposure to the sun now, reduction in vitamin D levels and deficiency are very common.  Sources of vitamin D are cold-water fish, such as salmon, cod, and sardines, grass-fed dairy products and eggs, and mushrooms.

mediterranean-diet-healthy-free-range-organic-finished-organic-eggs
Mediterranean Diet Healthy Free Range Finished Organic Eggs

Calcium. You know calcium has a vital role in bone and muscle health, but it also assists the function of your nervous system, blood vessels, and hormones per an NIH Overview of Calcium.  A deficiency in calcium causes anxiety, agitation, depression, insomnia, irritability, numbness, and muscle pain. However, it’s also true that excessive calcium, interestingly, may result in experiencing depression-related symptoms.

Foods rich in Calcium are all grass-fed dairy products as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Non-dairy sources include soybeans, black beans, tofu, salmon, broccoli, kale, and fortified orange juice.

Magnesium. Magnesium has a role in muscle relaxation, heart and cardiovascular health, and nervous system function and signals transmission, according to a 2015 Nutrients study reviewed by the NIH.

A deficiency in magnesium can result in anxiety, agitation, irritability, confusion, depression, insomnia, and restlessness, per a 2011 NIH “Magnesium and Major Depression” study.  Sources of magnesium are organic raw nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, black beans, chickpeas, soybeans, tofu, dates, figs, green peas, spinach, and swiss chard.

Buying Fresh, Certified Organic, Non-GMO Foods

fresh-nutritious-tuna-veggie-meal
Fresh Nutritious Tuna Veggie Meal

So, now that you know What the Best Diet 2019 is, which foods are involved?   You should buy fresh, as humanly possible, organically certified, non-genetically modified (Non-GMO foods)nutrient-dense foods:  Buy lean organic grass-fed finished meats of beef or bison, lean organic free-range poultry of chicken, turkey, or duck, pork or lamb, grass-fed dairy, and grass-fed eggs (A); cold-water fish, shellfish and seafood of salmon, tuna, scallops, shrimp, mackerel, sturgeon, sardines, oysters, and others (A).

You should also include a wide variety of fresh organic fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, and edible flower seeds (A); wide variety of fresh organic complex carbohydrates and whole-grains, wide variety of natural fermented foods, wide variety of fresh organic herbs and spices, monounsaturated oils like extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil, antioxidant dark chocolate, and antioxidant drinks like coffee, fruit infused water and fruit smoothies (A).

Natural Adaptogen Supplement Peruvian Maca

For added nutritional benefits and assurance to eating all the above referenced fresh nutritious foods, supplement your diet with a natural, organic, non-GMO, healing whole food Adaptogen Peruvian Maca, which will provide you with all the benefits of fresh nutritional whole foods.  A 2012 Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine study reviewed by the NIH has a complete review on Peruvian Maca which is worth reading.

Adaptogens are a unique class of natural-growing plants (only a few recognized world-wide), that have the ability to assist the human body to “adapt” and to naturally function properly, by providing a “normalizing effect”, a balancing effect, to harmful bacterial invasions and stressors, oxidation, inflammation, and other harmful situations, according to a 2018 Chinese Medicine study reviewed by the NIH.  Yes, Peruvian Maca has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well.

fresh-superfood-Maca-root
fresh Superfood Maca root

So, what is in Peruvian Maca that makes it such an incredible natural-healing or medicinal plant?  P Maca is a highly-nutritious whole food organically-grown and cultivated, non-GMO (genetically modified), on small family farms in Peru.  One ounce (28 grams) of Maca contains the following nutritious substances: 91 calories, 20 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram of fat, 133% of RDI vitamin C, 85% RDI copper, 23% RDI iron, 16% RDI potassium, 15% RDI Manganese, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12, 19 out of the 20 essential amino acids.

P Maca also contains trace minerals zinc, selenium, boran, and others, several glucosinolates plant substances, 20 free fatty acids, and 2 unique plant compounds macaenes and macamides, which, amazingly are only found in P Maca, per a 2019 Molecules study reviewed by the NIH.

After reading the nutritional values of this incredible natural plant supplement, one thing we hope that has become very obvious to you is, that it contains all of the nutritional substances required by your body to function properly in complete physical and emotional health and wellness.

Seriously, from proteins, carbs, fiber, vitamins and minerals, trace minerals, to antioxidants, anti inflammatory properties, omega-3s, plus the additional bioactive plant substances, Peruvian Maca has it all!  Checkout this blueberry-Maca smoothie.  For more information on the incredible Adaptogen Peruvian Maca plant, including a discussion on all of its many wide-ranging benefits, and where to purchase it, read these reviews:

“Benefit In Maca”

“What Is In Maca Root?”

“Manage For Stress”

After you read the two reviews, go ahead and request your two FREE gifts:  Your e book copy of “The Secret Science Of Staying Slim, Sane, and Sexy After 40”, and your trial sample of “Julva”.

After reading “What Is the Best Diet 2020?” , what are your thoughts?  Should you have questions, please ask them below.  Your comments are also welcomed.

(A)  Use these links for additional information, documented studies, and to purchase any of these incredible nutrient-dense foods that constitute the Mediterranean Diet.