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  #1   ^
Old Mon, Oct-28-19, 04:05
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Default Darker days getting you down? Food can boost your mood but depends which ones you eat

Darker days getting you down? Food can boost your mood, but it depends which ones you eat

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-...pends-ones-eat/

Quote:
If you’re grumpier or sadder during the winter, you’re not alone. Danish scientists have found that in the month after the clocks go back there is an eight per cent rise in incidences of winter depression also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.

The good news is, whether you suffer with low mood all year around or only as the winter sets in, there’s new scientific evidence that shows what you eat can substantially boost your mood.

The antidepressant food scale

In 2018 the link between food and mood was brought home in research published in the Journal of World Psychiatry which published an Antidepressant Food Scale. Scientists came up with a list of foods that ‘are the most dense sources of nutrients demonstrated by the scientific literature to play a role in the prevention and recovery from depressive disorders.’

The biggest contenders? Watercress, at 127% followed by spinach at 97%, swiss chard at 90% and mustard, turnip or beet greens which ranged from 76-93% - kale was on there but not as high as you would think at 48-62%. Oysters at 50% got a good run too.

Now a new field of nutritional psychiatry is unravelling the relationship between what we eat and how we feel. One of its pioneers, Professor Felice Jacka, a nutritional psychiatrist and head of the recently created Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia released a book on the subject in July this year.

In Brain Changer: The Good Mental Health Diet she says: ‘From all the research to date, we can safely say that the quality of adults’ diets is related to their mental health,’ she asserts. ‘Diets higher in whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, wholegrain cereals, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, fish and olive oil are consistently associated with a reduced risk of depression. Diets higher in sugar-sweetened drinks, processed foods and refined carbohydrates are consistently linked to a higher risk of depression.’

So far, so obvious. But her research has also led Prof. Jacka to conclude that there are a number of mood-friendly ways to eat. ‘Traditional diets such as the Norwegian, Mediterranean or Japanese diets are all associated with better mental health outcomes,’ she concludes. The latter is reflected in other research, such as one study published in the journal PLOS Medicine that found Japan had the lowest rate of depression in the world, followed closely by Australia where the Mediterranean & Asian diet is dominant thanks to the large population of people with Italian or Greek descent, and its proximity to Asia.

The oily fish factor

One thing the diets of Norway, Japan and the Mediterranean have in common is a high consumption of oily fish – think sardines, mackerel, herring, salmon and trout. But in Britain our consumption of such fish is staggeringly low, with a recent study commissioned by Efamol (makers of omega-3 supplements) finding that one in five of us never eat oily fish and a staggering quarter of us haven’t eaten it in the last six months.

Nutritionists say we should consume two portions of fish a week
Of course, it’s impossible to prove causality, but in the last decade, prescriptions for antidepressant medications doubled and in Britain were at record numbers last year. In fact, the reason nutritionists are always on at us about consuming two portions of oily fish a week is because it’s rich in omega 3 fatty acids. ‘These essential fats make up the external membranes of the brain’s neurons and they’re something people with depression are often lacking’, says Prof. Jacka.

But why oily fish in particular? ‘They’re rich in specific types of Omega 3 fatty acids known as Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) which our bodies can’t make, and which are prevalent in the brain,’ explains Lucy Perrow, state-registered dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association.

‘People with depressive symptoms have been shown to have low levels of EPA in particular, which is abundant in foods such as salmon, mackerel, herring, trout and fresh tuna.’ If oily fish isn’t your thing, you can take a quality omega-3 supplement, but make sure it contains EPA and DHA. ‘In fact, if you are clinically depressed, research has shown good outcomes for people taking omega-3 supplements alongside their antidepressants.’ One such supplement is Higher Nature’s Omega 3 Fish Oil which contains 180mg EPA and 120mg DHA per capsule (£9.55 for 90 capsules) but Perrow advises talking to your doctor first as these can interfere with some medications.

Even if you don’t take antidepressants, but suffer with low mood, high levels of omega-3s can help alleviate low mood, says registered nutritionist Robert Hobson. One meta-analysis looked at 10 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials on omega-3 fatty acids’ and concluded they did indeed have significant antidepressant effects.

‘The doses used in the studies are usually high [500-1000mg EPA alone or EPA combined with DHA] so in reality getting enough would involve eating oily fish a few times a week and topping up with a daily supplement,’ Hobson advises. Do note that if you’re pregnant, the NHS recommends not eating more than two portions of oily fish because it can contain pollutants harmful to a growing baby.

Fix the IBS, fix the depression

Some specific diets help depression – but by default. For example, one recent study published in the journal Nutritional Clinical Practice found that patients with irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – which affects a staggering one in five people, mostly women - who were put on a low FODMAPs diet (a highly researched diet for IBS that excludes a number of foods including fermentable vegetables, wheat, sugar and gluten) not only saw their IBS improve, but also showed improved ‘happiness and vitality’ and a lowered incidence of anxiety, depression and fatigue.

But this doesn’t mean that you should try a low FODMAPS diet if you don’t have digestive issues.

‘One aspect of this result is the psychological impact of IBS which has been shown to leave patients feeling more depressed and anxious than non-sufferers,’ says Hobson.

But people with IBS are often depressed and anxious as a result of their condition, so ‘the association doesn’t go beyond this – we can’t infer from it that the low-FODMAPs diet could help depression and anxiety in those without IBS,’ he says.

Is your pasta making you depressed?

But then there’s the gluten connection. Low-FODMAPs diets necessarily avoid all gluten – a protein found in bread and wheat foods such as pasta - and one thing Robson is convinced about is the link between increased mood disorders in people with gluten related disorders such as coeliac disease (people with coeliac disease have an immune response to all foods containing any gluten).

Gluten is a protein found in bread and wheat foods such as pasta
And, in a 2018 meta-analysis of the research scientists concluded that there is indeed an association between mood disorders and gluten intake and even went so far as to say that ‘the effects of a gluten-free diet on mood in people without gluten-related disorders should be considered in future research.’

The reason for this is not understood, Hobson points out, but some of the theories suggest that an immune response to gluten may lead to depressive symptoms. Indeed, looking at the research Hobson concludes, ‘though more research is needed, there is a fair argument linking low mood to gluten intake.’

That gut feeling

‘There is some evidence for gluten upsetting the balance of good bacteria in the gut and in some instances this may also trigger inflammation - both associated with an increased risk of depression,’ says Lucy Perrow. ‘If someone is gluten intolerant they may have a damaged intestinal wall which can then affect their absorption of nutrients from food that are vital to mood, especially vitamins B and D.’

But there’s a more direct reason why your gut health is not only essential to your mood, it may even dictate it (whether you have IBS or not). The gut is home to your enteric nervous system, sometimes referred to as the ‘second brain’. We’re still only at the very beginning of research into how this ‘gut-brain’ axis works but one theory is that the vagus nerve – a long, critical nerve extending from the abdomen to the brain – acts as a neural highway for chemicals made in the gut to get to the brain. In other words, chemicals that the microbes in the gut secrete could switch genes on and off in the gut lining, affecting the brain.
Quote:
What to eat for a happier winter

Eat more antidepressant foods. Scientists have developed a list of foods with the highest antidepressant nutrients and the big winners are just about all green vegetables as well as oysters and organ meats. See more here:

Salmon, trout, herring, mackerel or fresh tuna twice a week: These oily fish are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which make up the outer membrane of the brain’s neurons – they’re often lacking in the brains of those with depression.

Fermented foods such as cultured yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi: These are rich sources of healthy bacteria; key to the production of brain neurotransmitters such as serotonin, 90 per cent of which is believed to be made in the gut.

Broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, onions and garlic: These and many other fruits and vegetables are ‘prebiotic’ foods that act as fertiliser for the healthy bacteria in your gut encouraging it to grow; a bit like a garden. Other great sources include pulses, beans and legumes, which are great sources of fibre, also essential for gut health.

Green leafy vegetables (yes, we mean kale but also collard greens and cavalho nero): These are a great source of B vitamins, magnesium and iron; all essential to mood.
Moreover, ‘more than 90 per cent of our body’s serotonin [a key happiness neurotransmitter] is made in the gut!’ says Prof. Jacka. ‘One way this happens is because our gut bacteria influence the metabolism of tryptophan, an amino acid substance that is essential to the production of serotonin. ‘There’s now compelling evidence from animal studies that the gut microbiota influence depressive and anxiety-like behaviour and that changing the gut bacteria with specific probiotics can influence these behaviours.’

What we do know is that the more diverse the healthy bacteria in your gut, the more likely you are to produce serotonin, says Lucy Perrow. ‘Eating a variety of probiotic fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and kefir can help increase healthy bacteria,’ she advises. ‘But it’s also important to consume prebiotic foods – these are what probiotics feed on and proliferate from – which act like fertiliser for growing your healthy bacteria’.

Prebiotic foods include almost all fruits and vegetables, especially onions, garlic, asparagus, bananas and artichokes. ‘It’s why I don’t advise a low-FODMAPs diet in people that don’t have IBS as it cuts out a lot of prebiotic foods essential to good mood just because they’re high in FODMAPS’.

If you want to take a probiotic pill, Perrow advises, look for one that contains lactobacillus and bifidobacterium cultures as these are the most researched in relation to mood. In fact, some specific strains are showing promise for mood. For example, four years ago a team of researchers at University College Cork (where scientists are at the forefront of studying the link between gut bacteria and mental health) found that men who took a probiotic containing a specific strain of probiotic called bifidobacterium longum for four weeks performed better in stress tests than those that took a placebo.

Don’t forget to top up your Ds

‘Vitamin D is essential for bone health, but low levels may also result in other signs including fatigue, tiredness and muscle pain,’ says Robert Hobson. In fact, as the best way to produce vitamin D is by the action of sunlight on skin those living in the UK are likely to be deficient, which is why the NHS recommends everyone over the age of five take 10mcg a day, especially between October and March.

‘The dark gloomy mornings, cold weather and long nights, teamed with low vitamin D levels can be a recipe for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or seasonal depression,’ says Hobson. ‘Despite the fact that food should always come first, vitamin D is one of those supplements that we should take regardless from when the clocks go back in the winter to when they go forward again in the spring.

We can’t synthesise adequate amounts of vitamin D from the sun during the winter and you won’t get everything you need from diet alone,’ he says.

Last edited by Demi : Mon, Oct-28-19 at 04:12.
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  #2   ^
Old Mon, Oct-28-19, 07:13
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I must have missed a discussion of the benefits of eating meats in that article.
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Old Mon, Oct-28-19, 09:16
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Calianna Calianna is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger
I must have missed a discussion of the benefits of eating meats in that article.


I did too.

But be sure you eat plenty of oily fish!

Quote:
Nutritionists say we should consume two portions of fish a week


Quote:
‘People with depressive symptoms have been shown to have low levels of EPA in particular, which is abundant in foods such as salmon, mackerel, herring, trout and fresh tuna.’


Hmm... seems they forgot to mention the mercury content in the recommended fish, but perhaps that's why they're only recommending 2 servings/week.

This part also had me scratching my head:

Quote:
In Brain Changer: The Good Mental Health Diet she says: ‘From all the research to date, we can safely say that the quality of adults’ diets is related to their mental health,’ she asserts. ‘Diets higher in whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, wholegrain cereals, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, fish and olive oil are consistently associated with a reduced risk of depression. Diets higher in sugar-sweetened drinks, processed foods and refined carbohydrates are consistently linked to a higher risk of depression.’


Especially when it was followed by this:

Quote:
Is your pasta making you depressed?

But then there’s the gluten connection. Low-FODMAPs diets necessarily avoid all gluten – a protein found in bread and wheat foods such as pasta - and one thing Robson is convinced about is the link between increased mood disorders in people with gluten related disorders such as coeliac disease (people with coeliac disease have an immune response to all foods containing any gluten).

Gluten is a protein found in bread and wheat foods such as pasta
And, in a 2018 meta-analysis of the research scientists concluded that there is indeed an association between mood disorders and gluten intake and even went so far as to say that ‘the effects of a gluten-free diet on mood in people without gluten-related disorders should be considered in future research.

The reason for this is not understood, Hobson points out, but some of the theories suggest that an immune response to gluten may lead to depressive symptoms. Indeed, looking at the research Hobson concludes, ‘though more research is needed, there is a fair argument linking low mood to gluten intake.’

That gut feeling

‘There is some evidence for gluten upsetting the balance of good bacteria in the gut and in some instances this may also trigger inflammation - both associated with an increased risk of depression,’ says Lucy Perrow. ‘If someone is gluten intolerant they may have a damaged intestinal wall which can then affect their absorption of nutrients from food that are vital to mood, especially vitamins B and D.’


So let me get this straight. According to the information provided in this article, eating whole grains is good for mental health, as long as you don't get them from pasta and bread made from wheat.

So bring on the gluten free products made from rice and tapioca! $$$

Oh wait, that would contradict the evidence that refined carbohydrates are linked to depression. Ok, so apparently the only way around this is to invest in the new (and extremely expensive) pastas made from legumes.

Quote:
Don’t forget to top up your Ds

‘Vitamin D is essential for bone health, but low levels may also result in other signs including fatigue, tiredness and muscle pain,’ says Robert Hobson. In fact, as the best way to produce vitamin D is by the action of sunlight on skin those living in the UK are likely to be deficient, which is why the NHS recommends everyone over the age of five take 10mcg a day, especially between October and March.

‘The dark gloomy mornings, cold weather and long nights, teamed with low vitamin D levels can be a recipe for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or seasonal depression,’ says Hobson. ‘Despite the fact that food should always come first, vitamin D is one of those supplements that we should take regardless from when the clocks go back in the winter to when they go forward again in the spring.

We can’t synthesise adequate amounts of vitamin D from the sun during the winter and you won’t get everything you need from diet alone,’ he says.


And of course even though everyone is advised to wear sunscreens every day of their lives, every moment they're out of doors, so that the skin can't possibly absorb enough sunshine to create enough vitamin D to last through the winter months, you also need to take a Vitamin D supplement, because diet alone can't possibly provide enough, especially when one of the best all-natural food sources of vitamin D (eggs) is still off the menu for so many people, since there's still so much concern about all the killer cholesterol they contain. Although there is the Vitamin D content of your two servings of oily fish... you'd think that would help enough to not need supplements.



(Do nutritionists or doctors ever bother to look up nutrition stats before spouting all this nonsense?)




The harder the-powers-that-be try to protect us from ourselves, the more complicated they make it for everyone, and the worse things become.

Last edited by Calianna : Mon, Oct-28-19 at 16:09.
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Old Mon, Oct-28-19, 11:24
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Quote:
(Do nutritionists or doctors even bothering to look up nutrition stats before spouting all this nonsense?)


Ignorance is Bliss because they just don't know what they don't know!!
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Old Tue, Oct-29-19, 15:56
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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And so, all you come away with is confusion.
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Old Tue, Oct-29-19, 17:33
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cotonpal cotonpal is online now
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It seems that no matter the question the answer is always the Mediterranean diet.
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Old Wed, Oct-30-19, 04:06
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Originally Posted by cotonpal
It seems that no matter the question the answer is always the Mediterranean diet.




Part of my healing regimen is supplementing with amino acids and other neurotransmitter precursors. I have better mental clarity when I eat meat, too, which is like getting ALL possible protein kinds and combinations, along with good fats.

All of which the Mediterranean diet mindset ignores. Especially the horror of red meat!
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Old Wed, Oct-30-19, 07:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calianna
So let me get this straight. According to the information provided in this article, eating whole grains is good for mental health, as long as you don't get them from pasta and bread made from wheat.

So bring on the gluten free products made from rice and tapioca! $$$

Oh wait, that would contradict the evidence that refined carbohydrates are linked to depression. Ok, so apparently the only way around this is to invest in the new (and extremely expensive) pastas made from legumes.


I didn't see anything in the article that recommended eating pasta or bread of any kind. Eating whole grains, for those with a gluten intolerance, would mean brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, etc.
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Old Wed, Oct-30-19, 07:20
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Lbangle Lbangle is offline
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OK....I'm depressed just reading the list
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Old Wed, Oct-30-19, 08:17
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It's like a bad nightmare where the Zombies are trying to force feed you Whole Grains!!!
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Old Wed, Oct-30-19, 08:25
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Calianna Calianna is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyLC
I didn't see anything in the article that recommended eating pasta or bread of any kind. Eating whole grains, for those with a gluten intolerance, would mean brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, etc.



I thought it was funny how they mentioned that gluten could contribute to depression even if you're not celiac - but they still want you to eat lots of whole grains, specifically mentioning whole grain cereal as anti-depressive. Sure, you can get cereals made from brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal.



I still find it telling that they're not taking into account that 50-75 years ago, there were no huge numbers of depressed individuals, not even in the UK, where the winter days are very short and gloomy. Did they have gluten containing cereals for breakfast? If they ate cereals instead of eggs and bacon, they most likely ate gluten containing cereals. The ones who ate eggs, or even the Full English, or soft boiled eggs would eat those with toast made from gluten containing bread (most likely white bread, not whole grain).





They've decided that the problems they have today can't possibly have anything to do with the huge number of carbs in the currently recommended diet. It can't be that they're pushing for everyone to seriously limit cholesterol and fats in the diet. It can't be that the constant use of sunscreens is reducing the amount of vitamin D your body can make (even on a cloudy or rainy day) and store up for the winter months, or that reducing egg intake could even be a factor, despite the fact that eggs provide a fairly good dose of D.



They're essentially saying "We're sorry, but 50 years and more ago, we didn't know what actually constituted a healthy diet or safe sun protection, so it can't be any of the things we've convinced you to change about your eating or living habits, since we now know what's good and bad for you, and clearly the diet that was common among previous generations was NOT good for them, despite the fact that they were far slimmer, healthier, and experienced far less depression. So listen to us, and eat your grains, along with this handful of pills every day, because we know what we're talking about."
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Old Wed, Oct-30-19, 08:57
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Exactly right about the eggs with Choline for the brain and they had people so afraid to eat even one egg.
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Old Wed, Oct-30-19, 12:58
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Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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I swear by salmon for lots of things, including mood.
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Old Wed, Oct-30-19, 16:59
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So these researchers picked some nutrients they think are good for avoiding depression and then checked nutrition lists to find the stuff highest in those nutrients without actually testing those food combinations on actual patients, right? Who wants to volunteer to eat lots watercress, spinach and oysters and see what happens? Me, I think I'd get pretty sick. However, I'm quite not depressed and doing fine on stuff like lots of meat and some eggs and dairy, thank-you.
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Old Thu, Oct-31-19, 07:06
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Calianna Calianna is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zei
So these researchers picked some nutrients they think are good for avoiding depression and then checked nutrition lists to find the stuff highest in those nutrients without actually testing those food combinations on actual patients, right? Who wants to volunteer to eat lots watercress, spinach and oysters and see what happens? Me, I think I'd get pretty sick. However, I'm quite not depressed and doing fine on stuff like lots of meat and some eggs and dairy, thank-you.



There is of course a routine they go through - check for certain vitamin levels that seem to be related to depression/lack of depression. Are they causing the depression? Or do they become depleted because the person is depressed? The automatic assumption is that they're causing the depression. Are they the only nutrients involved? Who knows?



Then they go from there, basing the food choices on other factors they consider to be good/bad for you. So they probably specified in their search of their nutritional databases that they wanted it to find foods which met their obligatory low calorie, low fat, high fiber, low sodium, and low cholesterol criteria, telling it to look for those nutrients in whole grains, fish and seafood, fruit and vegetable products, because that would criteria would only give them "healthy" foods, and automatically filter out "bad" foods, including all those that just happen to be even better sources of those nutrients.


~~~~


I just noticed this from the article:


Quote:
What to eat for a happier winter

Eat more antidepressant foods. Scientists have developed a list of foods with the highest antidepressant nutrients and the big winners are just about all green vegetables as well as oysters and organ meats. See more here:

~snip~

Green leafy vegetables (yes, we mean kale but also collard greens and cavalho nero): These are a great source of B vitamins, magnesium and iron; all essential to mood.


Focusing on the green leafy veggies list - I'd never heard of Cavalho nero before, so I googled. Turns out it's actually a type of kale, with a much darker, somewhat different shaped leaf, often called black kale or lacinato kale. This is a leafy green that even working in a large grocery store for the last 7-1/2 years, I'd never even seen that kind of kale until maybe a year or two ago, and it's still only available at a premium price, and on a very limited basis.

So before naming this mysterious cavalho nero to the must-eat list, did they even bother to try to figure out what it actually was? Or did they just see it on their nutrient list, and say BINGO - we have a winner! (A winner that will have people desperately searching for this mysterious green, and if they can't find it, they'll blame the fact that they're still depressed on not being able to find this particular green to eat in huge quantities)



[I acknowledge that even though it's new to me, it's entirely possible that it's well known by that name in the UK, and that perhaps much more readily available there too.]


Furthermore, is the list of green leafies limited to kale, collards, and cavalho nero? Surely there's more than 3 species of green leafy veggies out there - what about spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens, chard, and the plethora of lettuces and herbs out there? Another factor is that most of those green leafies really only grow in the cool weather of spring or early fall, but bolt to seed in hot summer weather, and die off in freezing weather. They blame seasonal depression at least in part on the short days of winter, and yet the only way to obtain those leafy vegetables in the middle of winter, is if they're shipped in from far away locations in the opposite hemisphere, which happen to have the seasonal conditions necessary to grow them at the time of year when you need those nutrients in the your hemisphere. How much of the necessary nutrients will be lost during all that shipping time?


Really irks me that they spend so much time trying to pin all kinds of health conditions on specific, nutrients, but then when they tell you where to obtain those nutrients, they filter out anything that doesn't meet their other arbitrary health criteria, then somehow expect you to obtain the few out of season foods they mention. (seasonal foods which by the way were NEVER available out of season 100 years ago, because transportation from seasonal growing areas would have taken several weeks. Not that they really needed out of season foods back then, because seasonal depression was an anomaly, instead of the norm.) Good luck actually absorbing whatever nutrients are still left in the greens that are shipped in from half-way across the world in the dead of winter too, because dietary fats are required to absorb vitamins and minerals, but they sure don't want you do eat any useful fats, just those 2 weekly servings of oily fish.


The nutritional recommendations THEY provide are just topsy-turvy, upside down, and getting worse all the time.
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