Meal frequency and timing in health and disease

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What is good brain food?
Last night about 1 hour after a dinner including prosciutto and parmesan cheese, I had an attack like the one Joan describes, with shortness of breath, a little nausea, and a hot flash I am 29 years old. The combination of amines must be too much for my system to bear. But again another chemical. You already know you are unusual! Thank you for giving me hope again. Eating three large meals plus snacks spread throughout a h period of wakefulness; this is the common eating pattern of food consumption upon which the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and associated chronic diseases has emerged.

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Stress it’s not in your head; it’s in your nervous system

These play a crucial role in healthy brain function and research has shown people with depression have lower levels of some omega-3s in certain parts of their brain. Omega-3s have been found to help reduce inflammation in the body and brain, which is caused by a poor diet, stress, smoking, lack of vitamin D, obesity and physical inactivity. In some people, inflammation can be a contributing factor to an increased risk of mental illness, explains Professor Michael Berk, Alfred Deakin Chair of Psychiatry at Deakin University.

That's associated with changes in the brain, such as reductions in the chemicals that make brains cells grow and thrive. But Berk stresses we shouldn't single out specific nutrients and other components of food as cure-alls for illness, because there are many others we need just as much in order to be healthy.

He also points out there are many risk factors that cause mental illness, including many we have no control over, such as genetics, childhood trauma and socio-economic standing. However, you can control what you choose to eat and for some people this can make a difference. Your best bet if you want to maintain your blood-sugar levels, and have the best shot at feeling good mentally and physically, is to eat a good balance of healthy grains, fats, fruit and vegies every day.

They spoke to Cassie White. Deakin University is looking for volunteers in their research into the impact of food on mental health.

If you'd like to take part, email diet barwonhealth. About Us Contact Sitemap. This site is being redeveloped. For all the latest ABC Health content click here. Fact Buster 24 comments Share Print. Have your say Do you find what you eat affects your mental health? According to Peter A. Levine, trauma expert in the field of psychotherapy, trauma occurs when this biological process is overwhelmed and a person is unable to release and process the stressful event.

It is possible to avoid a traumatic response by discharging the energy generated. For example, shaking, crying, and screaming can allow the individual to physically process the stress. However, if the stress response is not processed, it remains in the tissues of the body. When a subsequent stressful event that does not pose a serious threat occurs, the traumatic memory is recalled. A large amount of stress hormones are released.

Blood rushes to extremities, pupils dilate, muscle tone increases presenting as tension, breathing rate increases, the heartbeats faster, and sweating occurs. Hence, the nervous system responds as if this small incident is life threatening. This biological response is clearly beyond the ability to rationally control. Chronic stress leads to dissociation or immobility, a state of sympathetic charge and hormonal release, which is health damaging.

The brainstem the primitive part of the brain governs emotional experience and biological response. When the brainstem is activated by the fight or flight response, it trumps the more developed front of the brain, the prefrontal cortex.

It is therefore not possible to be in the primitive state of fight or flight and also to think rationally and critically as the prefrontal cortex would have us do. Moving out of this frozen state can be a fiercely energetic experience.

When humans begin to move out of the immobility response, however, we are often frightened by the intensity of our own energy and latent aggression, and we brace ourselves against the power of the sensations.

Unprocessed stress becomes traumatic memory that lies dormant in the body. A present day trigger can cause the stored memory to resurface. Understanding what is happening inside our body and brain, gives us compassion.

Learning why our body responds the way it does, leads to awareness and empowerment. It moves us out of being isolated, fearful, victims. By caring for our bodies and understanding their self-protective responses, we can release shame.

When we comprehend the physiologic process that is trying to keep us safe, from an old memory or trauma, we can replace inner judgement with kindness. It may not be serving us in the present but in the past it did. In fact, this same response helped us survive. The work is then to re-train the body.

This can be done by invoking practices such as felt sense oriented meditation, deep breathing, vocal toning, spontaneous movement and dance, yoga, listening to soothing music, spending time in nature, running, or hiking.

Or simply receiving a hug from a loved one, which releases oxytocin, a natural hormone produced by the pituitary gland that promotes bonding and connection. These are tools to deactivate the sympathetic response and activate the opposing parasympathetic response, called the rest and digest mechanism.

The goal is to feel safe. To regulate breathing, slow the heartbeat, and circulate blood back to the vital organs. These powerful practices change our physiology and affect our mood.

This knowledge empowers us to heal past wounds. Through acknowledging the power trauma plays in your life and understanding the mechanisms by which healing occurs, you can create a more embodied, joyful life.

Colorado, Sounds True, Inc. Wow honey-What a well written and researched article. Your writing is really maturing. This is a kind of eye opener article.

Since 2 months having sugar too. And I am under lot of stress. Still trying to figure out a way to overcome stress so that my legs can heal.

A great article about our stress response mechanism and how unresolved stress or trauma has an impact on our nervous system and life. The only thing which is still missing is the link to the neurogenic tremors as the innate way for mammals to bring body and ANS back to homeostasis. Thank you This all makes sense I suffer with a chronic illness that is worsened by stress Thank you Lorraine.

Thank you for this article. I developed Peripheral Neuropathy in my feet after a breakdown.

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