There are thousands of possibilities as to how an individual could make the choice to end someone else’s life and often their own. As a Neurotherapist and Certified Nutritional Consultant, when I am retraining brainwaves with computer games, I think about the brain acting as the “captain of the ship” and how science has shown that when the brain is out of balance the entire person , mind, body and spirit, is affected.

Our brains are amazing computers but they are not made of steel or some star wars inspired building materials. A single piece of brain tissue the size of a grain of sand has been shown to contain 100,000 neurons and 1 billion synapses, interrelating and communicating with one another, nonstop. When the brain is adequately nourished with minerals, vitamins, amino acids, hormones, fatty acids, blood and oxygen, the information travels effectively at around 268 miles per hour.

In addition, the brain is 85% water and must stay hydrated in order to send brainwaves and thoughts successfully. Yet it has been reported that 75% of individuals may be in a chronic dehydrated state. An easy formula to follow is to take your body weight, divide it in half and that is how many ounces you should consume each day to stay hydrated.

It has also been reported that less than 7% of Americans get the minimum recommended daily allowance of minerals and vitamins that are supposed to be consumed in fruits and vegetables. Those who don’t take care of their brain with healthy food, proper hydration, exercise and stress management, may lose as many as 85,000 brain cells a day. As you can imagine, losing this many brain cells month after month can reduce one’s ability to think clearly, choose wisely and behave appropriately.

Dating back to the 1930’s, a Congressional document indicated that our American soils were becoming depleted of minerals and vitamins and as a result the foods were deficient of the proper nutrient values. The World Health Organization states that today American farm soils are 85% depleted of the vitamins and minerals needed to support human health. As a result, people in America and around the world have become malnourished. The brain can not send a stable brain wave without minerals like magnesium, calcium, lithium and potassium. It is reported that these mineral deficiencies have been linked to bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD and other mental health disorders.

Mental Health and Nutrition

Most of us have heard that we are not eating enough fruits and vegetables, but did you know that because of the nutrient depleted soils, the FDA’s recommendation of 5-9 a day has been replaced by 7-13 daily servings of fruits and vegetables. When the brain is malnourished, executive functions such as impulse control and risk-taking behavior become less well regulated. Nutritional deficiencies have also been linked to sleep issues, chronic pain, broken immune systems and numerous other diseases, including cancer and dementia.

Findings reported in an August 2010 Life Extension article by Julius Goepp, MD entitled Omega-3 Fatty Acids Increase Brain Volume While Reversing Many Aspects of Neurologic Aging, indicated that individuals with lower blood levels of Omega 3, a fatty acid that is typically found in fish, may exhibit criminal and aggressive behaviors and show decreased honesty and self-discipline.

Prison inmates who were then given specific doses of Omega 3 fatty acids consistently showed test scores indicating a reduction in aggressive rule breaking behaviors. This outcome is similar to studies done on serotonin, a potent neurotransmitter and mood stabilizer. When serotonin levels were increased there was notable reduction in impulsivity, aggressive hostility and negative thinking.

In a group of substance abusers, supplementation with 2,225 mg EPA and 500 mg DHA for 3 months produced significant decreases in anger and anxiety scores compared to placebo recipients. Amazingly, the two nutrients complemented each other, with EPA increases being most robustly associated with lowered anxiety scores, and DHA increases with lowered anger scores. Similarly, in young adult prison inmates, multi-supplements featuring omega-3s produced significant reductions in antisocial, violent, aggressive, and transgressive (rule-breaking) behavior.

Whether it is social isolation in our technological age, the easy access of guns, the influence of violence in our entertainment media, nutritional deficiencies or factors we will never understand, each one of us must do a better job in taking good care of ourselves. We aren’t that different from our pets. If you do not consistently offer water, nutritious food, exercise and show your pet love, it will become sick, withdrawn or aggressive.

Ask yourself, “what would I be doing different if I took better care of myself?” Then start today with baby steps to form new habits. Remember, establishing mental and physical wellness is a personal investment in you and is a process, not an event. Then lovingly inspire someone else or your whole family to do the same, and if we are lucky you will have contributed to making the world a healthier, safer, more contented place.

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