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Does Diet Quality Affect Your Mental Health?

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It used to be the case that the biggest killers of humans were the infectious diseases such as HIV and malaria. Now, in the 21st Century, non-infectious diseases that are a product of our dietary choices and other lifestyle behaviours (exercise levels and whether or not we smoke) are the main causes of death across the world. Unhealthy lifestyles contribute substantially to conditions such as heart disease; type 2 diabetes; stroke; obesity; and many forms of cancer. The World Health Organisation has told us that these diseases will cost the global community more than US$30 trillion dollars over the next 20 years, and that there are NO countries in the world that can afford these costs. These largely preventable lifestyle-related diseases are already placing a massive burden on our health system and it is only going to get worse. In Australia, poor diet now accounts for more illness than even the tobacco industry.

However, what we haven’t known until relatively recently is that these dietary changes are a problem for mental health as well as physical health. Since the end of 2009, there have been many studies from a multitude of different countries, in age groups ranging from very young children to adults in their 90s, showing that what people eat on a regular basis is related to their risk for depression, anxiety and dementia. Most recently, we have shown that maternal diet is also related to the mental health of offspring.

These studies suggest that two aspects of diet are related to an increased risk for these illnesses: not getting enough healthy food (that is – a variety of different vegetables, fruit, good quality meat and fish, wholegrains and the like) and/or having too much of the unhealthy foods (we all know what these look like – soft drinks, sugary foods, highly processed foods, food chain hamburgers and chicken etc.).

While these findings have important implications, given the huge public health burden of mental disorders, the research is so recent that there are, as yet, no data on the impact of improving diet on the symptoms of individuals who are already suffering from depression. However, we are now conducting the first randomised, controlled trial of dietary improvement as a treatment strategy in major depression.

Diet-depression Randomised Controlled Trial

In this RCT, currently being conducted at both Barwon Health in Geelong and St Vincent’s in Collingwood, Melbourne, participants are randomised to receive either a ‘befriending’ protocol (social support, one-on-one with a practitioner) or a dietary intervention over a three-month period. The dietary intervention comprises weekly, then fortnightly, visits with a clinical dietitian and is designed to facilitate healthy dietary change; participants receive detailed dietary assessments, feedback, education, instructions, menus etc. for the duration of the trial.

We are urgently seeking referrals to the trial. Participants should be: over 18yrs; currently suffering from a major depressive episode (we will confirm); willing to commit to a three-month intervention; with no concurrent psychotic illness, bipolar disorder or personality disorder; and with no unstable medical condition or other factors that may prevent adherence to a dietary regime. Current medication or psychotherapy is not an exclusion criterion; participants can continue with their current treatment as long as it is stable.

Source: psychscene.com

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Healty and tips

3 rules to follow at breakfast to lose weight.

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Eating nothing in the morning is as bad as eating anything. A balanced breakfast that often contradicts the most common habits helps to lose weight and ensure satiety until lunch without problem.

Atlantico: A healthy and balanced breakfast is a first step to regain control of your daily diet and can help us lose weight. What advice would you give that breakfast is a first step in weight loss?

Leaking refined foods with a high glycemic index
Consume breakfasts that are vectors of vitamins, fibers and minerals like the Miam-Ô-Fruit of France Guillain or a house muesli made of barley flakes, pruned almonds, dried apricots, cinnamon, acacia honey , wheat germ and an almond or oat drink. For salty mouths, dare the egg to shell, the slice of poultry or ham (not too often for the ecological impact!), The cheese (for those who tolerate it) with slices of sourdough bread or a full bowl of rice and a rapeseed oil.

Escape the fruit juices especially that of oranges which are real aggressions for the digestive tract, more or less rich in sugar and perfectly indigestible with any type of cereals.
Teas, maté, infusions and coffees of quality are preferable in small volume (200ml max).
Your breakfast should be consumed calmly with chewing applied.
What is the influence of what we eat in the morning on our choices for subsequent meals?

Charles-Antoine Winter: The influence would be rather a consequence … Understand that in the morning, on the blows of 6 to 8h, our body knows its highest concentration of fasting hormone cortisol (in this case, nocturnal fasting ), allowing us to maintain a glucose level (glucose level in our blood) correct without food intake and especially of carbohydrate origin. In other words, your body is on an autonomous metabolism. And this means knowing how to get out of it as wisely as possible.

Here are two possibilities: one where you submerge it of sweetness with an excess of sugar and make it dependent (circuit of the reward). And the other where you empower him with nutrients that require him to work as a team and therefore an autonomy.

Indeed, one of the most harmful and maintained habits in France is the breakfast rich in sugar, in empty calories. Intake of fiber-free sugar at breakfast will inevitably cause hyperglycemia, an excess of sugar circulating in your blood. And your body being in danger, will react to excess by secreting too much insulin, the latter being responsible for the use of sugar by your neurons, muscles, red blood cells (positive point) but also by the conversion of l excess sugar in fat. Worse yet, your sweet breakfast will be responsible, via insulin, morning cravings, your addiction to coffee, your oversized and / or unbalanced lunches. A day that starts and may end on the reward scheme …

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How to cut in Julienne I knife skills

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West Africa’s Tea Culture – a Way of Life

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The term “tea ceremony” usually conjures up mental images of formal rituals in old Japan, or more modern ones in India or Malaysia where business deals are struck over a pot of tea and a handshake. In West Africa, ancient tea ceremony goes by the name “attaya,” and is anything but formal. In fact, tea culture in the continent’s western nations of Gambia, Mauritania and Senegal are the polar opposite of Japan’s ceremonies, where matcha tea is the focal point of a semi-religious event.

Tea

The attaya is more accurately described as a tea ritual or social function akin to a very informal wine-tasting session or round of toasts in Western cultures. Something like 80 percent of all West African children and adults drink tea on a daily basis, most of it being some variety of mint tea made in a way that likely originated among the ancient Moors.

French, Arabic, a little English, and local dialects are interwoven in everyday West African speech; and that makes for colorful, loud and friendly conversations during the traditional three rounds of tea in a typical attaya ceremony.

Despite its wide practice throughout West Africa, centering on Senegal, the attaya ceremony is largely unknown in the West. Here are some key facts that explain how the tea is made and served, how people interact while drinking it, and how to make a pot of West African tea that is “attaya-ready.”

Background

The preparation of typical Senegalese mint tea, the kind used in the attaya ritual, takes quite a while, and is not as easy as preparing other kinds of tea. This is partly by design, enabling everyone to have a long conversation while the tea is being heated and mixed. Mint tea is a natural preventive for cavities and several other dental problems.

Ceremony and history

Every African attaya ceremony consists of three rounds. Tea is served in small glasses (not cups) with each round being quite different in taste. Legend has it that the first, bitter round represents the beginning of life and the difficulties of growing up. The second round is sweeter but retains the strong mint flavor. The third and final round is mostly very weak tea with plenty of sugar. The second round is said to signify the sweetness of mid-life, love, and marriage, with the final round being symbolic of old age. There are hundreds of historic stories about what each round means, but they all point to some version of “stages of life.”

Almost all the words related to African tea ceremony, including the word “attaya” itself, are Arabic in origin because the early Moors are thought to have perfected the art of preparing sweet mint tea. The Senegalese language is largely derived from Arabic. The best-known English word that comes directly from Senegalese is also food-and-drink related; “yummy.”

Tea culture in West Africa

Tea is always served to visitors in West African homes, but more commonly it is drunk during social gatherings at restaurants, on street corners, in alleyways, wherever people meet to talk and socialize.

There are dozens of ways to prepare African mint tea for attaya, but the most common one calls for a large pot of boiling water (preferably over a charcoal fire) to which is added green tea leaves, mint leaves and a generous dose of sugar. After a long boiling period, the tea is mixed by pouring it to and from the glasses several times. This distributes the sugar and mint evenly.

Good African mint tea has lots of foam on top. This is a result of the pouring process (see above) but it is usually less thick during the second and third rounds as the concoction weakens.

It is said that in many West African nations potential burglars and thieves will steer clear of homes and businesses if they smell mint tea being brewed in the evening. That’s because night watchmen and late-shift police typically drink strong mint tea to stay awake. The first round alone is enough to keep a person’s eyes wide open for several hours.

Taste and preparation

The taste of the tea depends on the preparer. Talented tea-makers in Senegal and neighboring countries usually do a careful head count before preparation. That way, they can calibrate the amount of sugar, tea leaves and mint to use, as well as how much water to prepare. Considering that each person will be drinking about 20 ounces of tea over a 2-hour period, very large pots are used when there are more than a few guests.

Because the caffeine content is so high, African-style mint tea is never served on an empty stomach, but always after meals. And contrary to almost every other nation’s tea-drinking practices, West African attaya attendees slurp and gulp their tea rather quickly. The socializing takes place between rounds of drinking rather than during. All of which means that a typical attaya 3-round ritual will include no less than 2 or three sessions of chatting that are each about 30 minutes long.

“Free speech” is the only rule

During an attaya session, guests are expected to express their opinion about the tea, saying whether they think it too strong, too weak or just right. Unlike in Western cultures, it is not considered rude to speak one’s mind about the quality of the tea at an attaya. “Wow, that’s way too strong for me,” and “Is this water or tea?” (during the third round) are routine comments from attaya participants, all of which bring either laughter or a reasoned response from the preparer, like “Well, you Brits and Americans are too weak to drink ‘real’ African tea. Hahahaha.”

Many Westerners are taken aback when they realize that West African attaya sessions are truly free-wheeling affairs, where just about any subject is fair game for discussion, and friendly argumentation is even encouraged and appreciated. (Contrast this with Japanese tea ceremony!)

It’s interesting to note the differences between the world’s most ritualized, formal matcha tea ceremonies of Japan and the much looser, socializing tone of West Africa’s attaya. In the former, virtually every word and action is prescribed by tradition. In a typical attaya, a street vendor might prepare the three rounds of mint tea with varying amounts of sugar and much chatter between host and guests.

Regardless of these obvious differences, West African attaya is one of the most colorful and interesting “tea ceremonies” on earth; and everyone should experience the camaraderie and good cheer that accompanies each glass of African mint served during attaya.

Source: matcha-tea.com

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