Growing Courageous Kids

(& Parents!)

Is Your Kid Stressed Out?: Create a Fat Head!

on January 25, 2009

I cannot tell you how many times parents have complained about their kids behavior and ADHD or whatever, yet didn’t make any connection between the kids’ diet of soda, dyes, processed food, sugar…with a lack of nutrition needed for the brain to work well.  We need to continue learning how to help kids’ brains and bodies help themselves.

Dr. Mark Hyman is the author of several books that I have read. I use his principles of  Ultrametabolim and his UltraPrevention books to get and stay healthy (when I don’t follow the basic ideas, I don’t feel so great…). Here is an excerpt from his latest article. You can see all of the blog if you want. I recommend it.

Nutrition Tip #1: Become a Fat Head

One of my patients, a 20-year-old woman who hated seafood and avoided it her whole life, suffered from depression, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder (ADD), obesity, muscle pain, and chronic fatigue. Her blood tests showed a severe deficiency of omega-3 fats and an overload of inflammatory omega-6 fats.

So we gave her an oil change, with high doses of fish oil (EPA and DHA). Soon, she recovered from her depression, brain fog, and ADD, her pain disappeared, and she lost 60 pounds!

Why was she so deficient? Well, for 5 million years we evolved in a seafood-rich environment or ate wild animals and plants full of omega-3 fats.

But these days, few of us gather wild plants to eat or hunt for our meat. That’s why 99 percent of people today are deficient in the most important ingredient our bodies need for normal cell and brain function — omega-3 fatty acids.

Why are omega-3s so important?

To answer that question, think about your brain for a minute. It weighs only 3 pounds, or 2 percent of your body weight. But it uses 20 percent of the oxygen you breathe and consumes 20 percent of the calories you consume. And it contains 100 billion cells, each of which has 40,000 connections!

The brain is the most complicated organ in the universe.

And every one of its cells and cellular connections are—or SHOULD be—made of omega-3 fats.

Your cells are built of the fats you consume. If you eat omega-3 fats, cellular communication will flow smoothly.

But if you eat soy oil, trans fats, or beef fat, your brain cells become stiff and hard like Crisco, cellular communication breaks down, and your brain stops working properly.

You’re probably all too familiar with what happens next.

You become depressed, demented, anxious, and exhausted or suffer from a host of other brain disorders.

One of the reasons we are seeing an epidemic of broken brains in today’s world is that there has been a thousand-fold increase in the consumption of processed soy oil in the last century.

The people who eat these soy oils are more depressed, demented, distracted—and violent. Murders are actually more common in countries whose inhabitants consume more soy oil and less seafood.

One study has even found a 35 percent reduction in felony-level violent offenses among prisoners who supplemented with omega-3 fats.

Our brains just don’t work without omega-3 fats. Period.

That’s why low levels of omega-3 fats have been linked to everything from depression and anxiety, to bipolar disease and criminal behavior, to schizophrenia, to ADD and autism and learning disabilities, to dementia and many other neurological diseases.

So how do you know if you are deficient?

If you have dry, scaly patches on your skin or have excess hard earwax or soft, cracked, or brittle nails or chicken skin—tiny bumps on the back of your arms — then you are almost certainly deficient in omega-3 fats.

Here’s the solution:

• Cut out trans fats and processed food, minimize animal fats.

• Eat omega-3 fatty acids from wild, coldwater fish like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds.

• Take a supplement of 1,000 mg of purified, toxin- and mercury-free omega-3s (EPA/DHA) twice a day.

And remember, if someone calls you a fat head, take it as a compliment … as long as you eat the right kind of fats.

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