New research has shown for the first time that the part of the brain used for learning, memory and mental health is smaller in people with unhealthy diets.

The hippocampus is the region of the brain associated with learning and memory skills. Researchers from Deakin University (Australia), assessed data collected on 255 participants, ages 60 to 64 years, enrolled in the Personality and Total Health Through Life Study.  The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the size of the left and right hippocampi; they also surveyed the subjects to ascertain dietary habits.  Data analysis revealed that those men and women who consumed unhealthy foods had hippocampi that were smaller, as compared to subjects who followed a healthy diet pattern. The study authors report that: “Lower intakes of nutrient-dense foods and higher intakes of unhealthy foods are each independently associated with smaller hippocampal size and function. It is becoming even clearer that diet is critically important to mental as well as physical health throughout life. This latest study sheds light on at least one of the pathways by which eating an unhealthy diet may influence the risk for dementia, cognitive decline and mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.”

These findings suggest the potential for dietary interventions to promote hippocampal health, decrease age-related atrophy, and prevent negative health outcomes associated with hippocampal atrophy. They also support the extensive data from human observational and intervention studies showing that unhealthy dietary patterns are associated with increased prevalence or risk, and healthy dietary patterns with reduced risk, of depression and reinforce the imperative to improve dietary intakes at the population level and in clinical settings for better mental health outcomes.

Comments by Dr. Keith & Laurie Nemec on “You Think As You Eat”

You are what you eat more than you could ever know. This great study shows that if you eat low nutrient foods you shrink your brain, lose your memory and get depressed. On the other hand if you eat as God designed you to eat you have none of this. So what is bad food and what is good food?

Dietary patterns higher in saturated fats (animal fats) and refined carbohydrates—a Western-style dietary pattern—are independently associated with increased depression and mental symptoms. While higher intakes of nutrient-dense foods, such as vegetables, preferably raw promotes higher enzymes for metabolic function of the cells, promotes better digestion, has more antioxidant capacity and overall have more vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals and no carbohydrates that cause harm.

So to make it simple when you eat food that is high in saturated fat which is predominately animal fat or that has a higher glycemic index (sugar index) which is sugar in all forms, refined carbohydrates, cooked carbohydrates and even overly sweet fruit, this can cause an inflammatory reaction in the hippocampus part of the brain which is responsible for mood and memory.

What did the Bible say food in the beginning?

Gen 1:29-30

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground — everything that has the breath of life in it — I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. NIV

We were designed by God to eat green vegetables, vegetables, seeds, nuts and lower glycemic index fruit. This means every vegetable, seed, nut and fruit including avocados is supposed to be our diet. The fruit that God made was not the fruit of today. Modern farming has hybridized the fruit to be 100 times sweeter than it was actually designed to be so if you choose to eat fruit besides avocados, lemons and limes make sure they are not very sweet.

So all you have to do to have a healthy mind and emotions is follow 7 Basic Steps and one of the steps is eating the proper diet of vegetables, seeds, nuts and the low glycemic index fruit.