Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mental Health Series - Celebrating Mental Health Month with Ways to Stay Healthy

Every year I write a blog post advocating Mental Health Month. This year, including my advocacy, I'm going to give you some information about the mental health benefits of eating yogurt and provide you with tips from Chobani.

I've honestly never eaten Chobani yogurt before recently, and wanted to help spread the news about the benefits of eating yogurt. I also did some research on the Mental Health benefits of yogurt and I was surprised by the amount of positive results. Why don't you check out Chobani's products for more health snack options that can benefit your mental health as well.

After sampling a few of the different Chobani yogurts, I'm hooked. They're smooth, not bitter, don't have that "yogurt aftertaste", and are the perfect portion for an addition to your breakfast or as a snack any time of the day.

Starting with EmaxHealth, In a report published by BioEssays, researchers explain that probiotics play a role in producing, absorbing, and transporting neurochemicals (ie: serotonin, dopamine and nerve growth factor) which are essential for healthy brain and nerve function. Therefore, improving probiotic microflora in the intestines may be an important key to treating mental health conditions.

May, 2016 is the 67th year Mental Health America has observed Mental Health Month. They use many resources to spread the news and help others learn about helping themselves and others. They've created a calendar for the month helping you discover new ways to care for your mental health.

This year, their theme is - Life with a Mental Illness.  They're asking How does it feel to live with a mental illness? That (#mentalillnessfeelslike) is what we’re focusing on during Mental Health Month in 2016. 

If you're a new reader, or long time reader of my blog, Living Stone Faith, you'll find I've written many posts about my experiences living with Bipolar, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, PTSD, OCD, and the various treatments, such as ECT.

What I'd like to know from you, is: How Does It Feel To Live With A Mental Illness?

Go ahead and post in the comments below or if you don't want to share publicly, you can always contact me via e-mail at vmtwriter@vickmtaylor.com

I try to provide you, my readers, with the latest information from other mental health sites and allow guest posts of others' experiences. 

I did more research about the mental health benefits of yogurt and here are the results:

From Medical Daily:

According to a 2013 study that investigated the link between intestinal bacteria and mental health, not much is known about the ways that the gastrointestinal tract influences mood and behavioral disorders. The authors note that there was scientific interest in this link in the early 20th century, but there hasn't been much research until recently. One of those recent studies examined this link and found that people who took probiotics experienced lower levels of anxiety and depression, and had lower levels of cortisol — the stress hormone — in their saliva when they woke up in the morning.

For more Scientific information, I went to Scientific American. All I can say is, WOW. They aren't called "scientific" for nothing. They go into the scientific background and give amazingly complicated formulas and results. Please read them for yourself.

Dr. Mercola raises some interesting points and shows positive results of using Yogurt to help maintain a better mental health.

Here is only one of the tests/results he cited. Please visit his page for more in-depth details.

The featured proof-of-concept study, conducted by researchers at UCLA, found that probiotics (beneficial bacteria) actually altered participants' brain function. The study2 enlisted 36 women between the ages of 18 and 55 who were divided into three groups: 
  • The treatment group ate yogurt containing several probiotics thought to have a beneficial impact on intestinal health, twice a day for one month
  • Another group ate a "sham" product that looked and tasted like the yogurt but contained no probiotics
  • Control group ate no product at all
Before and after the four-week study, participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans, both while in a state of rest, and in response to an "emotion-recognition task." 
For the latter, the women were shown a series of pictures of people with angry or frightened faces, which they had to match to other faces showing the same emotions. 
"This task, designed to measure the engagement of affective and cognitive brain regions in response to a visual stimulus, was chosen because previous research in animals had linked changes in gut flora to changes in affective behaviors," the researchers explained.
Compared to the controls, the women who consumed probiotic yogurt had decreased activity in two brain regions that control central processing of emotion and sensation:
  • The insular cortex (insula), which plays a role in functions typically linked to emotion (including perception, motor control, self-awareness, cognitive functioning, and interpersonal experience) and the regulation of your body's homeostasis, and
  • The somatosensory cortex, which plays a role in your body's ability to interpret a wide variety of sensations 
During the resting brain scan, the treatment group also showed greater connectivity between a region known as the 'periaqueductal grey' and areas of the prefrontal cortex associated with cognition. In contrast, the control group showed greater connectivity of the periaqueductal grey to emotion- and sensation-related regions. 
The fact that this study showed any improvement at all is remarkable, considering they used commercial yogurt preparations that are notoriously unhealthy; loaded with artificial sweeteners, colors, flavorings, and sugar. Most importantly, the vast majority of commercial yogurts have clinically insignificant levels of beneficial bacteria. Clearly, you would be far better off making your own yogurt from raw milk—especially if you're seeking to address depression through dietary interventions. 

 It's awesome to discover new ways to help us maintain mental health that doesn't include drugs or other more intensive treatments like, ECT.

Best of all, I found an independent blog about Chobani yogurt written by Trans Girl at the Cross, who gives a THUMBS UP, for Chobani and it's health benefits.

NewsMax points out FOUR Psychiatric benefits of eating yogurt. 

1. A French study in 2011 found that subjects who took probiotics for 30 days had reduced levels of 

2. Anxiety and depression may be relieved through probiotics, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, an osteopathic physician and alternative medicine advocate. He reports that altered brain function from probiotics was revealed in a four-week study by researchers at UCLA. 

Women in the study who ate yogurt had decreased activity in regions of the brain that control the processing of emotion and sensation when compared with control groups following magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, scans. The scans were taken after they were shown images of frightened or angry faces.

3. Improved memory was found in men who took a daily capsule of probiotics for a month, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University College Cork in Ireland. The study also found the men reported less stress and anxiety, The Guardian reported

The men’s stress levels and memories were tested when taking the probiotic capsules for a month and also when they took placebo for a month. Improvements in stress levels and memory were seen when taking the probiotics, according to Ted Dinan, the head of psychiatry at the college who led the study.

“When they were given these bacteria (probiotics) they were less anxious and their capacity to memorize material seemed to be enhanced,” Dinan told The Guardian.

4. Social anxiety may be relieved through probiotic-rich foods according to findings from a study of more than 700 students at the College of William and Mary, reported nutritionist and registered dietitian Cynthia Sass at Health.com

From Mental Health America, they give you tips on how to help celebrate and spread the news.

How Can You Participate?

As for me, I hope that I've been able to give you a unique perspective this year on Mental Health Month and new ways to help you be healthy.

Have a blessed day.

Vicki M Taylor

1 comment :

  1. You have worked nicely with your insights that make our work easy. The information you have provided is really factual and significant for us. Keep sharing these types of articles, Thank you.Drug Safety Specialist Online


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and post a comment.