Eat your way to happiness!

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.

Eat your way to happiness!

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:19 am

WOT! I hear you say?
Indeed, its a provocative title. After reading the article, below, I would like to know your thoughts. Particularly in regard to the nexis of of diet, mental health, happiness, and bhavana (mental cultivation).



Eat your way to happiness

March 24, 2011 - 11:22AM


You are what you eat ... and it affects how you feel as well, study finds.

We are what we eat, they say - and according to the experts, how we feel is what we eat, too.

When we fill our system with the wrong foods - things we love and crave like refined sugars - it inflames our body and assaults our immune system, affecting our hormones and leaving us vulnerable to common and disabling illnesses such as depression.

It's enough to make you grab a slab of chocolate.

Advertisement: Story continues below Chronic bad eating is something you have to kick if you want good mental health.

A recent Australian study is the first in the world to show an association between diet quality and the likelihood of having clinical depression or an anxiety disorder.

Carried out by Deakin University research fellow Dr Felice Jacka, the study tested more than 1000 women from a cross-section of Australian society and found the women who followed the national dietary guidelines were less likely to have depression or anxiety.

"And conversely, women who mostly ate junk and processed foods were more likely to have depression and exhibit increased psychological symptoms," Dr Jacka explains.

The relationship between diet quality and mental health existed over and above the women's socio-economic status, education, how much they exercised, whether they smoked or their physical illnesses, such as obesity.

The importance of the study's findings is in providing an opportunity to prevent depression before it starts, says Dr Jacka.

But can a better diet actually improve bad mental health? The science is out on that one.

"That's the $64 million question," says Dr Jacka.

"No one has tested that hypothesis anywhere in the world, but we are seeking research funding to address that question."

At a time when depression is set to become the second most common cause of disability by 2020 after cardiovascular disease, according to the World Health Organisation, the time to act to prevent depression is now.

Sydney naturopath Karen Morris believes that diet can help ease the symptoms of depression, but not on its own. She recommends we eat five small meals a day made up of the following food groups, which also match the national dietary guidelines.

A MENTALLY HEALTHY DIET

LEAN PROTEIN - fish, chicken, red meat, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds.

DAIRY - yoghurt, milk and cheese, low-fat preferred such as feta or skim-milk cheeses.

VEGETABLES - particularly greens.

FRUIT - "Fruit is great as it's high in fibre and anti-oxidants," says Morris, but she advises to limit fruit intake to two per day as too much of the fruit sugar fructose can push up your blood sugar levels, before they drop you down and give you the blues.

COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES - wholegrains, such as oats, brown rice and wholegrain cereals, with a low glycemic index (GI), release insulin slowly, allowing them to break down slowly without a spike in blood sugar levels, explains Morris. "Stable blood sugar levels help stabilise hormone levels."

OTHER TIPS

SUPPLEMENTS

Although there are different views on the value of supplements, Omega-3, zinc magnesium and folates, also provided through a healthy diet, are sometimes recommended to boost the immune system.

AVOID

SATURATED FATS - this means animal fat, butter, wholemilk, cream.

REFINED SUGARS - these include most white foods such as white breads, pasta, white sugar and pretty well covers the foods that give our lives a big fat hit - chocolates, soft drinks, biscuits, pizza, pies, ice cream, cakes and lollies.

-- http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/well ... 1c7i7.html
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16314
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby alan » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:25 am

Basic stuff. Should be taught in grade school.
Except...saturated fats. They are good for you.
alan
 
Posts: 2604
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:39 am

Hi alan,
alan wrote:Except...saturated fats. They are good for you.

I guess it depends on the quantity, frequency and how its balanced wih other nutrients. But my guess is that most people in western countries are overnourished. Just my opinion though.
kind regars

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16314
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby alan » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:59 am

Coconut oil. Try it. It is good for you. I promise!
alan
 
Posts: 2604
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:12 am

Thanks alan. I love coconut and my first thought is - well if its like coconut milk or coconut cream, i'll just put it on as more weight. I've given dairy the flick for the same reason. Replaced cow's milk with soy or rice milk (except in coffee), and occassionally a little cheese. Anyway, I look forward to findng out more about coconut oil.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16314
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:18 am

Without even worrying about the details of the recommended diet, I think you've got to ask the chicken-and-egg questions.
People who care about themselves and respect the need to look after themselves are, surely, far more likely to have a healthy diet to begin with than people with low self-esteem.
Likewise, smart, hard-working people are financially better able to look after themselves and are more likely to come across good dietary advice and good role models than (let's be blunt) dumb, lazy people.
So ... which factors are causes and which are effects? Or is it just one big snarl of problems for some people, spiralling down into poverty, illness and depression and (legal and illegal) drug abuse?
If you look at the people turning up at Casualty at your local hospital for non-accident reasons, you would certainly be inclined to come to that conclusion.
:namaste:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3196
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:27 am

I'm curious as to the effects of diet on mental health. I think a study that looked at that would be really interesting. And if I were a betting man I would be inclined to go with the notion that mental health and diet are co-dependent, they condition the other. And having worked in major public hospitals in Melbourne I can attest that those attending Casualty for non-trauma related conditions are predominantly the result of socio-economic and lifestyle factors.

I'm also interested, as a practitioner, in the idea of 'happiness' being equated with how one feels, rather than in the Buddhist sense of happiness (supramundane) coming from the eradication of our defilements and the realization of nibbana where (vedanas: sensations) and emotions: sankharas are absent. And as a practitioner, I guess I am also interested in where mundane happiness (being equated here as physical and mental wellbeing) fits with other practitioners in their daily lives. How important it is to them and what they do.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16314
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby Fede » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:40 am

Well, since giving up 2/4-leg meat (I still eat fish) I've noticed health benefits.

I have an affliction (I hirple) and it's caused by damage to my sciatic nerve, which is non-functional in parts, down my left leg.
The result has been that I have been prone to getting debilitating cramp attacks at night - I mean, really intense, painful attacks that used to keep me awake for half the night.

I had to have a prescription drug containing quinine, which did much to ease the symptoms, but I still got the attacks now and then.

Since cutting out meat - I haven't had an intense attack at all.
Occasionally, my foot's complained and cramped up, but it's passed relatively quickly, and the pain is infinitely more bearable.
I can also walk further, and my legs don't get so tired....

I've also lost some weight, and generally really feel far less....'clogged' than before.

Edited to add:

Mens sana corpore sano.

healthy Mind - healthy body.

The chinese, in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) have always maintained an unbreakable connection [between Mind and body] in their medical practice. They absolutely refute any idea of separation, and have always taken it for granted that whatever goes on in *here* (taps head) always affects - and is always affected by - what goes on in *here* (taps body). Having studied TCM, I can vouch for this, and am in complete agreement.

Strange that it's only now that Dieticians, scientists and medical experts are coming up with all these novel and ground-breaking ideas, when in the Orient and East, it's been a de facto practice for millennia.....
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:04 am

I'm eating my way to happiness with a left over candy-cane from Christmas.

Mmmm... minty.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14784
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby Fede » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:10 am

Christmas was, like.... 3 months ago!

Eeeew...don't tell me...you found a sticky bit under the sofa......??

I trust the dogs didn't find it first...... :mrgreen:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby PeterB » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:49 am

In the movie Sleeper the character played by Woody Allen has been cryogenically frozen for a century.
When revived he announces that he is going to find his friends.
It is explained to him that all his friends will be dead.
"But" he wails, "they all ate brown rice and organic vegetables ! "
PeterB
 
Posts: 3907
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:42 am

Ben wrote:I'm also interested, as a practitioner, in the idea of 'happiness' being equated with how one feels, rather than in the Buddhist sense of happiness (supramundane) coming from the eradication of our defilements and the realization of nibbana where (vedanas: sensations) and emotions: sankharas are absent. And as a practitioner, I guess I am also interested in where mundane happiness (being equated here as physical and mental wellbeing) fits with other practitioners in their daily lives. How important it is to them and what they do.
kind regards

Ben

Hi, Ben,
Just speaking for myself ...
Physical and mental wellbeing support each other - either one of them is easier to achieve if the other is okay.
I feel that my practice (inconsistent though it is :embarassed: ) has contributed to a more stable, positive mental state over the last, say, five years and thereby contributed to greater physical wellbeing.
I can't bear to "take exercise" just for the sake of fitness (too boring and time-consuming) but I do consciously build physical activity into my weekly routines - e.g. making sure I do play some sport every week - and that, in turn, assists my mental wellbeing.
Food? Just about anything, but in moderation, and not much junk food/snacks/sweet stuff at all.
:namaste:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3196
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:51 pm

alan wrote:Basic stuff. Should be taught in grade school.
Except...saturated fats. They are good for you.


My father ate a very moderate diet which included saturated fat.

In February he went to his doctor complaining of mild exhaustion and some slight chest pains. He thought it was his acid reflux issue ( heartburn ) coming back to haunt him. He was sent home to pack his things before checking into a local hospital. All of the arteries that fed his heart were nearly completely blocked. He could have died at any moment. A week later he had triple bypass surgery.

You know that old saying about the difference between thinking about something and actually being there to experience it?

It is true.

It is really something to be told by surgeons that they cracked your father's chest open and temporarily removed your father's heart from his body. It is really something to see the long massive mound on your fathers sternum where they cut through his bone to get to his heart.

To my knowledge the only people who claim that saturated fat is good for you are two nutritionists from the Weston Price Foundation( promotes animals foods, funded by ranchers ), the late Dr. Atkins ( who had heart disease when he died ) and some quack popular diet book authors without any education in what they write about. On the opposite side of the issue is over 50 years of medical research and almost every medical professional advising people to reduce the saturated fat in their diets as much as possible.

I mean no offense to you, but I think your idea that saturated fat is good for you is a dangerous idea.

No disrespect.
Last edited by Jhana4 on Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
Jhana4
 
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:53 pm

I don't think the idea that eating well contributes to happiness is all that radical and already has a lot of basis in fact.

I think all of us of had the experience of eating poorly for a stretch of time, eating better and noticing the difference in our moods. A good diet can help us avoid many diseases that bring a lot of misery.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
Jhana4
 
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby Su Dongpo » Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:32 pm

I am eating well* and I am happy.

Chicken and egg? I avoid both. :smile:

Fresh fruit, fresh green veggies, fresh air, sunshine and moderate exercise.

You can't go so very wrong this way...

Best wishes,
Su Dongpo

*I have an ongoing addiction to Diet/Coke Zero, but other than that... :thinking:
User avatar
Su Dongpo
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:29 am

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby chownah » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:37 pm

One diet does not fit all....each person will do best by finding out what foods and quantities are best for them.....I guess....maybe not....maybe we should ignore our experience and just mindlessly follow some diet that someone else says we should eat....
chownah
chownah
 
Posts: 2949
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:52 pm

100% percent true. Whole wheat bread is a health food for some people, but a trip to the hospital for someone with celiac disease. On the other hand, many things from medical research concerning nutrition and health apply to everyone.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
Jhana4
 
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby Bodhisurfer » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:42 pm

I'd be very interested to see some 'proof' but I've long been a beleiver that diet plays a very important part in ones physical and mental health. Didnt the Buddha himself have to start eating properly again to regain the strength to pursue Nibbana :buddha1:
Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya
User avatar
Bodhisurfer
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:23 pm
Location: Cornwall, England

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby PeterB » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:47 pm

No...he just had to start eating again. He had been on a prolonged fast.
What he actually ate was sweet rice...loaded with curds ! And jaggery sugar !
So neither vegan nor health food...And he described the strength coming back to his limbs.
Last edited by PeterB on Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
PeterB
 
Posts: 3907
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Eat your way to happiness!

Postby Fede » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:53 pm

Bodhisurfer wrote:I'd be very interested to see some 'proof' but I've long been a beleiver that diet plays a very important part in ones physical and mental health. Didnt the Buddha himself have to start eating properly again to regain the strength to pursue Nibbana :buddha1:


As I understand it, the Buddha went to extremes, depriving himself of all and any extraneous 'adornment', including food, which he felt might have been a distraction to him, and diverted him from his path and quest - but he realised that this really, was just as bad as going to excess, and did nothing to either enhance or improve his concentration and determination - so he resumed eating, but gently....
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Next

Return to Wellness, Diet & Fitness

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests