Friday, January 4, 2013

Bangin' Bird Food makes you Mentally Strong and Mentally Well

Remember my Bangin' Bird Food = Bangin' Brain Food post about how bangin' bird food has a powerful effect on your mind?  Here is just a little more food for thought.  Pun intended.

Photo Credit: Twisted Sifter
This incredible artwork was created by Chilean artist, Oscar Ramos.  The man is a beast of an artist but more importantly, he actually produced this amazing work specifically for a campaign in Chile to encourage healthy eating and lifestyles.  That's bangin'!

This dose of knowledge comes from one of my favorite easy access, quick summary and current with the times sources Science Daily.   These articles highlight one very important idea...the effect of bird food on your brain.  Bird food appears to build your willpower and well-being, significantly.  I'm down with that.

Photo Credit: Family Medical Group

In a paper from the journal, Nicotine and Tobacco Research, researchers conducting a longitudinal study discovered some really interesting stuff.  The study conducted was actually the first of its kind to look at the connection between plant consumption and smoking cessation.  Can eating more fruits and veggies actually help you kick smoking to the curb?  Here is what they found:  

"Smokers who consumed the most fruit and vegetables were three times more likely to be tobacco-free for 30 days...than those consuming the lowest amount of fruits and vegetable"

Photo Credit: DevianART

30 days!  Goodness.  Long-time smokers can hardly last several hours without smoking.  Cravings are intense.  Like they want to smack you of they can't find a cigarette kind of cravings.  And they lasted 30 days!  That's more than pretty cool, that's absolutely amazing stuff.  Buuuuuut is that really something to get hype about?  Is that observation really telling us something profound about plant power?   Maybe the individuals who were eating more fruits and veggies were just more health-minded, which could be an indication of them possessing more willpower, or they just naturally liked fruits and veggies more?  Well, they controlled for health orientation in addition to other factors (gender, race, age, education, etc).  Here is a little more data for ya:

"They also found that smokers with higher fruit and vegetable consumption, smoked FEWER cigarettes per day, waited LONGER to smoke their first cigarette of the day and scored LOWER on the common test of nicotine dependence."

Photo Caption: Breaking Muscle

Now, that part is no joke.  Nicotine dependence is the addiction to nicotine: how badly the body desires to have nicotine swirling around in the blood supply.  Now this measurement was noted to be LOWER in those who were consuming higher amount of fruits and veggies.  I was really intrigued by the reasoning given for these observations.  Jeffrey P. Haibach, the first author on the paper, stated:

"It is possible that fruits and vegetables give people more of a feeling of satiety and fullness so that they feel less of a need to smoke, since smokers sometimes confuse hunger with an urge to smoke.  Foods like fruit and vegetables may actually WORSEN the taste of cigarettes."  

So G!   This approach could be incorporated in smoking cessation programs to facilitate, improve and maintain some serious success rates. 

More of Oscar Ramos's Amazingness

Another article by Science Daily talked about the link between high fruit and vegetable intake and a high level of well-being.  Researchers at Warwick University studying the eating habits of 80,000 British residents found a positive correlation between the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed daily and mental well-being.  As the amount of plants consumed increased, so did the mental well-being.  Well-being was found to be HIGHEST with an intake of seven daily portions.  One particular quote caught my attention.  In a press release by Warwick University, Sarah Stewart-Brown, co-author of the study stated, "The statistical power of fruit and vegetables was a surprise.  Diet has traditionally been ignored by well-being researchers."

Whoa!  The more plants you eat, the better you feel and the more likely you will be able to kick a bad habit like smoking...and with what we know about the importance of diet, it has largely been ignored in the past.  Interesting.   I wouldn't be surprised if this would be the case for many other bad habits since consuming a diet HIGH in fruits and veggies is known to increase mental clarity on a whole.  

Photo Credit: Yours Truly

Can you buy that? well as more fruits and veggies to fill your fridge with life and goodness?   :)
Even if you can't completely buy it, rest your life on it, be a ride or die for it, I think this is information that definitely cannot be ignored.

Thank you for reading!  My people, I appreciate you all so much.  Be happy and healthy.  Ciao!

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