Thought for Food Blog

Gut Feelings: The gut-brain axis and mental health

Posted by Chris Cattini

01-Sep-2017 12:12:02

Our second brain

We have a second brain in our guts. Known as the enteric nervous system, it consists of a mesh-like network of around 100 million neurons lining the entire gastrointestinal tract. These neurons include a range of cell types operating via a complex system of circuitry largely independent of the central nervous system.

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Topics: zinc, sleep, fish, cereals, seafood, bacteria, fruit, vegetables, eggs, fibre, soy, meat, dairy, immune system, amino acids, neuroscience, fatty acids, nuts, tryptophan, gut health, cognitive function, mental health, central nervous system, fermented foods, supplements

Water - much more than H2O

Posted by Chris Cattini

04-Aug-2016 16:15:36

These days, most people carry a drink with them wherever they go. Every food shop, however small, has a fridge packed with bottled beverages. Some people drink large quantities of sugary soft drinks, others can’t get through the day without copious quantities of coffee, and tea drinkers are happy to respond to recent experimental evidence that suggests tea is a healthy source of liquid sustenance for the human body. However, for purposes of hydration, the most popular choice is water.

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Topics: food quality, fluoride, packaging, salt, nutrients, bacteria, pathogens, magnesium, contaminants, water, retail and marketing, calcium, vitamins and minerals, bone health, cognitive function, central nervous system

Iodine Deficiency and the Developing Brain

Posted by Naomi McGrath

02-Mar-2015 14:45:00

It is estimated that around 2 billion people worldwide may have an insufficient intake of iodine. Iodine is essential for the synthesis of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3), and there is increasing evidence for its importance in the early growth and development of many organs, including the brain and central nervous system.

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Topics: organic, salt, seafood, nutrients, pregnancy, iodine, thyroid, eggs, dairy, vitamins and minerals, hormones, cognitive function, central nervous system, supplements

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Posted by Chris Cattini

30-Nov-2014 12:16:00

Christmas means different things to different people. For children, of course, it means presents and the magic of the festive season, for the spiritual, it’s a time for prayer and reflection and for the exhausted, it’s an opportunity to hibernate and watch all the box sets that have accumulated during the year. 

But most of us have one thing in common. The festive season gives us an excuse to stuff our faces with as much food as we possibly can. Some of this food is ok. Turkey and sprouts, for example, are fine, upstanding healthy foods. But a great deal of our yuletide intake consists of sugary and salty snacks that at best make us put on weight and at worst may lead to one or more of the various unpleasant conditions that come under the umbrella of the metabolic syndrome. And because it’s Christmas, we allow ourselves to eat both good and bad food in humungous quantities. 

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Topics: caffeine, Christmas, saturated fat, protein, sugar and substitutes, hormones, appetite and satiety, central nervous system

Heavy Metals in the Food Chain: Could They Be Harming Your Health?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

14-Nov-2014 15:59:00

Heavy metals are natural components of the earth’s crust; however, certain activities of mankind, such as mining and smelting, have led to them becoming concentrated in the environment, in some areas reaching potentially harmful levels. Other sources such as vehicle emissions, industrial waste and fertilizers also contribute to the accumulation of heavy metals in the soil, atmosphere and surface water.

Heavy metals can be severely detrimental to the human body, having toxic and carcinogenic effects and causing the oxidative deterioration of biological macromolecules. The various metals have been implicated in the development of many diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and several forms of cancer.

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Topics: omega-3, rice, fish, copper, cancer, arsenic, cereals, seafood, diabetes, vegetables, pregnancy, agriculture, toxins, regulations and guidance, contaminants, water, cognitive function, central nervous system

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