On Food and Health
Archives: September 2004
Food For Thought
A consistent supply of good-for-you-food has always been the best policy, especially for growing children. With children of my own, I make sure that we know about everything they put in their mouths.
It is well established that foods have the capacity to alter a mood and behavior. Understanding how certain foods affect mood and behavior, and making nutritional choices accordingly, can help enhance the learning process and maintain a calm mood. You can make this happen through deliberate food choices that support steady energy levels while providing necessary hydration (water), protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
Water is essential. Natural, clean water is the best source. Water is a universal solvent that our body depends on to carry out the chemical reactions necessary for life. A minimally dehydrated individual will feel lethargic and less alert. Water taken often, throughout the day, will help you stay alert and keep your muscles functioning properly, making them less prone to injury. It will also help ferry toxins out. Keeping clear of metabolites or toxins is like keeping your home clear of garbage – everything moves about easier. Soda (sweetened or artificially sweetened) and/or alcoholic beverages are a poor source of hydration. Sugar-sweetened beverages (and non-caloric-sweetener-containing sodas) typically carry dissolved solids like sugar (or aspartame), acid, flavors, caffeine and coloring agents that create a burden for our internal organs. Caffeine stimulates the kidneys to produce urine, leading to further dehydration. Alcohol has the same effect. For clarity of mind and natural alertness, water or decaffeinated tea (un or moderately sweetened) is the best choice.