Food & Mood

Feeling hungry can make even the best of us grumpy but there may be a larger connection between food and mood beyond feeling hangry! Numerous studies have shown that regular exercise and eating a balanced diet are key to preventing fatigue, stress and lessen your risk for anxiety. Current research at Tufts University is being conducted to study the connection between diet and mental health. Initial results show that highly processed foods and high refined carbohydrates have been linked to increased risk of anxiety and depression. However, diets with foods rich in whole grains, vegetables and omega-3s (such as the Mediterranean diet) have been linked to decreased risk of depression. The Mediterranean diet is also rich in folate, selenium and anti-oxidants, which have all been shown to have positive effects on not only mood but overall health.    

Startling Statistics

Smoking just one cigarette daily is associated with a “much greater than expected” increase in risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, researchers conclude in The BMJ.

In a meta-analysis, the researchers analyzed 141 prospective studies examining the association between smoking and CHD or stroke in millions of generally healthy people. Overall, compared with never-smoking, smoking one cigarette daily conferred significantly increased risks for both outcomes. Here are the findings based on the subset of studies that adjusted for multiple confounders (e.g., cholesterol, blood pressure):

  • Women who smoked 1 cigarette daily had a 119% increased risk for CHD and a 46% increased risk for stroke.
  • Men who smoked 1 cigarette daily had a 74% increased risk for CHD and a 30% increased risk for stroke.
  • The risk from smoking 1 cigarette daily was about half that from smoking 20 cigarettes daily.