In my book, Alkaline Diet Exposed: The Natural Way to Get Healthy and Lose Weight Fast, I emphasize the importance of enzymes for proper nutrition. Dr. George Watson from University of Southern California made a giant leap ahead by studying the relationship between mental diseases and nutrition. According to him, the mental illnesses are just the manifestation of a faulty metabolism and the main problem is the malfunctioning of the enzymatic systems, due to improper nutrition.
Depression, claustrophobia, violent behavior and 80% of the mental problems can be cured by changing the diet. This is indeed a radical approach, especially if we take into consideration that these figures come from actual patients of Dr. Watson. In their cases traditional psychotherapy failed.
So, how does this work?
The brain feeds only on glucose. It is a huge consumer, using up to 25% of the blood glucose. Other organs may use different sources of energy, not the brain. The brain needs a constant supply of glucose, otherwise issues will start to appear. Without glucose, the normal brain functions are immediately altered, the first sign of shortage being the loss of emotional control.
There are 3 sources of glucose in the body:
Foods rich in glucose such as fruits
Carbohydrates which are metabolized in glucose
Glycogen, released by the liver which metabolizes proteins and fats
Glycogen is like a glucose storage system. When the brain requires more glucose than the quantity available in the blood, the liver transforms the stored glycogen into glucose and releases it into the blood stream.
This process works extremely well, except when following diets low on carbohydrates. As any other organ, the liver needs fuel to work. That fuel is… guess what?… glucose, which is needed to metabolize glycogen. When the glucose level falls beyond a certain level (which usually happens on low-carb diets), the body is simply unable to process proteins and fats and use glycogen, leaving an important source of energy unused. As a result, the brain starves since it doesn’t have any source of energy left.
Low fat diets pose the same problem: when the blood sugar is exhausted, there are no other deposits which the body can use to provide glucose to the brain.
Since fats are a good source of energy, they shouldn’t be cut off completely. Fats pack more energy than sugar and can be metabolized faster than other foods, so they are an important element of a correct nutrition.
Most people on weight loss diets are afraid that fats are equal to body fat. This is true for unhealthy fats, like those coming from junk food. Good healthy fats include fish, nuts and seeds which are beneficial and should be part of a healthy nutrition. Another commonly encountered problem is poor food combining. To be properly metabolized, fats should never be consumed with proteins. For detailed information on food combining, you can download and study the Alkaline Diet Exposed Food Combining Chart.
Dr. Watson studied the relationship between low-fat diets and mental problems and proved beyond any doubt that poor nutrition has adverse effects on the normal functions of the brain. He even gives a typical example where violent behavior is associated with insufficient levels of vitamin B3 or niacin. No psychotherapy will cure such a patient, but Dr. Watson managed to do it just by changing the patient’s diet.
Since the brain is the main regulatory system of the body, great care should be taken to feed it properly. Radical diets may have short-time benefits such as quick weight loss, but on a long term they can do more harm than good. Furthermore, the diet is a healing tool, which can be a great instrument to cure a whole range of problems, both physical and mental.