Next week (13 - 19th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. Why is it so important to raise awareness of mental health? Mental health problems are extremely common - it is estimated that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives and depression is the leading cause of disability in the world. But even though so many people are affected, there is still a strong social stigma attached to mental illness and many of us still view these illnesses as a weakness or a personal failure. Sadly, according to The Mental Health Foundation, nearly nine out of ten people with mental health problems say that stigma and discrimination have a negative effect on their lives.
We were inspired to start Smart Infused Füd, brain boosting food, because our founder’s families have all suffered from mental health issues. We believe that modern society places particular pressure on our children and that we need to teach our children about mental health. The pressures of social media have brought on unprecedented levels of narcissistic personality disorders for children and the constant invite to compare their lives to others has even resulted in the highest rate of childhood suicide on record. Add to that exam pressures even at primary school and the economic need for both parents to work to sustain lifestyles and we see this next generation and wonder where their childhood has gone.
We also believe that real food can help support mental and emotional wellbeing. And that is why we have created Smart Infused Füd to be nutrient dense with vitamins and minerals such as Omega 3, Vitamin D and B Vitamins that are knows to support with cognitive development and support the nervous system.
Recently we have been really focussing on the importance of Omega 3 in mental wellbeing and Georgie, our director chef of all things yummy, has been in our kitchen putting the final touches to fish pie recipe. They have been super brain boosted and contain no less than 8 vegetables.
Omega 3 fatty acids are made up EPA, DHA and ALA. EPA & DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) are mostly found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel & sardines. ALA is found in full fat dairy (organic dairy products contain the highest level of Omega 3), flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts. As the human body is not efficient at synthesizing Omega 3 fatty acids, we are largely dependent on getting them from our diet. Therefore, it is important we are eating a sufficient amount regularly to support our needs.
Our Smart Infused Nutritional Therapist Jo says “Without question the Omega 3 fatty acid DHA is the most well researched nutrient for supporting brain and cognitive function. DHA is the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in cell membranes in our brains, and are therefore vital for normal brain function, development, memory and mood. Low dietary intake may result in deficits in brain function & cognition. Dietary deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids in humans has been associated with increased risk of several mental disorders, including attention-deficit disorder, dyslexia, dementia, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia”