You are going to read a newspaper article about the influence of food on people's health and to answer the questions following it. Each question has 4 answers. Choose the one which you think fits best.
IS BROCCOLI THE NEW PROZAC?
Could our memory and ability to learn be affected by what we eat? That old saying: "We are what we eat", seems more pertinent than ever with a spate of research that suggests we may have to go no further in our search for brain power and happiness than our dinner plate. A study now being conducted by the Human Nutrition Department of the CSIRO is looking at how folates and other В vitamins found in green leafy vegetables can influence our moods and our ability to think and remember. "Folate is a vitamin that helps us feel good," says project leader Dr Janet Bryan. "People suffering depression often have low levels of folate, and people who have lower blood levels of folate and other В vitamins perform relatively poorly on tests of mental performance." Another recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology indicated that people who ate inadequately or missed meals experienced greater memory loss than those who ate regularly. Zinc, found in seafood, red meat, poultry and eggs, has also been found to affect the brain's performance.
And even much-maligned fat may be important in the pursuit of health and happiness. Research published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine suggests that low-fat diets can lead to depression. The research found that young women who had low levels of cholesterol displayed higher measures of depression and anxiety than those with normal or high cholesterol.
While these might be significant findings for the world of modern science, they are nothing new to the branch of medicine known variously as natural, alternative or complementary. Natural therapists have long insisted that a properly balanced diet is as essential for the healthy function of the mind as it is for the body.
To David Stelfox, director of the Melbourne College of Natural Medicine the idea that foods could affect the function of the brain is self-evident' Foods are cocktails of literally hundreds of chemicals which can have an effect on the human body, Stelfox says. "We know that certain foods affect the function of certain organs and body systems. The kidneys and urinary tract for instance are stimulated by foods such as watermelon parsley and celery. In the same way, some foods can affect our mental performance and moods. What we eat can determine whether we are anxious or relaxed, happy or depressed, alert or dull-headed." This explains why we turn to stodgy comfort food when we're feeling miserable, and why we were always told to eat fish before an exam. High-protein foods rev up our brains to tackle a difficult mental task.