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What are biologically integrating foods and why are they important to mood state (A Wellness-Series, part II)_

Author: Philip A. Croatan

Author Affiliations: University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Troy University, A. T. Still, University, University of San Diego


          Food has biological value and when nutrient-mineral balance is adversely affected, the impact extends beyond physical well-being and into the realm of mental health. Both quantity and quality of food are variables of food security. However, it is rare that insecure access to food is determined by either variable exclusively. Socio-economic status and thus access to resources play significant roles in health status relative to food security per person; nevertheless the solution is often found in manipulating what can be controlled (Meek, Weaver, Hadley, 2014).  Naturally occurring foods are innately designed of a genetic structure compatible with the human body to yield species chemistries. Foods that promote wellness are generally regarded as “healthy,” while the opposite as adverse to health status. The first are what we will refer to as biologically integrating foods. The more immediate use of metabolic components towards optimal function, lower activation point, and minimal waste, the greater efficiency of biological integration. In essence, the accumulation and retention of biological waste byproduct at a greater rate than metabolic breakdown and excretion create a disease-environment. The body must rid itself of waste perturbates to maintain internal balance with readily available genetic parts. The social implications of greater prevalence of food insecurity amongst young people in the US demonstrated positive correlations with greater ideation of suicide and dysthymic temperament (Meek, Weaver, Hadley, 2014).

          The goal is to equip you with information to ensure a cleared pathway to informed and intentional decision making. So, let’s discuss how to identify biologically integrating foods and how they immediately begin acting in the body and stimulating hormonal secretions, yes? Simplify. What is deduced to its simplest form is most balanced. The differentiation of a cow’s milk to human milk is too great to integrate efficiently, thus evidence indicates that dairy components that alter mitochondrial function promote gut microbial population shifts, gastrointestinal distress, and influence inflammation. It is not that the human digestive system is not intelligent enough to metabolize the cow’s milk well, simply its efficiency is low comparatively (Hirahatake et al, 2014). When broken into smaller metabolites, the efficiency of integration increases proportionally with its simplicity, or genetic likeness. When dietary protocol is observed as it relates to the risk and prevention of metabolic syndrome, researchers identify molecular trends in groups such as vegetables and fruit. A cross-section study completed by the Italian Diabetes Society identified four major molecular patterns relative to the increased risk of metabolic syndrome by a factor analysis: “fresh fruit pattern (FFP),” “vegetable pattern  (VP),” “dried fruit and cruciferous vegetable pattern (DC),” and “potatoes and fruit juice pattern (PJ).” Across populations of varying socioeconomic statuses, VP and FFP consistently demonstrated negative correlation with the increased risk to metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease. Well hydrated, calorie dense (weight relative to energy), photosynthetic (rich green pigment), and mineral yielding foods are generally found in these two food groups and support the basic functions of the human system. Start with the basics, intentionally create the genetic chemistry, adapt, repeat.


Hirahatake, K. M., Slavin, J. L., Maki, K. C., & Adams, S. H. (2014). Associations between dairy foods, diabetes, and metabolic health: Potential mechanisms and futuredirections. Metabolism May, 63(5), 618-627. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2014.02.009

Mirmian, P., Bakhshi, B., Hosseinpour, S., Sarbazi, N., Hejazi, J., & Azizi, F. (2020). Does the association between patterns of fruit and vegetables and metabolic syndrome incidence vary according to lifestyle factors and socioeconomic status? Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 30(8), 1322-1336. doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2020.04.008

Weaver, L. J., Meek, D., & Hadley, C. (2014). EXPLORING THE ROLE OF CULTURE IN THE LINK BETWEEN MENTAL HEALTH AND FOOD INSECURITY: A CASE STUDY FROM BRAZIL. Annals of Anthropological Practice, 38(2), 250-26