Raena Morgan: Dr. Kohls, how does our environment affect our mental health? You say we live in a toxic environment, a lot of people would agree to that, but on lots of levels you say?
Dr. Gary Kohls: Oh, the poisonous stuff that's in the environment is just massive. A good example that I use, a metaphor is that we're all down stream from some toxic industry that's contaminating our water supply. We're all down wind from some smoke stack that's contaminating the air. We all go to grocery stores that have additives and hormones and pesticides and flavor enhancers that are contaminating the food supply. We're spraying herbicides and pesticides on all the non-organic farms and that gets into food, gets into the food chain. Things like DDT and PCBs never lose their power, they're toxic...
Morgan: They don't break down.
Kohls: The don't break down, so they're staying in the supply, the soil. So the soil is contaminated. And then...
Morgan: How does that affect our mental health?
Kohls: Yes, when we eat that or breath that or swallow that in the water or the air or the food, or through our skin. Chlorine goes through the skin when we shower or when we bathe when the water is chlorinated. That gets in the blood stream then and the blood goes to the brain, goes to the liver, goes everywhere. So poisons, drugs, whatever, healthy things are in the blood as well. But the poisons affect the cells of every single cell in the body. And the stuff that goes to the brain is making that brain different as well, in toxic ways, in poisonous ways. So we live in a toxic, just chemically toxic environment.
And when our nutrition is also inadequate, eating depleted food. You know the food we eat is not as healthy as it was when I grew up. We had a back yard garden and all the food was organic. You couldn't find toxic food when I grew up. My brain, your brain hopefully developed on healthy food. And everything in our brain comes from what we eat. And if it's good stuff, the brain will be healthier than if there's bad stuff, so there's that balance.
Morgan: Well people used to believe that you didn't need to take supplements as long as you ate a healthy diet. But there aren't a lot of healthy foods around.
Kohls: Excellent point, yeah. So when we're eating depleted food that's on the grocery stores, and it tastes good and it smells good and it's colorful, all these things that make us salivate and wanting to eat more because its got MSG in it or Nutrasweet or Splenda or some synthetic chemical. We're seduced into thinking this is healthy for is where its not. So the food, now which is more factory farmed now, so most of the animals, whose meat we eat, are eating off things that are not natural in the environment. They're eating corn which isn't... what pasture fed animals, didn't used to have corn. And there's nutritional deficiencies in that kind of diet. So the pigs and the chickens and the cows are eating corn now which isn't natural to them. And so the meat that we're eating from them is now depleted in certain amino acids and other things. So if we're eating depleted food and we're feeding that to our little children their brains are not going to be as good as they should be. And therefore they're neurologically different and therefore they're psychologically different.
Morgan: How do we protect ourselves from the environment?
Kohls: Yes, and you mentioned the nutritional supplements, I think are essential. Unless we're eating organic food totally, paying a lot of attention to ingesting the vitamins and the minerals that are natural in healthy food, if we're not eating wholly organic, then we need to be supplementing that with certain supplements. Amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil, flax seed oil, etcetera. And minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that help detoxify. So we're all probably starving. We're all eating nutritionally depleted food and then its toxic on top of that. That affects our brains.
Morgan: Thank you doctor Kohls.
Kohls: You're welcome.
How much does our environment play a role in not only our physical health, but our mental health as well? Dr. Gary Kohls talks about connections that you've likely never known of and how what you smell, taste and breathe every day can affect your mental health.
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