November 26th, 2018
Mediterranean diet is associated with improved grades for teenagers in Spain. These are the take home points from a study published in Acta Paediatrica by Dr. Adelantado-Renau this year.
The group looked at the effects of a Mediterranean diet on 269 thirteen year old teenagers as it related to sleep duration, quality and final test scores over a semester at school.
Directly from the citation: Greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with higher scores in language, core subjects,
grade point average and verbal ability. Sleep quality acted as a significant mediator of the association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and final grades in maths, language, core subjects and the grade point average.
The researchers believe that most of the gains are from sleep benefits on brain activity which parallels data from previous newsletters on sleep and memory formation. (see old letters below)
I believe that this data set is a statement of as much as what is in the diet as what is removed from it by avoiding processed food that is chemical and refined carbohydrate laden. Our brain starves for healthy fats, minerals like iron, zinc, choline and magnesium as well as vitamins A, B, C, D and E. These nutrients are loaded in the anti-inflammatory Mediterranean diet and scarcely present in the standard Western diet that most people consume. This is all the more reason that we should be screaming at Congress to change the Farm Bill to allow the 66% of many American school children's dietary intake to be Mediterranean like and not the current garbage that they receive.
Think about a public school that feeds children Mediterranean style food, cleans out the stagnant air three times daily, provides teachers with assistants to handle the large class, goes back to hand writing and reading on plain paper until 8th grade(they should have a daily computer lab), lets the children play outside daily, stops parents and buses from idling in the school yard, etc.. What a place of learning that would be! My dream until I die!
This is not the first time data such as this has come out. Much like the Pollution Detectives work, we have truth by science and frank common sense. We really did not need a study to prove this. We know what to do. What we do not have is a government for the children that would put our taxpayer dollars towards these causes. It is unfortunately as simple as that.
I regret to say such things only because they exist where common sense dictates that no reasonable society would allow it to be so.
Sleep and eat well,
Adelantado-Renau Acta Pediatrica Study
Linus Pauling Institute
Sleep and Memory Newsletter
Sleep and Teens Newsletter
Sleep and Valerian Newsletter