A new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry shows that children who experience malnutrition exhibit strikingly increased behavioral disorders and aggressive behavior as they grow older. The study looked at children between the ages of eight and 17 years, and found some rather shocking statistics about their behaviors.
Children who suffered certain nutritional deficiencies demonstrated a shocking 41% increase in aggression at age eight. At age 17, they demonstrated a 51% increase in violent and antisocial behaviors. And the only difference is their diet. It’s all about the foods they were eating and the nutrients they were missing.
What specific nutrients were missing from their diets? Four primary nutrients were tried in the study: Zinc, iron, B vitamins and protein. Malnourished children weren’t getting crucial minerals like zinc and iron, and they weren’t getting the B vitamins they needed to develop healthy nervous systems. And a healthy nervous system is a prerequisite for mental and emotional health and stability.
Now let’s talk about these nutrients in a little more detail and explore why these nutritional deficiencies are so widespread. Zinc is perhaps the single most common nutritional deficiency in the American population. Estimates are that more than 80% of the population is deficient in zinc. As a result of that deficiency, people’s immune systems are impaired, they’re not able to resist infectious diseases such as influenza, they’re not able to heal their wounds as quickly and they’re not able to recover from surgical procedures as quickly as they could if they had zinc. It also affects fetal development in pregnant women and impairs neurological function.
And yet zinc is cheap! It only costs a few pennies a day to supplement our diets with zinc. In fact, it’s one of the least expensive supplements you can get. But in our country we still have widespread chronic deficiencies. And as we’re seeing in studies like this, our zinc deficiency is leading to – let’s say it bluntly – criminals.
Why do we have so many criminals in this country? Because so many of them are raised with nutritional imbalances which then distort their mental function, their mood, their response to stress and their ability to be successful in modern society. At least those are major contributing factors.
At the same time we have B-vitamin deficiencies, which is interesting because so many of the popular food products sold in grocery stores all over the country and around the world actually deplete the body of B vitamins. The two most common ingredients in our foods seem to be white flour and sugar. It’s hard to find any product in the grocery store, it seems, that isn’t made with flour or some form of added sugars, whether it’s sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose or just plain sugar. These two ingredients are both highly refined ingredients, and they tend to strip away nutrients from the bodies of people who consume them. For example, when a person eats a donut, that donut contains both white flour and added sugars, which deplete the body of B vitamins, causing deficiencies. And it is these deficiencies that lead to antisocial behavior, aggressive behavior and ultimately criminal behavior – especially among males.
Another dietary factor in these behavioral disorders, it turns out, is a lack of quality protein. People aren’t getting high quality protein because they think the only place to get protein is from beef and red meat, when in fact superfoods like spirulina offer much higher quality protein. Soy and rice proteins are also much higher quality proteins. In fact, there are many plant proteins that are actually healthier proteins for human beings, but are not being adequately consumed by the American population. People tend to turn to meat and milk, and those are in my opinion the worst sources of protein if you wish to maintain long-term health.