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What you breathe is as important as what you eat

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Three indispensable factors for a healthy lifestyle

Terra secca

Clean air, water and food are essential to sustain life. What you eat and drink and the quality of the air you breathe are both crucial to our overall health. The food we eat is vital to our well-being: our diet provides the body with essential nutrients needed for proper functioning and growth. Food contains a variety of nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Each of these nutrients plays a specific role in maintaining vital bodily functions. Similarly, controlling the quality of the air we breathe is critical to protecting our health and the environments we live in every day. In fact, air pollution can have serious effects on the respiratory system. Exposure to fine dust, harmful chemicals and air pollutants can contribute to lung disease, asthma, bronchitis and other cardiovascular problems.

The effects on the psychological sphere

Formule scientifiche

Nutrition can have a significant impact on mental and physical health. For example, inordinate consumption of high-calorie foods can lead to weight gain, generating psychological distress and illness. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the consequences of malnutrition at different stages of adult life can also have a strong impact on the quality of psychological well-being of individuals. Based on these aspects, a greater understanding of the interactions between dietary regimen and physiological, psychological, and emotional aspects is imperative, and in particular what the effects of dietary style may be on anxiety behavior and vice versa.

Research on the link between pollution and mental health

Terra PIN

Long-term exposure to pollution can also negatively affect mental health.

New research conducted in Rome on a population of 1.7 million people between 2011 and 2019 shows that where the concentration of particulate matter in the air is higher, the likelihood of developing schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders increases. Although some studies had also suggested a possible link between long-term exposure to atmosefric pollution in cities and the development of psychiatric disorders, yet no research had yet studied this correlation on such a large number of people. For 8 years, people between 30 and 64 were the subject of the study coordinated by researcher Francesca Nobile, of the Department of Epidemiology of the Lazio Regional Health Service. Through the analysis of their medical records and prescriptions for their medications, it was found that the increase in 3 of the major air pollutants relevant to human health (Pm 2.5, NO2 and BC) is mainly associated with an increase in depression in the population that breathes them. The research is in line with previous studies examining the effects of short-term and long-term exposure to air pollution on mental health. Although the mechanisms linking air pollution to the nature of mental disorders are still being studied, some research has in fact suggested that particulate matter may affect the human brain through neuroinflammatory processes and cause neurodegenerative processes.