Kathleen Berry-Hebert, Licensed Specialist (LSSP) and Nationally Certified (NCSP) School Psychologist devotes herself to the education of children, ranging from birth to age 21.  Kathleen majored in Psychology and obtained her Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge and continued on to earn her Masters in Psychology from the University of Houston at Clear Lake.  After spending much of her time in the field of Psychology both school and research, Berry-Hebert discovered that nutrition plays a critical role in the mental, emotional and physical well-being of an individual.  Clinical nutrition has become a passion of Kathleen’s.

Clinical Nutrition refers to promotion of health and disease prevention through the role of nutrition.  Nutrition in the clinical sense has gained popularity in the past few decades.  Food is our fuel; food gives us energy.  The different types of fuel yield different types of energy.  Some enhance our ability to perform, physically and mentally while others inhibit us from functioning well.

The change in food production over the years calls for a shift in our diets in order for us, as consumers, to be sure we consume all the necessary vitamins and nutrients we need to be healthy.  Iodine and magnesium deficiencies are most common.  96% of the population is deficient in these nutrients.  One reason could be that we no longer get these nutrients from soil.  In the past, bread was fortified with iodine, magnesium, and nickel.  This change has caused iron and magnesium deficiencies.  Iodine is a trace mineral that has a large impact on our health.  A deficiency in iodine has a direct effect on the thyroid hormone, the hormone that is crucial for our metabolism to function well.  Symptoms of an iron deficiency include weight gain, fatigue, elevated blood lipids, hair loss, and dry skin, loss of libido, infertility, enlarged thyroid gland, and even cretinism.  Cretinism is an iodine deficiency during pregnancy, which often results in abnormal neurodevelopment and lowered IQ in the child by as much as thirteen [13] points.  Iodine is found in seafood, seaweed, pastured egg yolks, and supplements.  Boiled seafood looses most iodine content and frying retains the most. Grilled seafood retains a middle amount.

Low intake of magnesium has been linked to type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, asthma, colon cancer, and metabolic syndrome.  Symptoms of a magnesium deficiency include insulin resistance, constipation, migraines, cramping, hypertension, fibromyalgia, and restless leg syndrome.  Lack of magnesium in the soil in addition to the drinking water and lack of magnesium-rich foods in one’s diet all contribute to magnesium deficiencies.  Magnesium can be found in leafy greens such as kale, swiss chard and spinach, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, espresso, mineral water- particularly Gerolsteiner, halibut, and in supplements.

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It can be very empowering when one comes to fruition that the food one eats has such an impact on one’s personal health.  We hold the power.  Kathleen Berry-Hebert finds this fascinating.