(NaturalNews) The word lithium frequently conjures images of catatonic psychiatric patients and side effects so severe that premature death is commonplace. But naturally occurring lithium is a far cry from pharmaceutical grades. Found in the soil, water and certain foods, it is an essential mineral for maintaining physical and mental health. When exposure is low, suicide rates, mental illness and violent crime increase.
Mental well-being influenced by trace mineral intake
Lithium has a long history of use in the treatment of mental disorders. However, it hasn't been until recently that scientists began exploring the psychiatric implications of naturally occurring lithium in the water supply.
As stated in the article, Foods Rich in Lithium And Lithium Supplements:
"Research suggests that locations with the highest concentration of lithium tend to have the lowest rates of depression and violent crime. These studies have been conducted across the globe in different climates with different natural habits and diets. Researchers have therefore concluded that this phenomenon is fairly universal."
A study in the United States agrees with these findings. According to Everything Addiction:
"In a 1990 study of 27 Texas counties, researchers found an "inverse association of tap water lithium content in areas of Texas with the rates of mental hospital admissions, suicides, homicides, and certain other crimes." It was also discovered that young men incarcerated for violent crimes in some parts of Texas had disproportionately low lithium levels. Schrauzer and Shrestha discovered that the negative correlation was confirmed," especially in the south-central region of the state where high suicide mortality rates correspond to low lithium concentrations."'
Another study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry had similar results. Researchers at Oita University examined the suicide rates in Japan's Oita prefecture. The team discovered that cities with higher levels of natural lithium in the public water supply had lower rates of suicide overall.
Boost lithium levels with food
Regardless of where you live, measures can be taken to ensure the body and nervous system have adequate levels of the mineral. Consuming foods rich in lithium is the safest way to obtain it. Since the mineral is found in water and soil, plants absorb it readily -- thereby, vegetables are an exceptional source. Cattle who graze on grasses will also produce milk containing trace amounts of lithium. Beef, sardines, eggs, tomatoes and cucumbers are good sources too. Other edibles that provide lithium include kelp, mustard seed, blue corn and pistachio nuts.
If suffering from depressive mind states, adding more of these foods to the diet may help soothe an agitated nervous system and brighten the mood without the dangers of pharmaceutical drugs.
About the author: Carolanne believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, she has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of green living for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people who share a similar vision.