A Psychiatrist Explains How Food Impacts Your Mental Health

When the term “brain food” comes to mind—no pun intended—chances are you maybe never considered how exactly nutrition can impact your life. Sure, eating vitamins is great and all, but nutrient-dense food can provide a whole host of benefits that include optimizing your mental health.

During a recent Friday Sessions, Dr. Drew Ramsey, M.D., author of Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety, and Dr. Gregory Scott Brown, M.D.,talked the importance of brain health—and how you can fuel your mind right.

“There’s a lot of research … that whole foods and a Mediterranean-traditional style diet are effective in the treatment of depression,” said Dr. Ramsey. The trick, however, to is find foods that do one of two things: fight inflammation through feeding your microbiome or engaging your brain in what he calls “brain-grow” mode. (Translation: foods that boost your brain.)

Of course, that’s all easier said than done. Luckily, Dr. Ramsey has an expression that’ll help guide you through your journey: seafood, greens, nuts, and beans (and a little dark chocolate), all of which he considers brain-boosting food.

If that fails, keep it simple and look for “brainbows” in your fridge—colorful vegetables which contain phytonutrients, a fancy term for naturally-derived chemicals in plants. “Bacteria [in your microbiome] primarily eat plant fibers,” he said. “So you want to have a diverse number of plant fibers.” Research suggests your microbiome might have a very real impact on your brain and behavior.

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Source: Menshealth