Doctor Ramsey who is the author of several books that address food and mental health, is an extremely big fan of oysters. He says they are rich in vitamin B12, which studies suggest may help to reduce brain shrinkage. They are also well stocked with long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, deficiencies of which have been linked to higher risk for suicide and depression. But my friend’s, shellfish are not the only food that he shows enthusiastic about.
Doctor Ramsey, is a super pioneer in the field of nutritional psychiatry, which attempts to apply what science is now learning about the impact of nutrition on the brain and mental health. Doctor Ramsey augurs that a poor diet is a major factor contributing to the epidemic of depression. Which is the top Runner of disability for Americans between the ages of 15 to 44, according to a report by the World Health Organization. Together with Samantha Elkrief, who is a chief and a food coach, who sits in on many of his patients sessions. Elkrief often counsels patients on how that better eating habit may actually lead to better Mental Health.
The irony, he says, is that most Americans are overfed in calories yet starved of the vital of micronutrients that the human brain need, many of which are found in common plant foods. A survey that was published in 2017 by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that only one in ten adults meet the minimal daily federal recommendations for vegetables and fruits-at least one and a half to, two cups per day of fruit and two to three cups per day of vegetables.
Nutritional psychiatrists like Dr. Ramsey, often prescribe antidepressants and other medications where appropriate and engage in talk therapy and other traditional forms of consoling. However, they argue that fresh and nutritious foods can be a potent addition to the mix of available therapies. Americans often change what they eat in order to lose weight, control their blood sugar levels, and lower artery-clogging cholesterol. But doctor Ramsey says that it is still rare for most people to pay attention to the food needs of the most complex and energy-consuming organs in the body, our human brain.
Research on the impact of a diet on mental functioning is relatively new, sometimes food studies can be difficult to actually perform and hard to interpret, since so very many factors go into what we eat and our general will being. But a study that was published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2016, of the food diaries of more than 11,000 Australian adults found that individuals who increased their vegetables and fruit intake, reported being more satisfied with their lives than those whose diets had remained the same.
Another study of 422 adults from the United States and New Zealand showed higher levels of mental health and well-being for those who ate more fresh vegetables and fruits. Interestingly, the same benefits did not accrue to those who consumed canned vegetables and fruits. We believe this is due to the higher nutrient content of raw vulnerable and fruits, particularly vitamin C and vitamin B, which are vulnerable to heart degradation, said Tamlim Conner, who is a study author and senior lecturer at the university of Otago.
One of the first randomized controlled trials to test whether dietary change may actually be effective in helping to treat depression was published in 2017. In this study, that was led by Felice Jacka, who is a psychiatric epidemiologist with Deakin University in Australia, the participants who were coached to follow a Mediterranean diet for 12 weeks reported improvement in mood and lower anxiety levels. However, those who received general coaching did not show such benefits.
A Mediterranean diet, rich in whole grain, legumes and seafood as well as nutrient-dense leafy vegetables that are high in fiber, promotes a diverse population of very helpful bacteria in the gut. The research suggests that a healthy gut microbiome may be important in the processing of neurotransmitters like serotonin that regulate mood. The studies show that the brains of individuals who follow a mediterranean-style diet typically look younger, have larger volumes and are more metabolically active than individuals who eat a more typical western style diet, said Dr. Lisa Mosconi, who is the director of the Women’s Brain Initiative at the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York.
Such brain benefits may be protective against the onset of dementia, Mosconi says. The good doctor also notes there is no one diet that will fit all, but advises patients to stop eating processed foods and to minimize meat and eat more hole foods like fatty fish vegetables and whole grain and legumes to cut the risk of developing brain diseases that may be associated with aging.
Dr. Ramsey, and Dr. Moscoso, both recommend, eating the rainbow, which means consuming a wide array of colorful vegetables and fruits. Like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, kale and peppers, oranges, blueberries and strawberries. Such foods are high in phytonutrients that may help to reduce any harmful inflammation throughout the body, including the brain.
Dr. Emily Dean’s, who is a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, however, cautions that a plant only diet may carry some risks. Some large observations studies suggest, that strict vegetarians and vegans may have somewhat higher rates of depression and eating disorders than those who eat a more varied diet. Those who are on a meat-free diet may also need to take some supplements to provide missing nutrients. Some of the key nutrients for our brain, like long chain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, are just not found in a vegetable-only diets, Dr. Deans says.
Samantha Elkrief, who was the food coach, who assists Dr. Ramsey at Columbia University, adds that it’s not just what we eat but also the attitudes that we bring to our food that contribute to our mental well-being. (My friends, it’s all about slowing down and becoming much more mindful, noticing your body, always noticing how you actually feel when you are eating certain foods) Your body will give you the information that you need.
No, a diet is not the solution to every illness, but among physicians, there is a growing consensus that it is the next frontier in providing and treating disease. And this movement definitely has a catchy label, FOOD AS MEDICINE, and is being practiced in some very creative ways. There are a few organizations that provide patients with bags of food to address condition, and others that dispatch doctors to local supermarkets to answer the shopper’s nutrition questions. As one of the physician told The Times, by prescribing the right diet is a way to help the sick reboot holistically.
My dear friends, there is one thing that is absolutely for sure, by giving your body the necessary and appropriate Foods it can help you live a longer quality life. And the medical and scientific world, is in full speed in researching every angle of this new frontier of medicine for the modern world.
May good health and prosperity be always with you.
Humbly yours Paul Earl.