We’re often told that eating well can prevent diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, but what about the effects of diet on mental health? The correlation is just as strong. What we eat impacts our brains and mental health—food does affect mood. In fact, highly processed foods can lead to a 50 to 100% increased risk for clinical depression and high-glycemic foods pose a significant risk as well. It’s time we stop thinking of the way we eat as relevant to only one piece of our health, it dramatically influences the entire body.
Today’s guest on this week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy is here to talk about the link between diet and mental health. Dr. Drew Ramsey is not your average psychiatrist. A writer, farmer, and doctor who focuses on the connection between mental health and food, he is passionate about nutritional interventions and creative media to share a different way of thinking about the brain and mood. He is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and in active clinical practice in New York City. He also spends much of his time with his family, growing their own food, on a 127-acre organic farm.
Throughout our talk, we dig into the powerful relationship between food, depression, and overall mental health. From depression and Parkinsons to ADHD and dementia, nutrition plays a role in how our brains function and our mental state. And while food and mental health are becoming increasingly appreciated in academics for their strong correlation, it hasn’t always been that way. In fact, most medical education programs don’t include nutrition, so many psychiatrists and physicians, in general, aren’t as empowered as they should be to prescribe a healthy diet.
Dr. Drew shares how he’s been able to successfully help patients using the power of real food, along with his top foods for fighting depression and why certain nutrients are key in that process. In an effort to help people access this information, he even published an article on antidepressant foods in the World Journal of Psychiatry after reviewing all the literature and clinical evidence on the topic.
Throughout this episode we also discuss how growing our own food means more than just convenience, the need for a paradigm shift when it comes to nutrition in medicine, and much more. I hope you’ll join us for this powerful podcast episode.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD