Feed Your Mental Health | Aware about your mental disorder, mental illness, mental health, behavioral health

What can we do in 15 minutes to improve?

your mental health now I’m a psychiatrist usually I get 45 minutes we get like years to work it’s a one-on-one you do all the talking, for the most part, I brought my couch to help us out I’ll show you how that works in a second but I want to be sure as we start about talking about your mental health that you’re really clear my mental health I mean brain health like maybe you woke up this morning they’re a bunch of eighth-graders in the audience maybe you woke up this morning scrolling looking wondering about that thing out there that you want or need and I just want to

let you know so clearly that you have it you have the most amazing complex miracle in the human universe you’ve got a human brain a hundred billion specialized cells that make you they make all of this make sense one little slip in your brain health one little slip in your mental health and the world doesn’t look quite like this.

Now you might be surprised with that miracle that this is the most advanced and effective piece of both diagnostic and therapeutic equipment the brain scanner 3000 we call it to let me show you how it works is good cut you have one of these in your house and so here we go the brain goes right there and because if we’re going to work on your mental health this is really the most important first step if what the brain in and the couch gets you to radical truth which is at the core of your mental health like here I’ll demonstrate radical truth I’m a 45-year-old physician I’m married I have two wonderful children confused about what to do we moved in with me parents in the poorest County in Indiana like in the same house I live with me parents radical truth we have a mental health epidemic on our hands the radical truth.

I think that none of us really? prioritize our mental health is the most important aspect of our health that that’s really what we should be thinking about so often we think about you know mental health in terms of like mental illness right like you’ve heard that statistic one in five people have a mental illness we should be aware of it like these people over here you folks

with depression anxiety panic disorder OCD dementia addiction those folks and that’s not working for me anymore like I wonder what happens we really change this narrative what if we stop thinking about mental illness doesn’t work for me because if I go back in my family tree just a little bit I see all those illnesses depression anxiety suicide addiction dementia so I don’t think it’s one in five of us I think that makes my family just like your family and if five out of five of us are working on our mental health I think that’s how we take on the mental health epidemic and that’s my request of you today to think about that mental health version 2.0 of you like what would that look like we think about building our physical health there’s so much that we can do I was inthe gym this morning getting ready building my physical health what about if you’re going to build your mental health what if instead of teetering between the Oh mental illness and mental health we really think what is that next version like what would dr. Drew Ramsey, mental health edition 2.0 look like oh he’s emotionally resilient he’s optimistic he has amazing sleep hygiene that would be great what would that take for you what are the things that you can do every day to improve your mental health and more importantly in some ways.

what are the things that you’re doing every day at every meal to take away some of your mental health instead of having a brain that is vibrant and growing as all brains can be you have a brain that is shrinking that is not filling the world as a joyful and happy place let me tell you this couch has taught me so much for my patients people think that I treat mental illness but I think I build mental health let me tell you about a young man who graced my couch recently well we’ll call him Pete Pete’s a college freshman and he’s struggling with his mental health college is not working out the way that he thought it would he feels kind of foggy in class he falls asleep he can’t sleep very well at night he’s maybe it’s the Netflix maybe it’s the video games we’re not so sure he is having some dark thoughts that he’s not ever had before and he’s a little like tearful sometimes he’s having a hard time going out because he feels anxious what would you do for Pete it’s really easy to give people advice about their mental health like Pete cheer up go out join some clubs talk to some girls it’s College there’s a new field in mental health called nutritional psychiatry and it’s based on a lot of data.

That looks kind of like this researcher in Spain followed 10,000 94 university students over four and a half years and at the beginning of the study they looked at their diet and ranked it how close did they follow the Mediterranean diet you know that great diet that’s good for everything with olive oil fresh fruits and veggies lots of nuts some seafood over four and a half years the students who adhered most closely to a Mediterranean diet just actually, in the top half they had a 42 to 50 percent decreased risk of getting depressed just think about that was just half true just 25% lower risk of getting depressed and what about for patients like Peter already struggling with their mood I mean that’s a correlational study you’ve all heard that like correlations don’t equal causation well a randomized clinical trial the first ever that used food to treat clinical depression was just published January 31st, 2017.

 Researchers took individuals who were struggling with their mental health already had depression and were in treatment and they added on the Mediterranean diet that sounds kind of nice they had seven sessions and what they found is over 12 weeks 33% of those people went into full remission from their depression they’re already in treatment like a lot of people were but they weren’t getting all the way better it got me wondering in my clinical practice like what should I be telling Pete I mean to make no mistake about it I’m a full card-carrying psychiatrist I prescribe meds I find them helpful and effective to lots of people I do like lots of psychotherapy  I like to talk about your mom a lot I think it’s fascinating hi mom are you talking about my mom later I get back on the couch but I wonder what foods scientifically could I prescribe or think about prescribing to Pete and so a colleague dr. Laurel the chance and I looked at all the scientific literature we looked at all of the vitamins and minerals and tried to figure out which are most correlated to depression.

We found there were 12 and then we got this question this key of nutritional psychiatry if you’re going to count calories you should only do it for one reason and that’s to figure out what’s called the nutrient density it’s a key part of nutritional psychiatry we want you eating more brain nutrients and focused on that instead of calorie counting because it’s like can of coke hundred and forty calories kale salad140 calories not that hard we found that there were a set of foods and it taught me a lot about how I prescribe food the reset of food categories that have the most of these nutrients they’re correlated with brain health things that you read about the long-chain omega-3 fats and b12 vitamin b9 fully magnesium and they divided into these categories

that led to a little rhyme that I shared with Pete seafood greens nuts and beans and a little dark chocolate.

If he was like what’s at the top of that antidepressant food scale doc, I was like um hoisters and water crest Pete and he didn’t really think those sounded like the most delicious foods and that’s why we think about food categories it’s these food categories of seafood right where you find these fatty fish women in college who eat two servings of seafood a week have a 25% lower risk of getting depressed women who eat more fish during pregnancy or six times less likely to get depressed in the postpartum period researchers took this kind of data and they decided you know let’s do something let’s Pete struggling let’s put Pete in a little study it’s really interesting just published about three weeks ago researchers in Australia took a hundred students with depression and with bad food habits and they gave them a box so like hey Pete what’s up here’s a little box of brain food bro Pete’s like what’s in the box you open up it’s like olive oil and nuts and these little factors of the Mediterranean diet. and then they asked Pete to watch the video he likes watching videos so that worked 13-minute video what are they recommended brain foods eating more vegetables eating seafood three times a week eating three tablespoons of those nuts every day.

what they found is over three weeks the students who got this intervention their stress depression and anxiety scores dropped by about thirty percent and that drops stayed for the next three months compared to the students who didn’t get anything changing diet seems to profoundly influence our brain and maybe it seems like a simple statement but it’s something that we often don’t connect that we think about how to feed your mental health we think about mental health version 2.0 maybe it’s the farm boy in me but I want a foundation to be built out of whole real foods it’s very clear that when we eat a Western diet your brain shrinks from age sixty to seventy actually you lose about the size of my pinky in terms of brain cells now that’s a lot of brain cells I think you want that for your mental health there are so many goals that you can set for yourself that mental health 2.0 edition but I hope these foods are part of it I said to Pete maybe not

oysters but are there any kinds of seafood that you might e I asked some of the eighth graders this earlier and they’re like shrimp it’s a great good place to start shrimp not the most amazing source of omega-3 fats but a way to begin developing that palate because it doesn’t work I found mental health just to give you all a list of foods like eating the wild salmon eat the blueberries kale that doesn’t help what helps is really encouraging you to find a joyful place with food and to think about these food categories seafood greens nuts and beans and a little dark chocolate.

Now leafy greens that might sound hard but there’s such a wonderful nutrient-dense food

think about all the calories you get in a few ounces of something like kale or arugula or Brussels sprouts they should be a foundational piece of your diet now not in my seafood greens nothing beans on a little dark chocolate but I hope you will take into your mental health journey is a very another important factor a simple test when you look at your plate do you see colors on there do you see a rainbow of colors Pete was like a rainbow of colors from my brain that’s like right Pete he’s like you should call those brain boughs doc brain box Peet’s are starting to get it bro rainbows so seafood Pete what are you going to do fish tacos maybe a little ceviche right it’s one of those things that’s so hard for America Swede about 14 pounds of seafood a year and not

folks like me and P Tiger have grown up in the Midwest fish meant fish dicks I didn’t fish until I was thirty yeah fish dicks like who but again that challenge to yourself building more mental health that’s not like you’re going to wake up tomorrow and there’s a better version of you but little steps at mealtimes to cut out these foods the foods that I think we all know now are

really bad for your health but the part that hasn’t really made the news is how bad they are for your brain and again that’s your miracle I mean that’s the most important asset you have by far now why nuts and beans will nut are a great snack first of all and also nuts contain a very special scientific fact about them.

Aware about your mental disorder, mental illness, mental health, behavioral health

there’s a molecule in your brain called BDNF brain-derived neurotrophic factor and besides building better brain cells out of all this great nutrient-dense food we also want to get your brain into grow mode and BDNF is responsible for that it’s only one study that’s ever been published looking at BDNF levels and relationship to food and they found when they added nuts onto a  Mediterranean diet there’s actually a protection against getting severely low levels of BDNF that factor that seems to help your brain grow and repair actually even spawns and birth of new brain cells I’m 45 that sounds amazing to me more brain cells and why beans for the forefront of science and brain health is that a lot is going on down here that affects your brain we call it the microbiome all the bugs in your gut it’s surprising because in medicine we’ve been killing bacteria for hundreds of years now we want you to eat it trillions of bacteria billions and billions of bugs down here and the type of food you eat directly impacts what lives down there now why is that important our mental health we’ve heard this buzzword inflammation alright it’s like circling around like a chronic disease by inflammation heart disease diabetes and it turns out depression and dementia

Aware about your mental disorder, mental illness, mental health, behavioral health

are related to inflammation too whereas this inflammation come from well the largest part of your immune system is actually your gut and when we eat a more plant-based diet when we eat more of these rainbow vegetables we have a diverse microbiome that looks like it supports your mental health your gut is in constant contact with your brain and in fact over the last year there have now for the first time been studies published looking at the microbiome of individuals with depression and anxiety it’s a little bit different for the first time ever clinical trials being using probiotics to try and do things like prevent people with bipolar or mania getting rehospitalization so often nutritional psychiatry gets used as this idea that like gosh if you just take a little apple cider vinegar in the morning you won’t ever get bipolar disorder or if you just eat a little bit more kale and my patients and I and you we all deserve better than that that’s the stigmatizing attitude that makes some notion that whatever your journey is if it’s medications psychotherapy wherever it takes you meditation that as you build mental health 2.0 one thing is so clear that food needs to be part of it now there’s at our little time in session where it gets tough our last minute there’s so much more to talk about with your mental health I hope it’s really clear to you that there is a substantial amount of data that gives you control that gives you something that you can do every day three times a day four times a day if you snack on nuts that you can just move that ball a little bit down farther field towards mental health 2.0 version of you now you might wonder what happened you know Pete 2.0 what would that look like radical truth.

I’m Pete and I worked really hard to build my mental health to take care of the mental health of my family and my patients and I want to make sure from this moment on that you think about prioritizing and taking care of your mental health and I hope you will feed your mental health.

Aware about your mental disorder, mental illness, mental health, behavioral health

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