How To Conquer Depression Through Diet | Dr. Drew Ramsey | Big Think

How To Conquer Depression Through Diet
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The way to a healthy mind is through the stomach, according to psychiatrist Drew Ramsey. The right foods can decrease your risk of depression by 50%, and treat clinical mental disorders.Psychiatrist Dr. Drew Ramsey, the guy who brought the world incredible catchphrases like “You can’t fail with kale” and “Some people are big pharma — I’m little farmer”, is back with some incredibly interesting data on the relationship between mental health and diet.
A new branch of nutritional psychiatry is emerging, and while some are talking about the compounds in food as a way to treat and prevent mental illness, Dr Ramsey wants to go straight to the source and relate real food to brain health. “Supplements frighten me a little bit,” he says, in an interview with Splendid Table. “They’re totally unregulated. You want a scare, go to the FDA website that looks at recalls of natural supplements. It’s terrifying.” Key mind and mood boosting nutrients that can be gained from food include long-chain omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and vitamins B1, B9, B12, D, and E.
Research shows that when you eat a more traditional diet like a Mediterranean diet or your risk of an illness like depression can decrease by as much as 50 per cent. The first clinical trial on this has just reported that a Mediterranean diet (plant-based, with seafood, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fermented , and oils, augmented with some red meat), can treat major clinical depression. Ramsey points out that people think about their hearts, and diabetes, and cholesterol when they plan their food, but there’s not enough focus on brain health and the organ that is your biggest asset.
Ramsey recommends starting by growing a few small herb pots in your kitchen, on a windowsill, in the fire escape (don’t tell the fire marshall), or in the garden and incorporating them regularly in your meals to instantly increase nutritional density. “You see a lot more spices in the Mediterranean diet and fresh herbs; these are a very, very powerful medicine that have always been used to treat illness,” he says. Eat crunch , create meals with lots of different colored , and eat lots and lots of seafood — sustainable is best for you and the environment, so do some investigating into a good fishmonger in your area.
The right foods really can boost brain function and minimize mental illness, so start seeing your fork as a valuable intervention tool.
Dr. Drew Ramsey is a psychiatrist, author, and farmer. He is one of psychiatry’s leading proponents of using dietary change to help balance moods, sharpen brain function and improve mental health. 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 where his work focuses on the clinical treatment of depression and anxiety. Using the latest brain and nutritional research, modern treatments, and an array of delicious food he aims to help people live to their happiest, healthiest lives.
He is the co-creator of The Brain Food Scale, co-founder of National Kale Day 501(c)3, and a member of the medical review team at Dr. Oz’s webportal ShareCare. He frequently speaks and conducts workshops nationally, including two recent TEDx talks BrainFork and Brain Farmacy on food and brain health. His work and writing have been featured by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post,, Prevention, Lancet Psychiatry, and NPR, which named him a “kale evangelist.” His recent bestseller 50 Shades of Kale has made this superfood accessible to thousands. His first book, The Happiness Diet: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood and Lean, Energized Body explored the impact of modern diets on brain health.
Dr. Ramsey teaches and supervises Psychiatric Evaluation and in the Columbia University Adult Psychiatry Residency Program. He serves as a thesis mentor for graduate students at the Columbia University Institute of Human Nutrition where is also lectures on nutrition and the brain. From 2005 to 2008, he directed the Audubon Continuing Day Treatment Program, a bilingual service for the severely mentally ill located in the Washington Heights. He is a faculty member at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine. Dr. Ramsey is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
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