We all have those days where we want nothing more than to lay in bed and eat our way through a pint of ice cream. However, could the foods we consume have a greater impact on our mental health than what we realize? 

Dr. Drew Ramsey, a psychiatrist, and the author has the answer to this question. He developed a method on how nutrition can boost your mood and remove your anxiety. With his help, patients are left relying on natural sources to deal with their onset of depression. 

Brain Food You Should Be Eating

Dr. Ramsey recently partnered with science journalist Max Lugavere on The Genius Life podcast to discuss how foods can act as a natural version of an antidepressant. The duo agrees that a Mediterranian Diet is one of the best diets for happier living. 

Mediterranean snacks set. Olives, oil, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs and sliced ciabatta bread on over blue painted background ( Photo: Shutterstock)

Incorporating a few new foods in our everyday meals can improve our anxiety: 

Zinc: found in red meat, oysters, anchovies, seeds, and legumes 

Omega 3 fats: found in salmon, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans 

Magnesium: found in whole grains, nuts and seeds, and dark chocolate 

Flavanol: found in apples, green tea, berries, kale, and cocoa powder

— B12: eggs, milk, Kefir, Kombucha, fish, poultry, and beef

 —Iron: tofu, beans, prunes, figs,  seafood, dark greens, and quinoa

Dr. Ramsey trusts many of these whole foods “Because I think that’s where we came from and that’s what our brains have been made out of.” Not every food on the list is one that you will be ecstatic to eat, but it is still important to find whole foods that you enjoy consuming. 

How Food Works As An Antidepressant

According to Dr. Ramsey, antidepressants mainly work by reducing inflammation in our gut and boost serotonin levels in our brain. Fortunately, many of the foods listed above are able to express the same effects. This is why Dr. Ramsey is encouraging individuals to not give up on their mental health, and switch to a healthier living instead. 

Lugavere adds that exercising and healthy eating can also help to improve Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)  levels, which can be associated with your mood. BDNF has proven to increase brain connections, and give the brain resilience to many physical stressors that we endure on a regular basis. By changing to healthier food options, we are able to increase the surface area of the brain, and improve our memory and thinking abilities. 

Both Dr. Ramsey and Max Lugavere use these facts to encourage individuals to live a better life. Are you ready for a healthy life? 

Hannah Walker is a health reporter at The Pavlovic Today.

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