The main message I got from attending a recent conference on Nutritional Psychiatry is that you have to go out of your way to be both physically and mentally healthy. Nutritional Psychiatry is a burgeoning scientific field that’s proving that a healthy diet not only affects our physical health, but also that the food we eat impacts how we feel emotionally.
The Brain-Body-Food Connection
One of the primary players in this brain-body-food connection is the bacterium found in the gut. You may have heard terms like ‘leaky gut syndrome’ or ‘good’ and ‘bad’ gut bacteria and wondered what they mean. Over the past decade research has shown that the kind of bacteria that live in your gut actually correlates to what you eat, how you feel and your mental state, including depression, anxiety, cognitive dysfunction and more.
The most important cure for problematic gut bacteria is to avoid processed foods and add a high quality probiotic. Think of it this way. The food that you eat actually colonizes in your gut and makes you crave more of that food! If you crave ice cream, guess what? It is actually your ice cream infested gut causing those cravings!
Perfect Probiotic Combo
There’s plenty of research regarding which specific strains of bacteria affect which symptoms. The best solution is to use a formula that contains all of the strains and one that is guaranteed to be alive. Unfortunately many formulas, when tested, have little or no living organisms. Luckily I’ve searched for a product with the perfect combination of living probiotic strains. I’ve decided to use a product from Designs for Health called ProbioMed250, which contains every strain that was discussed during my training. I have ordered some to carry at my clinic as well as online.
You can also start putting probiotic-rich and fermented foods into your diet. These include kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, dark chocolate, micro algae, miso soup and pickles.
Another avenue to help neutralize gut bacteria is through prebiotics, which prepare the way for the healthy bacteria to colonize. Foods that are prebiotic rich are raw chicory root (or gun arabic), raw Jerusalem artichoke, raw dandelion greens, raw garlic, raw leeks, raw or cooked onions and raw jicama.
There is so much more I learned about Nutritional Psychiatry that I will share with you in subsequent reports on my blog. But I will leave you with this, for now: I was pleased to get confirmation that the nutrition I promote and practice here at the Danee Barnett Center is spot on. One is to avoid processed foods. The other is to follow a Mediterranean Diet for life-long health and well being.