Healthy Housecalls With Angel

The Lab Report: Food, Mood & Mental Health

Episode Summary

Medication. Psychotherapy. Self-care. All of these strategies are important in times like these to strengthen mental health and support well-being but what else can you do when those things don't feel like enough? Welcome to the world of nutritional psychiatry, a fast growing field helping patients find and fix nutritional root causes that a growing body of science suggests may be connected to mood disorders, poor sleep, difficulty focusing, cognitive impairment and more. Following the 'food as medicine approach' this episode will reveal why functional nutrition testing is an important and valuable strategy to prevent, treat and improve many common mental health and brain health conditions.

Episode Notes

In 2015, a group of 18 scientists concluded that “the emerging and compelling evidence for nutrition as a crucial factor in the high prevalence and incidence of mental disorders suggests that diet is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology, and gastroenterology.” 

In 2017, a study known as the “SMILES trial” examined the impact of nutritional support compared with social support in 67 people with moderate to severe depression who ate unhealthy diets. After the 12-week trial, 32% of participants who received dietary support achieved remission compared with a mere 8% of those in the social support group.

As far back as 1994, studies revealed the food coloring and food dyes are common causes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, underscoring the importance of thorough nutritional evaluation for the treatment of mental and cognitive health in children. 

These studies and more provide proof: food is medicine.

It's no secret that proper nutrition is key to preventing a number of diseases. Nutrients are necessary to feed every cell and ensure all body systems are functioning properly. Testing can help clinicians and patients gain an understanding of how nutritional imbalances may be impacting their health. Certain conditions or dietary, genetic, and lifestyle factors may even predispose a person to having nutrient imbalances.

In fact, clinical research has shown that the following symptoms and conditions are associated with nutrient imbalance:

In this episode we're giving you a new way to think about nutrition by taking a close look at how functional nutrition testing can help you and your healthcare provider identify the KEY BIOMARKERS of good health including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, digestive support, and other select nutrients.  By the end of this episode you'll be informed, empowered and ready to take action on your new understanding of how nutritional imbalances may be impacting your health. 

Overview of topics covered:

1) Lipid Processing in the Brain: A Key Regulator of Systemic Metabolism

2) GABA, Physiology

3) Artificial Food Colors and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Symptoms: Conclusions to Dye for

4) Foods and additives are common causes of the attention deficit hyperactive disorder in children

5) A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the ‘SMILES’ trial)

6) Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry


5 Action Steps to Maximize the Power of Your Nutrition For Mental Health

  1. Starting today, create a 7 day food diary to track each meal and record your intake.
  2. Reduce and/or eliminate the known culprits: artificial sugars, artificial flavors & dyes, foods high in sodium and preservatives, inflammatory foods such as processed meats and alcohol.
  3. Start incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods and spices into each meal. If you do not have allergies or sensitivities consider: turmeric, ginger, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, garlic spices; blue/red/purple anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables; omega rich seeds and nuts such as flax, chia and hemp; fatty fish rich in omega 3 and omega 6; probiotic rich foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir.
  4. Check your nutritional status! Did you know there's a safe, convenient and affordable test that you can do at home measure your essential and non-essential amino acids, oxidative stress, malabsorption, dysbiosis and detoxification markers? (schedule a conversation with me )
  5. Manage your personal stress. Create (and stick to!) a morning and evening routine that invigorates in the morning and relaxes at night. Getting a consistent night's rest will help your body use nutrients efficiently.  Ready for a little support? Schedule a conversation with me.


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