Today’s generation is experiencing increased levels of anxiety and nutritional psychiatrist Georgia Ede, M.D. passionately believes the leading cause of it is due to poor nutrition and is the basis of our struggles with mental health.
In fact, she says that 80% – 90% of people would not have to be on medication if they had followed a common sense nutritional way of eating from the start. Just a change in their diet would make all the difference.
Ede visited with Mind/Body/Green founder Jason Wachob on his podcast recently and discussed how food enhances our mental health. She said that our insulin levels, our hormonal balance, our hunger cravings affected by the food we eat can have significant effects on our anxiety, overall mood and our memory.
Optimal health from mood, stress, concentration, sleep, and energy can be experienced with a good nutritional plan – and it’s not your typical plant-based eating plan!
Ede recommends the following:
- Cut out all processed foods. This should be your number one priority. You will be 80% on your way to where you went to be in optimal health if you do this. It will tame inflammation, oxidation, and insulin resistance. So get rid of all sugary and processed junk food and you will not be on a hormonal roller coaster all day long.
- Eat more animal protein – surprise! This is contrary to popular beliefs, but eating more protein including red meat will have significant benefits to your mental health. It contains vitamin D3 which is exactly what our bodies need especially during the winter months and it contains all the vitamins, minerals and fatty acids our brains and bodies need. Fat that exists in nature, whether in meats or plants is always good.
- Go keto if you want. The ketogenic high fat, low carb diet. For most people this is the way to go as it will lower insulin levels, allow the brain to burn more fat than glucose for energy and stabilize glucose levels. This diet is for people who want to improve the overall health of their brain’s metabolism. Ede says it has been helpful for people with early Alzheimer’s improving their mental clarity.
- Try intermittent fasting (IF), but be careful to avoid complications. IF can lower insulin and blood glucose levels which can have dire effects on our brain health. Keep in mind though that IF isn’t for everyone. It can trigger competitive instincts for people who are prone to perfectionism. Check with your doctor before starting a fast regarding your physical as well as your mental health.
Ede says that if you get rid of junk foods and start eating whole foods that will take care of most of your problems with anxiety.