How our Diet Influences our Brain and Mental Health

We are in the midst of a mental health crisis. An estimated one in five American adults suffers from some form of mental illness. Despite the billions of dollars spent in pharmaceutical research and the rising popularity of antidepressant drugs, we are more depressed and anxious than ever before! What if the key to treating mental illness can’t be found at the pharmacy but lies in the very foods and nutrients we eat? 

On this episode of Healthmade Radio, Dr. Michael Karlfeldt interviews Dr. Bonnie J Kaplan, a research psychologist and semi-retired Professor in the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. For many years she studied the role of nutrition in mental illness and brain development. In retirement, her passion is to teach people how our diet influences our brain and mental health.

In this episode, learn:

  • how to feed your brain to support your mental wellness
  • what Professor Kaplan means when she says, “we are eating to feed our brain.”
  • the difference between micronutrients and macronutrients
  • the impact of consumer demand and addictive food has reduced our access to micronutrients and made our mental health issues skyrocket
  • the diet that in a longitudinal study that showed to reduce the suicide rate by 50%
  • the factors discovered in a study that caused a 15% drop in mental health referrals for children
  • the essential vitamins and minerals needed to support brain health
  • how the soil affects brain health
  • the difference between whole foods vs. other types of foods
  • the definition of a Mediterranean Diet: fruits, vegetables, fish twice a week, olive oil and why its supportive to brain health
  • the importance of nutritional and supplemental support for the brain amid Crisis and Trauma 

About Dr. Bonnie J Kaplan, Ph.D.

Bonnie J Kaplan, Ph.D., professor emerita at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has published widely on the biological basis of developmental disorders and mental health, especially on the contribution of nutrition to brain development and brain function. Kaplan has over 180 peer-reviewed publications and textbook contributions, and many more invited lectures. In 2018, for Canada’s 150th birthday, she was named one of the country’s top 150 Difference Makers in Mental Health. In 2019, she was awarded the prestigious Dr. Rogers Prize, a national award given every two years in Canada for research or clinical work in complementary, alternative, integrative health. 

Dr. Kaplan’s interest in nutrition and brain health began very early in her career. In 1972 as a Ph.D. student, her first publication, “Malnutrition and Mental Health,” appeared in the esteemed Psychological Bulletin. Since then, Dr. Kaplan has written over 140 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 120 commentaries and reviews, and 11 book chapters and has been a research supervisor or committee member for 78 graduate and undergraduate students.

In 2001, Dr. Kaplan began to prove that treating mental health challenges (explosive rage, mood symptoms, and anxiety) with balanced, broad-spectrum nutrient treatment formulas was more effective than using a single nutrient to treat these symptoms. She also provided the initial ground-breaking data that showed that treatment with carefully constructed formulations of broad-spectrum micronutrients could be used instead of psychotropic drugs to treat bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In 2009, she led a team of 12 scientists to determine the relationships between maternal nutrient intake before, during, and after gestation on maternal mood, birth outcome, and infant neurodevelopment.

Connect with Dr. Kaplan

Website: bonniejkaplan.com

Facebook: thebetterbrain

YouTube: youtube.com/channel

About HealthMade Radio

Tune in to HealthMade Radio Sundays at 5:00 pm (MT) on KIDO 580 AM or 107.5 FM. You can also listen live at https://kidotalkradio.com/listen-live/ and explore many more on our blog healthmade.co

In an avid pursuit of worldly knowledge, Dr. Michael Karlfeldt conducts weekly interviews on HealthMade Radio with global integrative health experts, scientists, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs. These interviews are shared on our page to promote a community of health and education.

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