Dr Drew Ramsey, Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University discusses the direct correlation between nutrition and brain health. Exercise, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and spending time with friends are all examples of good habits that keep your brain sharp.

But it turns out there’s a whole branch of psychiatry that focuses on nutrition for the brain as a form of therapy, and it’s called nutritional psychiatry.

“Brain health is directly linked with nutrition, many diseases and brain deficiencies such as depression is directly correlated to what you’re eating. Every molecule in your brain starts at the end of your fork.”

Mental health is helped by a variety of things:

“Like an expensive car, your brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel,” says Dr. Eva Selhub on Harvard Health Blog – “what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.”

Your gut and brain are linked, so what you eat will impact how you think and behave. As psychiatrist Drew Ramsey notes in a new Big Think video, remember that

In the video, Ramsey discusses the role of diet in mental health treatment. He describes the types of foods you should be eating as a “rainbow” plate;

the best foods are often those that exhibit a wide range of color, from greens to reds to oranges. These colors contain phytonutrients, or nutrients that have health benefits for humans, representing a “palette of medicine.”

Leafy greens like watercress, spinach, and kale are at the top of that list. They’re dense with nutrients like potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6. Seafood is another important type of food that provides your brain with omega-3 fats, which have been linked to effectively treating depression and inflammation.

Eating fruits and vegetables, meanwhile, has been associated with happiness and overall well-being hinting that diet does have a tangible impact on your brain.

See our article Eating 8 Portions A Day Increases Life Satisfaction