Australian scientist Felice Jacka has recently released her book Brain Changer: The Good Mental Health Diet, trying to prove the link the beneficial link between food and our mental health.
“Having suffered depression and anxiety as a young woman, she wanted to understand the role diet plays in our overall mental and brain health,” a blurb describing the book explains.
One of the key findings of Jackas work is that “Food does affect mood: highly processed foods increase depression risk, while a balanced, whole-food diet can prevent depression and improve mood.”
Talking to RadioNZ in 2018, Jacka says, “You can change your gut microbiota and its activity within just a few days of changing your diet. What we showed was, yes, if you improve your diet, it will have a measurable effect on your depressive symptoms.”
And the meal she and her dieticians suggest?
“Get your crockpot from the op shop for 20 bucks and on a Sunday cook up a big pot of vegetable and bean soup with some whole grains, some barley, with a bit of quality grass fed beef, and have that for the whole week.”
She adds, “One is we’re getting too much food we know is problematic for our body and brain (such as salt, fat and simple carbohydrates) the other is not getting enough of the good stuff we know our body needs to be able to function properly.”
As an added bonus, the new regime also saved the participants money!
“We reduced their intake of sweets, cakes and donuts and the diet we were advocating was cheaper than the junk food diet people were eating when they first came in to the study,” she said.
Find out more about her work here.
Grab a copy of the book here.