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The Genius Life
159: The Foods That Beat Depression and Sharpen Your Brain | Drew Ramsey, MD
159: The Foods That Beat Depression and Sharpen Your Brain | Drew Ramsey, MD

159: The Foods That Beat Depression and Sharpen Your Brain | Drew Ramsey, MD

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Drew Ramsey, Max Lugavere
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Mar 17, 2021
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Episode Transcript
What a family is episode 159 of the genius. Laughs welcome to the show.
What's going on? Everybody? Happy Wednesday. How you doing? My name is Max Luke of your I'm your host to episode 159 of the show. I'm super excited today to welcome back for the third time. My good friend. Dr. Drew Ramsey. Dr. Ramsey is a psychiatrist. He's a farmer. He's an author. He's a leading voice in the mental health conversation. And one of Psychiatry is leading proponents of using nutritional.
Inventions he also is a very talented musician. I found out when we got together for this this recording his latest book is out now and it's called Eat to beat depression and anxiety nourish your way to better mental health in six weeks. It's a phenomenal book. I highly recommend it and I think they are going to derive some serious value over the course of the next hour and some odd minutes in today's episode. Dr. Ramsey explains how yes, certain mental states can influence your food choices. We all know that but current research suggests that the inverse is.
Is also true that the foods that you reach for can influence your mental state we talk about specific nutrients that can boost levels of bdnf in your brain or brain derived neurotrophic factor, which I've talked about many times. It's sort of a Miracle Gro protein for the brain. This is very important stuff bdnf is often talked about in the context of exercise, but dr. Ramsey reveals foods that can boost bdnf and help support neuroplasticity. We talked about nutrition for the prenatal brain. What do you eat when you're pregnant to support the developing brain?
Of your future child, we're going to talk a little bit about that and so much more. Dr. Ramsey is really remarkable in that he's able to break down the science of what you should eat and how it helps your mind and body in a way that makes it inspiring and approachable. I hope that you guys enjoyed today's episode as much as I enjoyed taping it, you know, what else I enjoy digesting my food properly. We all qu eat and poop we all do it and today by optimizers sharing an important digestive enzyme complex with us called Mass simes.
There's ample evidence that all digestive secretions including enzymes decrease as we age this can cause various degrees of digestives is function mass times is a potent digestive enzyme complex containing protease for protein lipase for fat digestion and 12 more. Sometimes I'll pop some after a fatty high-protein meal and I feel great a lot lighter and I don't have that sort of full and heavy feeling as much if you're intrigued by mass times. You can get 10% off with a special genius live podcast coupon code when you visit Mass zaimes.com genius and
Genius 10. That's ma SS z ym e s.com forward slash genius and use coupon code genius 10 to get 10% off and you can try mass times today risk free with their 365-day full money back guarantee check em out. How are you guys doing on your paleo Valley meat stick game for me. It was time to order some more one because I was out into because we're approaching spring and summer which equals nicer weather which in turn equals me spend more time outside with my favorite grab-and-go snack a Paleo Valley meat stick in Los Angeles. I'm not much of a beach.
Guy, but you can get me out there with the chair and want to paleo valleys 100% grass-fed beef steaks. No problem. They're the only beef sticks in the USA that are made from 100% grass-fed grass-finished beef and organic spices that are naturally fermented flavors range from jalapeno to summer sausage to the OG original paleo Valley meat sticks are the perfect snack to keep you moving and grooving throughout your workday. I highly suggest heading over to paleo valley.com Max and you'll get to save 15% off. That's paleo. Valley.com Max and save 15% off of my favorite meat stick.
And On The Go snack. So again, that's paleo. Valley.com Max try out a variety pack. You won't be sorry. I promise guys, it's March 17th. And you know, that means today is my book The Genius life's first birthday and to celebrate. I'm going to sing my book. Happy birthday. Are there we go. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you.
Your minds for the your body and become extraordinary happy birthday to you. Whoo, that felt good. My second book the Genies life came out March 17th of last year crazy Times Release a book, but I'm so grateful that you guys have embraced it the way that you did and even though this episode of the show is all about celebrating Drew Ramsey's bookie to be depression.
Anxiety pick up the genius life. If you haven't already. It's a great way to support what I'm doing as well as the show and I would very much appreciate it. I Wanna Give a special shout-out to beautiful 565 for leaving such a thoughtful review for this show on the Apple podcasts app, beautiful 365 States loved episode 156 very informative and eye-opening. Thank you for sharing shared it with my friends and family. I love sharing with you all and love that you're sharing with your friends and family. Thank you so much. Beautiful. 565 really appreciate it another
my absolutely favorite ways to see you guys rapping and sharing the genius life is through our merch. All you got to do is go to the genius life.com to check it out. I've been living in my tie-dye sweatshirt. These are all uniquely died. And I think one of the coolest tie-dye sweatshirts out there perfect to wear now that the weather is warming up but you still need something in case it gets chilly at night. So check out our official merch at the genius life.com make your friends and family jealous. And yeah would love to see wearing a tag me on social media and I will reach there and with all that love repetition.
Let's not jump to do episode 159 with the brilliant. Dr. Drew Ramsey and talk all things nutritional Psychiatry. Let's go through Ramsey. Welcome to the
show Max. It's nice to be back with you.
How you doing? I'm
doing well. This is like Ben. This is like brain food Mecca. Like I've traveled all this way to come and see my first year of my first post pandemic and only really post pandemic guess we should say post para pandemic power of endemic para pandemic trip. I had to come this is the official book launch party.
I love
That we're celebrating eat your new book Eat to beat depression and anxiety nourish your way to better mental health in six weeks. That is a very important topic especially these
days. Well, that's I think why I wanted to come and speak with you and why I like speaking with you about this is to try and understand what we can do right now and why it matters thank you for that why it matters right now in terms of thinking about coming out of the pandemic and what we can do for our mental health and interesting about the new data that everybody needs to know about the cow.
We don't really still connect our food with our mental health and our brain health like we need to
yeah, it's super important. Would you say that food is a major leverage point for people in terms of their mental health these days
I think so. I mean, I think everyone got a real taste of what it's like to be at home with a different set of foods not to eat restaurant food, for example, and in the first time you do that again, and it's exciting. You don't have to do the dishes but also it's maybe saltier than you remembered or doesn't leave you feeling quite like
Like home cooking did all the types of foods that you struggled with. We all struggled with when we had insomnia are we had really bad anxiety one of those first few months of the pandemic is this were like my Triscuit Bots like that was that was my anxious food. And and so now coming out of it. I think that there's so much that people can do in terms of what we've learned about who we are as eaters. And then what we need to do to improve based on the latest evidence. I love that, you know, it's
interesting that
Has been for many people an unprecedented intermission from restaurant food, you know, because we've been stuck at home more and you'd think that that would lead to improved, you know, dietary patterns, right like like like increased consumption of Whole Foods higher food quality, but actually in correct me if I'm wrong. I feel like it's what's happened has been the inverse right because we're spending more time at home. So we're actually
and we're of course stressed out due to the Panic point that pervades our you know, the mainstream media and soapy. It's left a lot of people reaching for more junk
Foods. Well, I think that there's also just never had to cook this many meals for our so I mean at one point we'd made dinner for my wife and my parents and our kids or we my wife and I had made dinner for everyone. Yeah. It's like hundreds and hundreds of meals in a row like that's its it was like it was like running a very interesting small restaurant, you know, the
And DNA, but and so it was interesting to see what happens also for the first time a lot of people a lot of people listening we had those periods where we didn't have some of the foods that we like they couldn't get bananas or all the canned beans just gone off the shelves. And so I think we all learned a lot. I do what you're talking about, which is how people shifted towards convenient Foods towards more of the processed foods that we all know we should eat less of I think I think that is certainly happened because they're easy and and often they make us feel good just in the short.
Term, I mean that's how they're designed.
Yeah, have you you you but you have experience in the kitchen, right? Do we do say you're a chef of this point you've written a number of cookbooks and
this is my fourth book with recipes and and I'm a parent. So I'm like, I'm like a chef parent like of the parents like I like to cook and I always have and I don't really consider myself a chef. I'm pretty I'm okay. I'm a good sous chef Max like we were cooking. I think it's
I like that. Well, I believe this
Is your third time on the show but for listeners who are not yet familiar with your work? Why don't you just do a little bit of a dive into your into your backstory? Like how did you come to write this
book? Okay. Well, hey everybody. I'm a nutritional psychiatrist. I'm going to start my backstory lat so max came to my office years ago to end and we met I don't know not as patient is a is a as a friend and as a person interested in brain.
In health and food, you're working on a documentary then I mean this is probably a decade ago at this point and and I've always been really interested in the same subjects that interest Max and so it's really fun to be here with you to kind of see what's happened to both of us over the last decade. So I'm a psychiatrist. I Hoosier I grew up on a farm in Indiana went to medical school at IU Med school and was the class of two thousand. So it's a little spooky for me Max. I'm feeling my age heroes.
Two decades since I finished medical school and then I came out to Columbia where I stayed on as a faculty member and I trained in adult psychiatry and in my personal life, I was really interested in food at that time was a low-fat vegetarian because that was really what was getting told everyone. That's really what was going to be healthy in the kind of early and late 90s, and it wasn't really working for me, but also was interesting is just that to not stuff you've talked about in a hospital and medical training in Psychiatry training.
And it was just a kind of notable Gap a lot of data started coming out about Seafood the omega-3 fats and at that time I didn't eat seafood and just got me really thinking like how do we incorporate food and nutrition into a clinical model for mental health and that's really in like the question. I've been thinking about then really both day-to-day is a clinician where you're sitting with patients and you're looking you're looking for everything you can bring to the table to help them get better and just like wow, we don't talk to Paige.
About food the doctors about depression and anxiety and and and and lots of ways to help with that. I mean I do everything in mental health. I prescribe meds. They do lots of psychotherapy. We do coaching in a practice. I mean and I've seen all of those things were just feels like food is one of these foundational things that makes a difference imagine you're treating somebody with depression and they're just eating nothing but fast food, they're not ever cooking for themselves are not shopping, right? You just instantly begin to if you're a clinician see opportunities there and so that that's really in
A little ways with nutritional Psychiatry is been about for me over. The last decade is how do we help more people learn about this new science? And then how do we through some of these efforts? Like the book really helped to mobilize folks to make changes in their own life.
I love that you kind of alluded to or like when we first started talking about how certain mental states can actually dictate or at the very least influence our food choices, right? Like when we're stressed we tend to reach for certain Comfort Foods, right? Yes. Yeah. It's very
You're saying but would you then also say at this point there is a strong enough body of evidence that we can say that the inverse is also true that the foods that you reach for can influence your mental States.
I think the answer is a definitive. Yes. I think anybody who wants to debate that answer. I'm looking forward to that debate because unlike maybe when we first met and there was a little bit of evidence correlational evidence, which it doesn't end up meaning a lot sometimes now, we have multiple randomized clinical.
Uncle trials we have trials where we take individuals not me but mainly Feliz Jack is Groove, but me is that the larger world looking at how do we help people beat depression and anxiety and the best trial of this so far has been the smiles trial and the healthy men trials those two trials between the two of them have well over 300 patients where they take individuals struggling with depression who are in some sort of treatment usually Psychotherapy or an antidepressant and not getting all the way better. So not reaching.
The criteria for what we call full remission and that's what you want. That's like, I don't feel like I have depression anymore at all and a lot of patients don't get there with just traditional therapy in meds and what they found is adding on the Mediterranean diet improves actually in the smiles trial of 33 percent of individuals went into full remission. That was a medicine would be a billion-dollar medicine right away and then a number of Trials of followed that the most recent interestingly came out last what to
Owls ago now looked at college students. They just showed him a video like depressed and anxious color students. Like hey, here's how to eat to help your mental health eat more of a mediterranean-style diet. Here's what that is. Here's more plants here's way to make plants tasty and they gave the students a little box this box of like nut butter nuts olive oil turmeric cinnamon and and then called them a week later like 5 minutes like hey Max, like you watch the video bro, like eating the nut Butters cool like you
I doubt the turmeric and they called him a week later and they found that over six months. Just that intervention like a total of 23 minutes led to significant decreases in depression anxiety and stress for the college students. So we're starting to have that kind of data and then on top of that we just have more knowledge about mechanistically how things like anti-depressants work just to paper came out in nature showing that really antidepressants are both powerful anti inflammatories, but also induce brain derived neurotrophic Factor people think about him is related to serotonin.
What doesn't make sense about that is your serotonin your brain synapses? It goes up in like an hour. You don't get a clinical effect of an antidepressant for about three to four weeks. Usually very interesting. So there's something going on there and it's what most definitively seems to be now is that you're decreasing inflammation and you're increasing neuroplasticity and brain growth. It is one of the pathways by which those Mets work and what's exciting about that is that's the pathways by Which foodworks social Pathways probably by which Exercise Works and so
We now have this kind of Arsenal of stuff that we think about. All right, how do we influence mental health? Well, you probably all agree having a brain that is not dealing with inflammatory factors having a guts healthy and having a brain that's in what I call in the book of called grow mode and it just means that your brain is best positioned if possible when you encounter stressors because you know, I'm a psychiatrist if I'm sure everyone listening knows this life's full of stressors and no matter how good you get at life.
You're still encounter lots of stressors. So the idea is that if the lens by which we kind of see those stressors and then biologically experience them is something that we have, you know, not full control of but some control food makes that lens or shapes that lens in some ways. So yes as a long-winded yes,
I really appreciate that. I'm really glad that you brought up these two mechanisms by which its now, you know, we're starting to see our are the are the
Central mechanisms by which ssris work in a subset of patients to which they are prescribed to right there is like the increase in bdnf, which you mentioned which can you just for listeners that are not familiar with bdnf? What is that essentially
bdnf is the main what's called neurotrophins and inner trophy NASA and nerve growth factors. And so these are proteins that are coded for in our DNA and when they get expressed they create these molecules these proteins and in the median,
F does a variety of things it induces the birth of new brain cells or or promotes that in the hippocampus called neurogenesis and then it also helps brain cells with like brain cell resilience. Like I think about bdnf a little bit like, you know like a good coach right that like when if I'm a little brain cell when I'm like not you know still like too much for me like too much cortisol too much bad news to I just can't handle this dress. I'm gonna I'm gonna call it quits. They're like, hey, you can still do a little brain cell and and bdnf kind of coax his brain cells to
To stay alive. And then the most important thing I guess is to make new connections that you think in this very concrete way. What does our brain do? How do we know a healthy brain healthy brain is really connected up you're connected to yourself and your own intention and your focus on your work you're connected to the people around you that matter in a meaningful way. And so I like this idea of thinking of the brain is our organ of connection and that you can even see that on the biological level B D and F increases
Brain connections, if you look at all of these are kind of new wave of medications and and molecules being looked at for antidepressant effect ahead of me and psilocybin all these they all seem to function really by inducing rapid sprouting of neurons. And we totally understand that to be a bdnf regulated process.
That's amazing exercise is one of the most well established ways of up regulating bdnf,
right? Yep. I like that one because we feel it, you know like you get done with a beginner.
You get you get done with that workout and not that that's immediate bdnf. We say things like oh, you don't feel it that fast. It's like well, you know, we you feel ketamine that fast when it works as an antidepressant it works within a few hours usually and so it's kind of remarkable. But yeah, I love I love the way that exercise like food can really be one of those things when you see people get better and beat depression not always you can be depression in other ways, but that's usually part of the package that people bring to the table.
Oh, yeah,
are there foods that you're aware of that can also lead to an increase in bdnf.
So the way that we back into Foods is looking at the nutrients that can increase or influence the bdnf Gene. And so I know of six nutrients with significant evidence that they influence beauty and a thorough there's a molecular pathway by which they do and let me see if I can name all there's think there are the launching to omega-3 fats, but particularly
Eh, eh magnesium is actually a paper where they look at the mechanism of ketamine and they also look at the mechanism of magnesium and in there. They're pretty close. There's the there's a Flavin all or some of the flavanols the polyphenols can induce and there are a couple of different ones of those they seem to be able to help with bdnf. That's for I'm going to guess. Oh, I think B12 and
And then I'm going to guess iron is my last one, but I might not remember Max.
I think that was more than that. What I was six I was six. Okay, six interesting. Let me just go back
and say five. Okay, there were an inn for I'm sure
well. Well, I love that that week that we have these nutrients because they're pretty ubiquitous like in the food supply if you know where to look for them.
Yeah, it took AA I mean there's a physician we don't get a lot of training in nutrition, but actually my last book in some ways, but just really about that here are these
Nutrients that really matter and in this book he to be depression and anxiety. I focus on 12 is we looked in the literature? Dr. Laura Hutchinson. I did a little paper called antidepressant Foods because as we were starting to think about teaching clinicians about this, right this makes sense, there's lots of Bio molecular Pathways that support this now there's lots of correlational and now clinical data how let's start talking to clinicians and see what happens and it kind of scratch their heads. Like what flutes are you gonna tell them to prescribe me like you all just tell the patient's Mediterranean.
Diet do it olive oil all the time. And and we wanted to kind of back it up a little bit more. And so we looked in the literature and we found their 12 nutrients really that seem to have a very high level of evidence that they are involved in the prevention and the treatment of depression you look at something like sink populations that eat less think have more depression. Look at people who get depressed. They have overall and is a population level lower levels of saying you look at what zinc does hmm. It induces b d and f it's involved in like
hundred different chemical reactions in the brain and and then you get to okay. Well what foods have the most sink and the plant-based foods with the most zinc are things that you know, sometimes get concerned in terms of absorption but in the plant and the animal world it's oysters and then you think well, what are the nutrients in an oyster? Hmm and you get this real quick basic lesson of nutritional Psychiatry, which is about nutrient density. We're when you look at an oyster you see launch and Omega-3
As you see a plethora of B12 C selenium, you see zinc you see Iron? You see almost all the nutrients. I just named that seem to promote bdnf. And so as you think about then seeking a diet where for the fewest number of calories, you're getting the most nutrients for your brain and that's really where the food recommendations for me to be depression and anxiety come from just taking these foods and thinking rather taking these nutrients and thinking what are the foods with the most of them?
How do we help people integrate those Foods into their life in a meaningful way and most importantly I think the piece that really gets missed and I do think says nutritional Psychiatry apart as we start to really then look at Food categories. So you don't have to eat the kale in the oysters of those are disgusting to you is a psychiatrist. I'm really interested in your joyfulness as an eater. There's this this chapter in the book called eater heal thyself, right just thinks right now in particular and I think makes you you know this as well as anyone better than most of us realize how kind of
These people are how influenced people are how badly people are hurting in terms of really wanting to put their effort into changes in their life and their food that work. And so it's really important to me to present the information and really balanced way that helps people transcend some of these debates that are not the right debate. They should eat meat or eat impossible burger and I don't think that's the right debate to be having right now. Right debate that we should be having right now is how can we
support one another and ourselves to really get motivated to feed our mental health and feed our brains think that's that's that that's the least. That's what I hope shifts in happens. Yeah. Well, you mentioned you
mentioned oysters because they are very rich in
zinc. What are
some other foods that are on this list of 12. Is it 12 foods to be depression? Well, there's there's the power players in the
book and those are the foods that really wanted to highlight because they represent food category so well,
Don't want we don't want to give them all away. But
what about give them all the way this is the genius Life podcast. I mean, I was thinking on the way over here as if you're nothing like how am I think all of the you know how high the Foods on my list or Foods Foods in your books to I think there's a pretty pretty I think we're just there's a lot of bias support here. But I'm okay with all the debate going on. I'm okay to be here. This is a safe place that
feels it is and I there it's okay if there's overlap and you have 12 Foods, I you know, I only have 10 genius food. So you found at least two Foods
Maybe the we're not on my radar when I wrote genius food. So I want to I want to get into we can go through six what are six of the you already listed oysters. But what are some of the foods? Yeah, let's talk about some of the other
foods that I think are important in terms of why they're on their conceptually because again, whether those are the foods are not for you, it's more of what do they represent likewise? Kefir on the list. It's a fermented dairy product. It's a more liquidy than yogurt. It also has more colony-forming units than really any other food if you look in the science as a winner,
Thinking about a probiotic you see it's two billion or 50 billion or a hundred billion. Well the life bacterias in kefir. There are some actually study showing a serving of kefir can have up to a trillion Colony forming units. We had never seen your probiotic but I also think it teaches us something about the importance of fermented foods and where they come from what they meant to assist or eclis. So Kefir is on the list as our other fermented foods cashews
wait before you go into cashews. Kefir. There are a number of different.
Types of kefir of available to your average consumer we have like coconut. Oh, wow. That's
great. We have dairy. Kefir. Yeah. Is
there a preference? What if your what if you're trying to be
dairy-free then I don't think you should drink a dairy. Kefir. I think that's that's not going to be good for you
fair is coconut. Kefir abetted a good second place option.
I think so in the sense that as you ferment really anything whether it's kombucha, you're fermenting tea and sugar whether it's you know,
what do they ferment and the coconut fermented drink is that coconut
milk? So it's a good weld coconut coconut water has sugar in it. So I imagine it's a substrate for some you know, so I think there's
some bacteria out there. I think those are interesting Replacements. I think that one of the nice things about kefir and I guess why it's on the list is I think it's an interesting way to be provocative about the dairy concerns that sometimes people have because as you ferment dairies you tend to get rid of lactose just like when you ferment glutinous materials you tend to get
Rid of gluten there's actually study of a double gluten fermentation that removed all of the gluten the literally label. It is gluten-free. Wow, so fermentations of Paws up as a powerful thing, but yes, I think the short answer is if kieffer's not your thing finds are fermented foods and experiment with them and see in see what can work for you cashews cashews and just been a big part of our house since we started having kids because when you have kids there's this whole like like anxiety trip. When do you feed them nuts?
Yes, and it's a good deep Rabbit Hole to get into on the internet. And and so we started being really strange friends. We started like chewing up nuts and feeding them to our children like like little like like kinda like birds I guess is I don't know how it's going to horrify everyone. But yeah, that's what we did and and then cashews entered our life just because breast milk tends not to have as much iron. It's definitely by far the best food for babies, but cashews are high or iron-containing not so certainly not the only iron containing food. We
If our kids but one of them some of the other Foods on their red peppers just looking vitamin C is one of the nutrients made the list and and everyone goes to Citrus that's fine choice, but I just like peppers and using them in food and red peppers just have a plethora of vitamin C
to know that red peppers, like all night shades have have Trace Amounts of caffeine not caffeine
nicotine in them. You know, I have heard that and
And yeah, I think that that's that's one of those fascinating things. You see in the Plant World these this homology that exists right? Would you get things like, you know melatonin in Plants cherries, right? Actually a lot of different foods cherries have a little tiny bit and they all actually have a little they all have like picograms. It's like little tiny amounts, but it's just it's fascinating that we think about how intertwined we are with these other organisms and how we share common molecules. It's I
Really inspiring. I think it's also one of the reasons I end up being I would say a Luddite. I just really trust traditional foods as I just think look there's a lot been going on that. You don't have any idea about me right the microbiome 10 years ago. We wouldn't even mention that word. We like bugs in your gut and those wouldn't be part of talking about depression and anxiety. And so I just I trust Natural Foods because I think that's where we came from and that's what our brains have been made out of and currently there's a lot of
Reasons a lot of things informing the mental health epidemic is certainly one of them that looks real suspicious to me in the data has been the way that we've changed how we food nourish our brains.
Yeah, I couldn't agree
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Market on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone, you know, we love that here the genius life and Thrive Market has a new exclusive offer for us genius lifers jointed and get 25% off of your first order and a free gift. That's Thrive. Thr, I ve market.com genius life to get 25% off of your first order and a free gift stock up your wallet and brain will thank you and now back to my chat with dr. Ramsey. That's a big that's a big rabbit hole to go down. But yeah, I mean the Uber -
hyper industrial industrialization of our food supply, you know are the are just chronic exposure to industrially produced toxicants, whether their endocrine disruptors or heavy metals you name it. But um, but that's the subject for a different for different conversation. We were up to bell peppers,
but let's talk about some other Foods assembly talk about some Seafoods and that was a the book ends with a six-week plan really to try and do what we do in our Clinic was just help people jumpstart their motivation.
Send all of the strange
voices we hear is in are here in our heads about and on the internet about food what we should do and really think about you and your life where you are what goals you have and how you can evolve as an eater. And so Seafood is really important category. It just it is where you find these long chain omega-3 fats. You also just find a lot of nutrient density when you look at salmon or anchovies or oysters or clams and mussels and so Anchovies and wild salmon were the two that I thought were most accessible to people and really that you can find
and in very budget friendly ways as a lot of course concerned about are these Foods accessible to people that's one of my favorite recipes in the book is the salmon burgers. You ask if I'm a chef and let me tell you I feel like the best chef in the world where my children eat these wild salmon burgers because it you can do it was a little croquettes and they're delicious. You can do them with a variety of different there an almond flour or coconut. If I mean, you can really use a lot of different bases in the book. We make them a couple different ways, honey.
Soy and a kind of daily deal salmon burger, but they're in there because of nutrient density because of the omega-3 fats and also just because Seafood tends to if you look at all these traditional diets that are really really healthy for the brain Japanese diet Norwegian diet the Mediterranean diet. There's just more Seafood in there than Americans tend to consume. Yeah. I couldn't agree more. I'm a huge
fan of anchovies. I'm glad that you brought those up there at their sort of the underutilized readily. We just we just learned about
America like that.
Their own pizza and they stink and it's just like that's just so I'm first of all, that's not true. But it's not true. A lot of people say that about
sardines. I've no I don't find that the I understand why people have this trepidation to try them, you know that they are a little slimy, but they've never seen they don't stink to me
I get that. I was really sensitive to Seafood. I didn't eat any Seafood till I was maybe like 30 and and so I do I do the way that like they do smell a little fishy to me even the same and sometimes a little for me it just a little I just think I'm
That have to fish a lake it all now, but I think takes a little while to develop palette. What do you what are some good ways to do anchovies in the house. Oh
man. Well, I just I find that anchovies in a salad are just game changed like game changed, especially if you there's a dressing that I have in ingenious Foods. It's like a nutritional yeast based dressing where it's basically it's extra virgin olive oil apple cider vinegar nutritional yeast.
Salt pepper and it's like
this like cheesy and the fishies don't forget the
fishies. Well, no, here's the thing. So the anchovies are not included in that in that cell dressing just because I knew that it would turn people off but if you throw anchovies into that, it's just amazing. So yeah, so did I but any salad like make a salad put anchovies into it. Don't forget the anchovies are generally used in Caesar salad dressing. That shit is amazing.
My all kale Caesar salad. My favorite kale sees my favorite Caesar salad or just
Salad recipe is the all kill Caesar Lacinato kale chiffonade. So just roll them up and slice it real thin and then a Caesar a caesar dressing with lots of anchovies recipe developers. Like you can't put in more enjoy these it's I want to put in
more no anchovies are if you're if you got if you're listening to this and you haven't tried it just try them just make sure that it's it can be hard to find anchovies an extra virgin olive oil. Yep,
get him an extra virgin olive oil make the vinaigrette make mac salad dressing and mix them in make the
All kale Caesar need to be depression and anxiety and make pasta. I mean the the anterior sardine pasta like yeah,
you can also find anchovy paste which if the idea of eating like an anchovy weirds you out you can find the
paste that's an easy hack for the also for the Caesar salad dressings. We just put a little squirt in mix it in with your whatever you like to put in their olive oil May. Oh, yeah, and you know, whatever your t's of choices.
Let's talk briefly about plant-based diets.
Um, there's a lot of reasons why people adopt plant-based diets, right? And whatever reason is your reason, you know, if you happen to be on a plant-based diet totally fine, but from the from your Vantage Point as a mental health expert do plant-based diets concern
Plant-based diets concern me because it's a dietary pattern that require supplementation that you might be able to debate that a little bit. Now there have been some B12 analogs. I think found in a couple types of algae and long-chain omega-3 fats. I think, you know one might be able to argue you make those right? So it's not exactly an essential fat although they're essential fats.
So and then when you look at some of the data and it's just want to cherry-pick like some of the concerning stuff like the Epic Oxford study that found 40. I'm sorry 52 percent of male vegans for B12 deficient. So there's frankly B12 deficient and then 23% additionally were B12 insufficient. Meaning that your level is normal, but it's so low that it's not really offering you the mental health and brain benefits that a normal B12 level offers. So
You can certainly supplement as every begin listening knows so I think that but it just concerns me. It concerns me to kind of direct people towards a diet that you need a supplement to for. It concerns me because of manure and because of animal husbandry. We don't have lots of animals on our farm but we've been told the raccoon ate all of them and a gray fox like a big gray fox and I'm pretty sure it's some of them but we've been living with chickens.
Past couple of years and it's just a really it's just an interesting experiences human have these animals that we had some chickens and they imprinted on us so you like walk out the door and they like come to you and then they give you food and then they also like scratch around and fertilize your garden because they have this really wonderful High nitrogen poop. And and you feel that you're part of this food cycle part of the farm cycle. And so maybe that's just like Nostalgia, I guess but it seems
To me. There's something going on there. Does that mean that we should have massive factory farms and we should have everyone eating lots and lots of meat. I don't I don't think so. But to me, it means that there's something something very human about living in existence with animals that includes eating them at least for me in the path. I've chosen now. I've also I was a vegetarian for 10 years and I didn't feel that way. I was in a period of my life where meet grossed me out the smell of meat.
Ask me out. So I've obviously my own way, I guess evolved and shifted I think for anybody listening that's just my request is a psychiatrist is that they you have a plan that makes sense to you and that's really the work or our work and mental health is no it's not indoctrinate people into me. You can really tell a approach nutrition. I think I hope like a psychiatrist which our job is really to live in a world with a stance of neutrality and encouragement that I'm not trying to make.
Q eat like me I'm hoping to give you some guidelines to help you like you and so that's where I try to say bypass the issue. I just know I've been doing this for 10 years. I'm tired of debating whether people should eat a hamburger or not because I think that's your decision. That's not my decision. And I think people can argue the data either way at this point. I think some of the other concerns probably that so the manure is a big concern. I went up to the biggest kale field in America back in
I like kale hero days and let me Max what Max intervened he helped me. He's like pulled me aside. He's like bro got expand beyond the kale this beyond the kale
Max were you vegetarian at that
point? No. I came out of vegetarianism before I met you and it wasn't it was also the low-fat vegetarian lot of snackwell cookies. I think it may be a little scrubber that of just I've lived it right don't eat cholesterol and then you look at like what's the data supporting dietary cholesterol being an evil component of the human diet.
And it's not very impressive dietary cholesterol cholesterol levels for sure important important part of prevention in cardiology, but dietary cholesterol. Mmm. I wasn't there at least I just wasn't impressed by the amount of do that there was and so those are some of the many way this big kale Fielder standing there and we drove by it and it's grown in the manure from the local dairy farms and you're sitting there looking at that, you know, what that organic kale represents the plant based movement and then you're looking at the reality of
Where it comes from that it doesn't exist without the dairy industry and that it and it just in exit was growing in between all those kale plants was purslane, which is an even more nutrient-dense kale or even more nutrient dense than chaos. Probably the best green out there and it's just laid the waist. It's not even personally and personally and is the highest I mean if you're looking for plant based omega-3 is it's the highest plant-based ala containing food and it is just incredibly nutrient-dense it grows as a weed in.
People's Gardens got a little succulent look to it. And it's got a little kind of a citrusy almost viscous. You might even say like that at the Slime of okra, but just a little bit more viscosity like a almost like a succulent plant. It's really nice on a grill. If you take a spring of like a sprig of it. You can Grill it and super it's got a really really nice. So some manure B12 and the omega-3 fats and and then in terms of the ethics of it, sorry.
The ethics of it. Well, I'm probably not the best person to talk about that in my own thinking. There's something about the value of life in the importance of having gratitude for your food and whether you're taking the life of a plant whether you're taking the life of an animal, I think being more aware and involved in that process is certainly one of the things from the vegan movement that I think it's important that everybody adopts because I think that leads you to a lot of
different places in a lot of it certainly those types of ideas thinking about the environmental impact of my food thinking about the cruelty around the food that I ate. Those are really influenced me and how I've developed my eating over the past decade.
Yeah. I couldn't agree more having empathy in gratitude for
for the animals
that were, you know, unwittingly sacrificed, you know for your benefit I think is a very important part of the equation and it really bothers me that
That people have this perception that that that you know, it's sort of this mutually exclusive scenario where if you eat meat and you can't possibly care about animals you can do both you can be an omnivore and you can also deeply care about the environment animals and it's just like the straw man argument that has come from I have no idea where but but if you're an empathetic person, but you also care about the health of yourself and your loved ones.
Ones you can embody both and you should embody
both. I think people have a really hard time with death max. I mean, I think it's just something that we tend to avoid I think as I've got to sit with people as they think about their own mortality and one of the things that kind of happens in a psychiatrist's office or as they struggle with grief and grieving when they lose someone and I think that there's something about the way that life and death and nourishment get caught up in an intertwined together that is just
It was easy to oversimplify it and I certainly respect to that one. One of my favorite vegan said to me it's not so much that I object to eating meat every now and then I just know I won't make the right choices and I just don't want to be involved in that system and and and I can really appreciate that. I wouldn't say I was make the you know my own kind of quote unquote right choices. It's also interesting during the pandemic for the first time. Really. I kind of move to a really pastored centered.
Meet by a quarter of a cow from our neighbor and so we actually do raise some of the hey that it's fed and I can watch them grow up. It's really kind of idyllic really really grass-fed animals and and then I liked doing that meets your because it also challenges me as a cook where instead of just getting you know in that rut that Americans in it right strip strip steaks rib eyes and burgers and that's and filet mignon.
Those are my four Love Languages right there,
And and I don't think I think you also I mean, I think you love I think you speak a little like beef shank. I think you're probably speak a little break. You just had brisket for lunch.
I'm gonna do not say it like you don't speak
but the challenge you to use those other other cuts of meat right how to learn to use a slow cooker how to make a great beef stew and and I really appreciated that in terms of expanding my own way that just my family and I use meat also, I think it's just interesting around kids mean
There's a big debate around veganism vegetarianism in kids because kids don't really get to make a choice and there's there's not good data. I mean, I think that there's so much kind of saber-rattling and so much animosity in the conversation and so much yelling right now that you know, sometimes it feels like we really need to step back and say like, okay, there's really not a lot of data for a lot of this stuff and they're certainly has not been longitudinal studies of veganism is in childhood that
so yeah, and then there's some concerning studies like there's the case series of looking at B12 deficiency in women during pregnancy. It was looking at a group that had half the group had pernicious anemia. So that's an autoimmune disorder by which you end up not being able to absorb B12 and then the other group had were vegans and they just found lasting neurological and neurocognitive effects that just the kids. Who came
The vegan pregnancy tend to have this maybe just want to know what the results of the study but it sounds like I'm saying something worse than I am. But they tend to have smaller heads. There were some cognitive findings and Mike remember the exact details and I don't want to get the wrong on your podcast, but just just the bottom line of
That that is concerning going you just think about thinking about a population really giving up foods that generally we have always eaten. I mean there haven't been any pure leave it vegan societies and I think there's probably some reasoning behind that. Remember once I'm going to tell me they found one and like then that meant something I was thinking. Well the majority haven't been and also even if you found it like vegan Society, like does that necessarily mean?
That it's healthy or that it's good for cognitive benefits. And that's where I saying. Like, I think there's a lot of debating right now sometimes without a lot of data and so I think what's most important is a physician and mental health professional that people should know is you should have your B12 level checked whether you're vegan vegetarian or not and your vitamin D level and you should make sure that you have enough of those you should think about things like the omega-3 fats in your diet and if there are some things for example, if you don't want to eat anything that has a face or eat anything with a mother, I don't know.
No, what about a clam a clam is the Top nutritional source of vitamin B12. If you're flexible vegan, I've met a lot of folks who are vegans and I hear about mussels and clams and their foods that they've already other eaten or liked or a part of their culture as I want one work with a woman from Belgium and she was a vegan and then we're going through our food history and sort of mentioned mussels clams and oysters. So I'm a vegan except for those nothing. Well, that's you know, that's what you need. As you know, our friend Mark. Hi.
With pegan died when there's some a lot of that makes perfect sense in terms of let's just go over the stuff that we all agree on olive oil good plants good seafood good. So
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Special offer for the genius live audience receive 20% off of your first purchase of the good which is the name of their highly lauded serum. Again, that's Caldera lab.com Max for 20% off and now back to my chat with dr. Ramsey. Yeah. I mean, I just got there's so much there and I just I love everything that you've just said I've said publicly and I stand by this fully that I you know, I would have no problem loving somebody being a
relationship with somebody who's plant-based or mostly plant-based, but I would not procreate with somebody who was not willing to at least during the carriage of the pregnancy consume meat and animal products.
What about if they wanted to supplement like you and your vegan girlfriend? I like imagine this like Max's super vegan girlfriend, and and I like to talk we could probably spend a little bit of this podcast talking about how to find her max if you want. I mean, maybe I love I love talking to people about the relationships, but
Even if you took like a long chain omega-3 fats supplement and I will supplement and a B12 supplement or prenatal vitamin or she's eating like lots of lots of healthy plants.
I mean, I feel like that would be
she loves you a lot Max wants a baby with you and well first
of all, I wouldn't impose my way of thinking on anybody else. So nobody else nobody listening to this. I mean, I'm not saying that you can't get some Shootin to procreate with somebody true vegan girlfriends of Max might want to pay attention. I personally wouldn't want to
To risk that and I also feel like what you just described like looking at each nutrient in accordance with the current body of literature. That's what that is is that's nutrient ISM or nutritionism, you know, where we make the attempt, you know, where you will attempt what we call it with utter hubris right to think that we know exactly what it is in animal products that neonate needs to Cog to cognitively and you know in every other way physiologically flourish, right? I just don't
Trust our knowledge that much and I would default I would want I would want to default to you know, eating the foods that I know that human beings ate during the time in which our brains evolved choline. For example, you didn't mention choline
didn't mention:: actually it didn't make the list of 12 nutrients on the antidepressant food scale. And we added it be choline like folate is very much tied to pregnancy outcomes. So folate is the reason for
Folic acid is in a prenatal vitamin is that if you have low folate or folic acid during pregnancy or during you end up with what are called neuro to neural tube defects it literally there aren't enough B vitamin or methyl groups to close. This is the the neuro tube. So as the kind of you go from, you know, 16 cells to like a little creature with the spinal cord. That doesn't go as well. If you don't have enough folate. Well the same type of data exists for choline and you find choline.
Call him because you find it in eggs and tofu. And so it really it really like slits. Everybody turns of a nutrient that are two foods that tend to you know, track with different types of dietary tribes. But choline is just one of and it's actually one of the only nutrients is really tied to anxiety just a correlational cross-sectional study, but still that it's it's an interesting
nutrient. Yeah, I see. I think that that would be the compromise the and the compromise which if you're in a relationship with somebody because again, I
And say that I wouldn't that I wouldn't be in a relationship with somebody on a plant-based diet. But if they weren't willing to meet me halfway during the pregnancy when we're co-creating.
What food would you have her meet you halfway with meet me at like, you know, I mean at the very least take like beef liver supplements. You don't even have to eat it beef liver is I mean, I don't know that's not I don't think that's half way. That's like, that's pretty I mean that's like pretty hardcore little aggro. I mean the liver is you know, I mean
to make them in pills you can buy beef
liver pills. No, I know they make it.
Thinking pills now. I really kind of a it's a strange strange world where in Mac
by the way, also the new the the foods that the mother eats also influences the nutritional composite composition of breast
milk for sure. That was I mean that yeah that was part of I guess my dad life over the past decade was was my wife breastfed for a long time and it was really interesting is Amanda participate with
That it's funny when you drink breast milk or talk about how he tried breast milk. How many people are like Pro brain health and pro food and really like woke and lots of ways and then they like make a retching sound and I think it's like one of the most misogynistic things I've ever seen because Chris proulx really delicious. It's a little bit sweet. It's by far the best brain food. And and I think it's yeah, it's one of those things that certainly food affects also the palate of the child is influence of your mom.
Eating lots lots of processed food. So lots of sweets out the sugar right you're going to have a breast milk that and the child's going to be an in utero experience where taste develops it's just different than a mom. That's eat lots of garlic and lots of seafood. And so, you know get there when you're thinking about having kids and starting a family. I just need these are the types of things that make parents really really neurotic. But there I think is great data and and and beyond that just left a great experience of how having a family can be done in really
really healthy ways. I think that's exactly the opposite of what gets marketed to us as parents were like, oh you see your commercials of like it's total chaos time to order
in or you know,
don't you need like more processed food to make your life convenient or like don't you need some gel does green for your child to get their veggies and you know, and it turns kids into this like I don't somehow they're you know horrible when they're just trying to like figure it out and get fed and not eat disgusting stuff which a lot of adult food tastes disgusting two children and
And parents who you know increasingly even if you're not a helicopter parents are just you know, where and very worried about kids getting proper nourishment. And I think that's where also the supplement become such a mmm even my house because my son will get up on the counter and I'll say like that can we have a multivitamin to we haven't had one for like a week, you know just in case and you'll hear me say like oh this, you know multivitamins for but in the dead mode, I'm like, yeah. Yes, sweetie just in case and it's it's a type of I think time.
Type of thinking that forgets what we are it forgets that we're like Alpha Predators giant giant cerebral containing creatures that like can live on cardboard for a week and that we can extract all the nutrients from we need from a variety of sources because we have this massively big metabolic and hungry brain. And so
yeah, I just trying to figure out again so the vegan
girlfriend that you're gonna have a baby with is
Really intriguing me and but yeah, and I want to talk about all the barriers between you and she would I do think the beef liver maybe should take the supplement, but I'm going to try the muscles in the bivalves with her because I think
those I mean they're very romantic. Well, I'd be down but those are not vegan. I'm just I'm just saying if she flivver supplement, I'm just saying it would be an it would be a we would reach an impasse if she were not willing to compromise with me temporarily. I'm not saying that I want to dictate her
diet. Yeah, but Max is a difference between the big
Brown eyes of a cow and then that little like, you know clam that says gurgling in the in the sea. I just think you should appreciate her perspective. That's what she's worried about. You know, she's got a lot of feelings. I
would I would completely appreciate her perspective if she were willing to also appreciate mine and that we can meet in the middle because at the end of the day, you know what the
brain is its
you're influencing something that's going to have lifelong repercussions on this
child. I think I want to be your digital wig, man.
That you're looking for. Yeah, and yeah and I think and just so all of the women listening vegan or not. You know, I'm gonna be here to help you Max for this stuff.
I love that
you'll be the best man at my I also I also right there the weather like where are you gonna have like a vegan aisle and a non-vegan on be like over here. We've got like the whole hog, and and
they'll be like a they'll be have to be like a divider because a lot of her vegan friends will probably be a Fete, you know, like it's going to be a complicated wedding to plan but I like this poly one of my favorite things as a shrink to fair. I love helping people buy their first car you do a lot of that in my business and I love wedding plan. It's really it's
The the best part of the job is it? Yeah, I've got very little experience with that but it's going to be beautiful
but it's interesting. You know, like the reason why I feel so strongly about this is my mom early in her life. She was a
meat eater.
She was always health-conscious, but she ate she ate meat early in her life. Like I remember she would always tell me that
her favorite thing to eat was which
you know, I've I think I may be tried it once or twice and I was thought it was a very
a weird thing to enjoy as much as it seems like she did but she used to love when she was like a kid who told me she loved like beef tongue which I was hot was kind of strange but then as she got older and she became more and more empathetic my mom for most of my life. She was a vegetarian but during the time in which you know,
she I think like
probably just maybe a year up until maybe a year or two after she had me she was
More of an omnivore, you know, her diet was more omnivorous and it's
you know and pattern end.
And then and she basically stripped her diet of some of these more nutrient-dense animal foods and instead. She started reaching for the foods that were like, you know, how it would have that red heart healthy logo on them. And I'm not saying that the removal of of animal products is why my mom's health ended up being so disastrous which you know, anybody who knows me and my story regular listeners of this of this show. Well, no, you know, it really was
Was terrible you know, it didn't it didn't help her and I do think you know, my hypothesis is that if she would have had a more sort of balanced diet and you know had she Incorporated some of these more nutrient dense foods. I don't know I think and I'll never be able to prove this but I think that she you know would
have had better better odds,
but nonetheless, you know, I mean, she had a I think a more balanced diet and you
and I appreciate her for that.
Because you know I was born premature, but I've had very
few like health problems, you know up until this, you know, or
at least, you know to this point in my life, you know knock on
wood looking pretty healthy still. Yeah, I mean, you
know, I think it's important. I think it's important diet. You know, I'm a huge as you are, you know, I mean what we eat matters and there's so much convoluting, you know biased information.
Ian coming out there
and you know,
it's just it's never as simple and straightforward as people like to make it out to be and so I think at the end of the day you have to default to to logic to Common Sense and you know, when looking at the nutrients contained an animal products, I mean, it's like Plug and Play for our body, you know plants are amazing. Like I love plants. I eat them all the time. We just had lunch, you know, but in many ways plans have
A different operating system than us. Whereas when you eat like when you consume, you know red meat or mollusks are whatever you're getting the nutrients in those Foods in the bio identical forms in which they present in your
body. Yeah, and many of them are more bioavailable bioavailable. When you look at things like zinc and iron where plants have worked very hard to get those things out of the Rock and then they hang on to them very tightly. It's one of the reasons that cooking plants for cooking things like beans.
Lentils is so important is the anti-nutrients of people have been getting folks worried about unfortunately those dissipate when you cook them, just so you know. Yeah, but you I like to say that you're saying that the sort of serve a little bit of a different function right in the terms of you thinking about, you know fats and proteins you end up getting from animal products, especially long-chain fats. And and then the Plant World really think about how we feel and feed the microbiome. And then also I think keep us full I think about what somebody