• Call Now: 405.341.3554
  • Connect

Edmond Family Counseling Articles

Articles by the Counselors at Edmond Family Counseling

A Diet for Your Brain??

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Monica Whitten, Edmond Family Counseling Practicum Student

Most of us think about our physical health quite a bit, whether it’s wishing you were a few pounds lighter, thinking about your blood pressure, trying to fix chronic tummy trouble, etc. In an attempt to remedy these concerns, many people resort to a variety of diets and exercise regimes, especially those that claim by “adding this ingredient”, “avoiding this food group”, or “doing this once a day” will produce near-instant dieting success. Obviously, plans that promise significant weight loss are among the most common choices of diet, but have you ever thought about picking a diet that’s best for your brain? What would that diet even look like? Of the millions of diets out there, is there one that can do it all?

It’s fairly common knowledge now that a great deal of our immune system resides within in our gut. The good bacteria that live in our stomachs digest the food we consume and in return help us fight off foreign pathogens. But they don’t just fend off the bugs that are responsible for colds and flus. They also prevent toxins and other invaders from entering the blood stream and reaching the brain where, shockingly, they can affect our mood and even impact our psychological health. In short, these tiny helpers provide a barrier of defense between us and potential inflammatory diseases, physical illnesses, and yes, even mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

So if proper diet and exercise can help us feel better physically, why do we neglect these areas when we need a boost mentally? Both mental and psychological processes have been shown to improve with the right nutrition and activity levels. Of all the popular diets today, which ones are best for our brains? Scott C. Anderson from Psychology Today recommends several important areas of nutrition for beefing up your intestinal defenses. Diets that are high in fiber, omega-3’s, and fermented foods (such as yogurt and kombucha) and low in sugars and refined grains are more likely to produce a happy healthy brain. Additionally, a vitamin-rich diet full of folate, calcium, magnesium, and B-vitamins as well as vitamins E, C, and K can also produce awesome brain-boosting effects.

But with all of these recommendations, is it possible to find a brand-name (i.e., “Pinterest-able”) diet that checks all of these boxes? Let us take a look at some of the most popular diets today.

THE KETOGENIC DIET- Low-Carb diets are no new trend. Having been around for decades, the key difference between traditional low-carb diets and the trendy ketogenic diet is strictly the number of carbs. The high protein and fats recommended in this diet means there are plenty of opportunities to get the omega-3 fatty acids that make your brain happy. However, it does discourage some higher-carb fruits and veggies that may provide some of your essential vitamins, as well as nearly eliminating fiber in the form of whole grains. This doesn’t mean that those aiming for better mental health should avoid keto, but just bear in mind that alterations should be made, such as adding extra high-fiber veggies or taking a multi-vitamin.

THE PALEO DIET- The premise of this diet is to adhere to what we were “meant” to eat based on the diets of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Paleo diets are rich in veggies, lean proteins, fruits, seeds, and nuts while discouraging sugar, dairy, and grains. While this diet rocks at providing vitamins and minerals, adjustments are recommended to account for the lack of dairy and whole grains that can provide fiber, calcium, and probiotics. In addition to some mood-boosting benefits, Paleo may also help reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and promote weight loss.

MEDITERRANEAN DIET- Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! Of all the popular diets today, the Mediterranean diet is earning the praises of nutritionists and psychologists alike. Emphasizing the traditional diets of Greece, Spain, and southern Italy, the Mediterranean diet emphasizes fish, olive oil, nuts, fruits and veggies, while still allowing for smaller amounts of whole grains, dairy, and yes, even wine! This diet is essentially exploding with vitamins, omega-3’s, and fiber while eliminating processed sugars and grains. In addition to keeping your mind sharp and your mood bright, this diet can also seriously lower the risk of heart disease, inflammatory illnesses, and can help you shed a few pounds in the process.

It is possible to eat a diet that promotes both physical and mental wellbeing, as well as potentially checking off a few other health goals along the way. It is important to be cautious of any diet recommending avoiding entire food groups, and supplementing with multivitamins and probiotics when needed. By making small adjustments to your favorite weight loss plan, you can gain a better mood and sharper brain in addition to losing a few inches off the waist.


Post has no comments.
Post a Comment

Captcha Image

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts


Enabling Adult Children fads Americans with Disabilities Act Emotional Development Siblings in Conflict Boundaries Sheila Stinnett Twenty Somethings Great Depression Alcohol Drug Abuse Edmond National Drug Threat Assessment Summary Holidays Child Abuse Jay Asher Jackie Shaw self-sabotage Prom guidelines for teens responsibility Substance Abuse Instagram Grounded Hope Positive Illusions gadgets Schedule 1 Drug Butane Hask Oil Choices Unemployment Grandparent Initiative Mayme White Miller How to manage anxiety Grandparents as parents Death Drug Use Changing Problem Behavior Social anxiety Microagression Drinking in high school Positive Thinking diet Speaker Listener Technique Retirement What Really Matters Nutrition and stress Summer time parenting Relationships Parent peer pressure Help for panic and anxiety Character Development Andy Weir Bullying Helen Keller Teenage Development Darcy McConnell Therapy Anxiety Impact of Suicide Communicating with your teen privilege Presidential debate parenting college age kids Anger Teens and Smartphones spring Divorce non-verbal communication How prevalent is domestic violence College Age Children United States Drug Enforcement Agency Medical Use of Marijuana in Oklahoma Underage Drinking Fear Newsletter Prom Funding Oklahoma drug use Lee Daniel Kravetz Facebook Marijuana Snapchat The Amazing Race list Parenting with purpose Developmentally appropriate strategies for grief counseling Self-Esteem Edmond drug use Summer Decision-Making Chad McCoy Donald Miller bucket list 5 Love Languages The Golden Years Sanjay Gupta Suicide Conflict Divorce School Dr. Ben Carson Communicating with your child Social Media Teens and Time Management AARP How do children process trauma 710 Grandparenting personal growth Prescription Drugs College Transitions Golden Child How long should counseling take Self Image Edmond Municipal Court Marriage counseling Dr. Rhonda Patrick Chores for Teens Tumblr Setting Boundaries for Your Teen Parkland Shooter Prom safety Wax Audrey Woods Back to School ADA Consequences Oklahoma Department of Human Services Disasters Community Suicide Prevention Programs Addiction Suicide Prevention for Teens World Health Organization HK pen THE KETOGENIC DIET Time Management Trauma Micro-aggression Disciplining Teens Strong Willed Child Early Treatment of Depression Learning Terrorism and children Summer Plans for Teens Exercise treatment for depression Depression Tetra-Amelia Syndrome Political Correctness Supersurvivors Role Models Teenagers Retirement Planning Independent Living Setting Boundaries with Adult Children 13 Reasons Why NOT Call of Duty Technology Food Allergies The Martian Movie Learning Disabilites Parenting and Cell Phones Teen Jobs Emotions Goal Setting College Bias Domestic violence resources Panic attacks Seniors Eating Disorder Ridley Scott Mild-Depression Family Roles Divorce with minor children Depression and social media How many sessions do I need Co-Parenting Class Why did the system fail John Goetz Teen Drug Use Sexual Abuse Teenage perception of drug use Butane Honey Oil Working Parents HB 2249 DIY Marriage counseling Parenting Child Development Panic Disorder Political bias How to talk to your kids about terrorism Teen Parenting Millenials Teens Use of Technology Entitlement Syndrome Happiness Normalcy Quinton Ellis Young Adults Negative Thinking Edmond Character Council Reading Positive Reinforcement Apps for Teens Annie Sullivan Discipline brain Mental Health James Dobson Stress Detox Diet Communication techniques for couples When Teens Should Get a Cell Phone Teen Safety Prevention Teens and cell phones School The Butterfly Circus Joshua and Rebecca Weigel Misconceptions of Smoking Marijuana School Anxiety Adult Children Twitter Oklahoma Statute on Marijuana Belinda Crosier Bias and memory Teenage Boys Suicide Prevention Recommendations Disability How to control panic attacks Family Systems Theory Risk taking Codependency Childhood depression Personality Test Marriage The Martian Book Procrastination What Matters Most Program Girl Strong Spanking New year’s resolution How to detect signs of depression Opiods Waxing What to do when you are laid off Dating MEDITERRANEAN DIET Holiday stress Scapegoating Heroin in the Suburbs Co-Parenting GirlStrong Al McCormick What is domestic violence goals Isolation in teens The Miracle Worker high school Unemployment and depression Gun violence and mental health Amanda Percival How common are panic attacks Heroin Crisis Peers Affluenza Aggregated News for Teens How to recognize domestic violence Family Theory Culture College Campus Children History Brain Research Limitations of counseling Bong Cell Phones Michael Jackson Managing substance abuse ADHD Hanna Baker Movies for Teens Will counseling work quickly Support Group 13 Reasons Why Communication Panic Is therapy forever Confidentiality David Feldman Legalization of Marijuana Teen Suicide THE PALEO DIET Organization Ben Carson Elizabeth Loftus Fidget Spinners Freshman Year Parenting through Divorce Captain of Your Ship Drugs Links between unemployment and depression Parenting Teenagers Feldman and Kravetz Gender Roles Edmond Family Counseling Self Investment


Call Us Now!