The Happiness Diet

The Happiness Diet: Eating to Optimize Brain Health, Gut Health, & Mental Health

The two most common psychological disorders in the world are depression and anxiety.  Their impact on happiness and well-being is tremendous.  The World Health Organization ranks depression as the single largest contributor to disability worldwide (ahead of other widely publicized candidates, like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes).  Anxiety follows not far behind.  Although all mental health disorders are extremely complex in their causation, a compelling and growing body of research says diet plays a significant role in their prevention and treatment.  Certain nutrients and dietary patterns promote a healthy brain, as well as a healthy gut microbiome – both of which are critical to mental well-being.  In contrast, a lack of specific nutrients and an excess of unhealthy, processed foods greatly harms mental health.

Bottom line:  This insightful, research-based, and very timely presentation is about optimizing mental health, and significantly reducing the risk of depression and anxiety, with food.

What you’ll learn:

  • How profoundly food choice affects moods and emotions
  • How food choice impacts brain health, including cell growth, cell damage, connectivity, and plasticity (the ability of the brain to rewire)
  • Why an anti-inflammatory, eating plan is essential for preventing and treating depression and anxiety
  • How specific nutrients affect the production of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the body, like serotonin, that influence mood
  • Why consuming a high-fibre diet, along with a diverse range of plant foods, is critical to a healthy gut microbiome
  • Why certain nutrients – such as omega-3 fats, polyphenols, zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 – are especially important for mental health
  • Why the Mediterranean diet – rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, fish, nuts, and whole grains – may be the best defense against depression
  • How fermented foods and probiotics can increase happiness
  • Why certain antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory herbs and spices, such as curcumin, are considered natural antidepressants
  • How different beverages affect mental health, including water, coffee, tea, sugary drinks, and alcohol
  • Why ultra-processed foods, especially those high in sugar, are so harmful to brain health, gut health, and happiness
  • What the ultimate “Happiness Diet” looks like, including specific foods and food quantities

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