Optimize Your Brain: The Science of Smarter Eating | Dr. Drew Ramsey

We know that brain health depends on proper
nutrition. And so when we see people who have nutritional
deficiencies, maybe, for example, having not enough vitamin B12 or missing certain fats
like the omega-3 fats in their diet, we see that there’s a vastly increased risk of illnesses
like depression and anxiety. We also know that in clinical trials we can
use those nutrients to actually treat brain illnesses like depression and dementia. So every good psychiatric evaluation involves
some lab testing just to make sure that the basic physiology, things like your thyroid,
your B vitamin levels, the amount of potassium and sodium in your body that those are normal. And for a lot of people they are but for some
people they aren’t. And those are instantly reversible deficiencies. For example, if you have an iron deficiency
you’re going to be sluggish; you’re going to have a brain fog. You’re not going to feel well. It’s interesting that we sort of start with
evaluation in labs when really part of my work has been how do we get food into the
conversation. And so I can assess you with a lab test, but,
for example, if you never eat wild salmon or mussels or any good fatty fish that are
a good source of those long chained omega-3 fats, we know that your levels are going to
be low. So really we can learn a lot about someone’s
nutritional status just by asking them simple questions. It doesn’t require expensive testings. In our clinic we simply ask people what they
eat for breakfast lunch and dinner. And that’s really the goal of my book. Eat Complete is helping people – walking them
through a nutritional assessment; it’s called a Simple Food Assessment just because it’s
simple. And thinking about what are your challenges
at every meal and what are the nutrients in the foods, most importantly the foods that
are missing? We know that there are these very important
nutrient-dense foods, the foods that have more nutrients for your brain per calorie. And we want those nutrients because you use
them to make everything in your brain. If you think about it, every molecule in your
brain starts at the end of your fork. And so really what I love about food in clinical
practice – I’m a psychiatrist – is that it gives us an intervention that really you can
focus on and employ every day and it’s a way that we can help patients and people in general
take care of themselves, really employee self-care with every bite. So that’s the idea behind nutritional psychiatry,
as it’s being called. So, a lot of times we focus on super foods
or singular foods. I focused a lot of my work on kale. But really how we want to think is in food
categories. And what I see in clinical practice over and
over again is these same food categories are missing in people’s diets. When we look at the eater landscape in America
what we see is that people are really missing some of these key nutrients. They’re eating very – I call it the beige
diet or the 12-year-old boy diet, like lots of highly processed foods, not a lot of colors. We want to get people having more of those
rainbows on their plate. So the food categories that I really love
to see people put back into their diet when it comes to eating for brain health, we love
to see the leafy greens. So things like kale, I’ve got some watercress
right here that I particularly like; very, very dense green. And nutrient dense, that’s a very important
concept, it’s much more important than calories. Calories really only help us calculate nutrient
density. And nutrient density is the bang for your
buck. Something like this watercress it’s going
to be under 30 calories for a whole cup. And with this or any other leafy green you’re
going to get so much vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A. You’re going to get fiber and you’re
going to get these phytonutrients. Those are molecules in plants that we understand
– they’re much more powerful than just antioxidants. So leafy greens and crunchy vegetables, or
we call them the rainbow vegetables; you want to look at your plate and see colors. You want to see greens and reds and oranges
because each of those colors represent a different phytonutrient, a different pallet of medicine,
as it were. A lot of those powerful phytonutrients, they’re
what color a plant. And so we know everything with red like that
red pepper has lycopene just like a tomato and watermelon. So colorful fruits and vegetables and leafy
greens. And then the category that so many people
are missing is seafood. So we want to get more wild fish and particularly
small fish like anchovies and sardines and there’s all kinds of really fun creative ways
to do this. I love to prescribe ceviche because it’s a
no-cook way of doing food. Something like a scallop or shrimp just in
lime juice. So in terms of the nutrients, what are we
trying to get into people’s diets when we get to eat more of these leafy greens and
seafood? And we’re getting much more of these long-chained
omega-3 fats. Those are very critical for brain health. The longest DHA is actually what brain cells
are made of. And then others EPA, for example, is a very
interesting fat that helps kind of thin the blood. Imagine that your blood is kind of silky smooth
and that’s obviously very important in terms of delivering oxygen to the brain and also
preventing vascular disease as you age. Other nutrients that we want to see a lot
of in people’s diets, we want to see more fiber, more plants because as we understand
the connection between the gut and the brain you can’t have a healthy brain without a healthy
gut. I mean everybody just knows that I think a
little intuitively, when you don’t feel well down here you don’t feel well up here. We also understand there’s a lot of cross
talk between the brain and the gut, just literally hundreds of thousands of neurons, nerve cells
that communicate back and forth between the brain and the gut. And we know the gut has certain bacteria living
in it, the bacteria that really get fostered and are promoted to grow when you eat more
plants, more crunchy plants and more fermented foods. That’s one of the key nutrients that often
gets left out of the conversation – fiber, because gut health is so key. So omega-3 fats, the B vitamins, vitamin B12
– which the food category for that are going to be mussels, clams and oysters – just find
very high concentrations of both B12 and other minerals that are important for the brain,
like zinc is one of my favorites. And so the idea behind nutritional psychiatry
and behind Eat Complete is how do we look at what nutrients are missing and then translate
that into food? So instead of telling people: ‘Hey, you should
eat more iron’, we say ‘Hey, you know what a surprising food is that’s full of iron? Clams’. Or another great source of iron are these
cashews, they’re one of my favorites. Because along with leafy greens and seafood
you want to get a lot of nuts, so almonds, cashews – here’s a nice almond for vitamin
E. And then these are some of my favorite medicines in my clinic, these are pumpkin
seeds. And pumpkin seeds are pepitas, are great for
three nutrients: zinc, magnesium and then tryptophan. Tryptophan is the amino acid that we use to
make serotonin and dopamine. These are very, very important mood-regulating
and learning-regulating neurotransmitters or chemicals in the brain. And so the idea is to give people a core set
of foods. You know, again, with every bite you’re getting
all the nutrients that your brain needs.


  1. Absolute honest question maybe someone can help me, is there like a industry standard universally recognised menu plan say for 4 weeks that has everything i should eat in order to be the healthiest in mind and body? I just want someone to give me a list of all the stuff i should eat then i go out and buy it.

    My problem is i always watch a video then 10 minutes later i'm watching a video or reading something that is contradicting my previous thoughts. Why are there so many quacks out there peddling bullshit i mean who is this guy do i believe him? who the fuck do i believe? Can someone help me and write healthy 4 week menu plan for breakfast lunch dinner???

    Someone should just write the plan and everyone gets one when they start prep school and then you have no excuses for eating unhealthy you were given the information.


  2. Food colours don't matter, according to Gary Taube. He's right about fish and just two portions a week of the oily variety help prevent several cancers.
    If you ditch your car for a bike, you will experience a remarkable boost.

  3. Plant based diet is the way to go. You don't need dead fish full of mercury and strontium 90 to get the nutrients you need.

  4. Its important for people to be fed physically and spiritually. As the Bible Says, "A man does not live on bread alone." People are missing nutrients physically and spiritually. This video will help you get the right nutrients physically, search Truth Contest and get the right spiritual nutrients. The truth as it relates to conscious life has been revealed.

  5. Would like to point out The healthy fatty acids (omega) from sea-food can also be obtained from plant based foods such as hemp seed oil and flaxeed oil (which is cheaper than the first). B12 deficiency can happen to everyone, not just vegans or vegetarians. (He did not say so, but would just like to point it out anyway) b12 can be obtained from yeast for example or supplements. But most importantly you need to have good functioning gut bacteria to actually obtain and create b12 yourself. Most importantly, B12 is destroyed by heat, so only a tiny amount gets in your system from eating foods that require heating, such as meat. But I love that psychology and food are coming together now, and there is science to back it up. It could save alot of (mental)health problems. So, even though I think the options mentioned are limited, and not very vegan friendly. This over all is a good video.

  6. I click this video as I stuff my face with Chili Fritos, a can of Mountain Dew, and some quesadilla's. My brain seems to be working just fine…

  7. It's unsustainable for everyone to be eating wild salmon or fish. It would be much better for people to get the omega 3's from chia, flax, and hemp seeds

  8. Too bad I really REALLY don't like fish. Or any seafood. Even the smell makes me puke, can't eat it without throwing up. So what practical way do I have to get my Omega-3 without resorting to expensive supplements?

  9. i am an example of somebody that ate very healthily yet i had(ing) worst depression/anxiety not many people experience. In my childhood i had everything organic and although food wasn't always perfect inspite of taking antibiotics my health has always been very good until I migrated to Australia where in a matter of a few years mixed with a stressful job i became a wreck. I got all the symptoms of a western diet illness. Pre-diabetic, HBP, high cholesterol, lack of vitamins, lack of sleep, anxiety/depression, sleep apnea. I've been eating as healthily as possible but things went very bad. Taking supplements of best quality, ACV, etc not only did not help but made things worse. It is nowhere as simple as presented. Health means everything: food, work, meditation, fun, sleep etc. Food is only part of it.

  10. People with illness usually cannot get well with foods alone and must supplement. For instance schizophrenia requires high dose niacin/vitamin B3 and PTSD requires high dose zinc, magnesium and others.

  11. He needs to start putting people in categories instead of asking us to relate to the problems he's pushing.
    I hate when people tell me I'm going to have problems instead of saying a person who… would have a problem if…
    There's no need for scare tactics in this presentation.

  12. "istead *instead of optimism tears almost surface, why is that. . , "(suggestive "subliminal response" to "action"). "Societal interference" on motivational "brain cognitive conscious positive progrsseional *progressional development. . ." fascination, problem solving and much that was perceptively desired and needed to surpass the others, replaced with "(obsolete)" imposed hierarchal monopolistic)" (detteren(-t/ce) , distaste and hoplessness ." etc ". . ."Smarter" eating", like "social cannibalism. . ."?"

  13. 12 year old white boy diet more like! we never had much but you could get beats asking my grandmother for that type of foods!

  14. Will it still be ok if those of us who hate everything that comes from the sea, just take supplements? d:V /)

  15. Leafy vegetables are poorly digested by human gastrointestinal tract. We don't do leaves well. Raw meat also bad – middle ground best for omnivores: beans, fruit, nuts, bulb vegetables like garlic. Stuff like that

  16. You can get what you need with a vegetarian diet. I think people should have concern for the creatures we share our planet with as well. Thanks 🙂

  17. Question: how did humans 50 000 years ago, who used to live in let's say central Europe, with no access to mussels, salmons used to get omega 3?

  18. I fucking hate this channel and all these cunts and shills that talk in this white screen, fuck YOU big think, fuck all this masonic socialist brainwash crap.

  19. Every Molecule in Your Brain Starts at the End of Your Fuck.

    This video misinterpretation brought to you by poor text placement.

  20. After decades of study, the FDA still doesn't have sufficient evidence to recommend fish oil pills. The gold standard Cochrane
    Organisation also says that the evidence against major depressive disorder is insufficient. Talking about food colors sounds very new age and pseudo science for a doctor. Be clear that depression has been proven to NOT be a serotonin deficency. This myth died twenty years ago. Those foods are not a miracle cure. Selling books makes this talk seem motivated although I'm sure no of his recommendations are harmless. If you're sick, mental or physically, see a medical doctor one on one.

  21. Get your nutrients without supporting animal abuse. Every piece of meat or fish you ate is a product of violent death and abject suffering. Every piece. You wouldn't like it if it was you

  22. no more than 2 servings of seafood a week though as per dietary recommendation …and we're talking about the ones wiht lower mercury levels

  23. Was working and eating properly, but then decided to go back to school, and got great grades at the start, but since I realized that I was spending too much money on food, and didn't have the income to support it, I started eating more and more pasta, noodles and other cheep food.
    since then my grades have taken a huge dive, from above average to top marks to average to barely passing. And like he said mind fog, it's constant, so if you can afford clams and wild samon and all the other expensive foods, feel free to give it to me and students like me, because we need it! 😀

  24. Damn I couldn't concentrate on what he was saying about eating seafood… mustn't be getting enough protein on this vegan diet of leafy greens that are so damn nutrient dense

  25. Cool idea, makes enough sense, but I wonder what effect this might have on the environment by making a demand for certain foods to be available ALL the time as a dietary staple. Also, the affordability is another thing. A bottle of quality omega oil is easy enough to handle (still a bit of an investment for some people) but a regular seafood diet is kind of unrealistic for so many reasons. I'm afraid our planet could not support every individual eating wild caught salmon regularly. Thoughts?

  26. Please don't think that sea animals are good for food 🙁 They just really are not, please do not believe everything you hear and do more research.
    And btw walnuts are the best in omega 3 and 6!

  27. You can easily get all your omega 3s from plant foods. You are talking about health and recommending people eat salmon and muscles…? This makes no sense and as a researcher you should know better.

  28. As a future dietician, I loved this video, but it should be catered more to the vegetarian diet.

  29. Is there any vegetables or other foods that will supply the same nutrients that fish do, the b12s the omega 3s etc? I ask because I've never had any fish that doesn't make me want to throw up. except for maybe scallops, they're aight, but weird tasting. Also expensive AF. If there's a way to get in those in w/o eating fish that would be dank

  30. Given the risks of seafood, I'm not sure why Omega-3s from walnuts, chia and flax aren't mentioned. B12 absorption ability declines with age and many people are deficient. It's best just to take a cheap sublingual B12 supplement a few times a week.

  31. sea food is HORRIBLE! watch cowspiracy on netflix, and watch Earthlings.

    if you need good omega 3 fatty acid just eat HEMP seeds CHIA seeds and FLAX seeds.

    come on people! there is no excuse for ANIMAL ABUSE

  32. Because of my bad diet I can’t even entirely concentrate and take in the information this video is providing due to my brain fog

  33. Tryptophan is the amino acid which is the precursor to serotonin; tyrosine is precursor to dopamine. I think he made a little mistake there.
    And he didn't mention chia or flax (ideally soaked) for high doses of plant n-3 (ALA). Even if your body struggles to convert ALA into the other forms of n-3 it is a good place to start no?

  34. Mr Ramsey – this is all very interesting what you are saying but I would like to say: you are a very beautiful man.

  35. Small error: Serotonin is indeed synthesised by tryptophan but Dopamine, on the other hand, is synthesised from tyrosine instead.

  36. Eating this way is expensive and time consuming: most people on earth do not have the resources to eat healthy

  37. rainbow of whole food on your plate/smoothie, no supper, no refined carbo/sugar, one minute of blurpee, a few of deep breath, once in a while do something new, eight hours of sleep ….

  38. I'm not sure that you can truly eat organic which is the latest fad now. It's a stretch of the imagination and misnomer to say you only eat organic.
    Why do I want to live to be 100 anyway! You'll be a burden to your love ones, the system and you'll pay more taxes 🙂

  39. I literally can not afford to buy any of those foods except for maybe pumpkin seeds and some cheaper leafy greens. This advice is for a certain socioeconomic class.

  40. Billion people living off wild fish? No problem there… fawk the next generation

  41. Between having their working memory wasted on anxiety and find that the brain healthy food is too expensive, the poor will remain stupid, depressed, and poor. Perhaps the first thing added to a person's brain health diet is the other kind of green.

  42. When I did my dissertation on teen suicide in New Zealand… the starkest finding was the surprisinglu strong effect of food on mental health. It was so decisive that my professors didn't believe me at first.

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