The Doctor’s Kitchen Podcast: #26: Eating for Mental Health with Professor Felice Jacka

Food and Mood is the topic of the podcast this week where we’re talking about ‘Eating for Mental Health’ with Professor Felice Jacka, Director of the Food & Mood Centre at Deakin University in Australia.

Today I’m speaking to Professor Felice Jacka about her new book BRAIN CHANGER and how diet can save your mental health. The book tells the story of why we need to consider our food as the basis of our brain and mental health throughout our lives.

Prof Jacka first came on my radar when I heard of the SMILES trials – which we’ll talk about a little bit later in the Podcast.

Professor Jacka is also founder and president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR) and pioneered a highly innovative program of research that examines how individual’s diets, and other lifestyle behaviours, interact with the risk for mental health problems.

Today we talk about:

  • Where mental health begins
  • Junk food and its impact on the adolescent brain
  • Stress and its impact on the immune system
  • The SMILES trials
  • Including quality fats in your diet
  • Making sure that you’re getting fibre into your diet
  • Flavonoids, colours and getting more plants onto people’s plates


Click here to listen to the podcast episode



“but just this knowledge that if you feed your gut, your’e going to be doing good.  And you don’t need to know the detail of which bacterial strain is doing what, you just need to know that your gut bugs need fibre to do what they do.  If you don’t have enough fibre, they can’t do what they do”

Professor Felice Jacka

I’m sure you’ll agree what an unbelievable guest Professor Felice Jacka was on the podcast – and such a pleasure to be around.  Don’t forget to check out Professor Jacka’s new book – Brain Changer – is out now and available from Amazon and all good book stores.

In Professor Jacka’s book, you will find all that we talked about and much much more – including her personal experience with mental health, junk food and it’s impact on the adolescent brain, different sorts of dietary practices – we touched on ketogenic diet but she also talks about low carb and a whole bunch of others.  Why a mediterranean style of eating may be the best overall – in terms of overall health as well as particular regard to mental health.  And also she talks about stress, it’s impact on the immune system, neuro inflammation, and the difference types of data and studies.

You can find Professor Jacka on Twitter and on Instagram on the links noted here too.

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