In the engaging journey through Chapter Eight of "The Better Brain," Kaplan and Rucklidge not only unravel the profound impact of nutrition on mental health but also generously share practical advice on food options that can fortify our mental well-being. This section of the book acts as a guide, offering us tangible steps to nourish our brains through thoughtful dietary choices. Let's explore some of the key food options and dietary patterns they recommend for enhancing brain health.

Embrace Whole Foods
The authors champion the consumption of whole foods, emphasizing that these nutrient-rich options are foundational to brain health. They suggest integrating a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats into daily meals. Whole foods, minimally processed and close to their natural state, are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support neural function and overall mental wellness.

Prioritize Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Recognizing the critical role of omega-3 fatty acids in brain health, Kaplan and Rucklidge advocate for including sources of these beneficial fats in our diet. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are highlighted as excellent sources of omega-3s, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to support brain cell structure and function. For vegetarians or those who don't consume fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are suggested as alternative sources.

Increase Antioxidant Intake
The book highlights the importance of antioxidants in combating oxidative stress, which can damage brain cells and contribute to cognitive decline and mental health issues. Foods rich in antioxidants, such as berries, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, are recommended to protect the brain and support its healing processes.

Focus on Fermented Foods
Fermented foods make an appearance in their recommendations due to their role in gut health and, by extension, brain health. Kaplan and Rucklidge draw attention to the gut-brain axis and suggest incorporating fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha into the diet to support a healthy microbiome.

Minimize Processed Foods and Sugars
A crucial part of their advice is to reduce the intake of highly processed foods and added sugars, which can have detrimental effects on mental health. These foods often contain artificial additives, high levels of sodium, and sugars that can lead to inflammation and disrupt the delicate balance of nutrients needed for optimal brain function.

Personalized Nutrition
Kaplan and Rucklidge acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and mental health. They encourage us to truly listen to our bodies, consider our unique health needs, and possibly consult with healthcare professionals to tailor our diet in a way that best supports their mental well-being.

By providing these food options and dietary recommendations, "The Better Brain" equips us with the knowledge and tools needed to make informed choices about our nutrition. The authors' approachable guidance empowers us to actively support our mental health through the foods we eat, emphasizing that a nourished brain is a cornerstone of overall wellness.

ACTION: This blog today has a lot of information and I want you folks to grab a pen and paper and write down some of the food tips you want to implement for yourselves this week. Make a plan, post it on the fridge and put it into action. If you are curious about working with our Registered Dietitians, go to and click the service tab. Choose Dietician, and click to book your free discovery call.

Have a fantastic week and I will see you soon for our continuing exploration of the symbiotic relationship between our minds and the food we eat!

Madison is a Psychology Assistant; Digital Marketing Assistant at Eckert Centre. She's currently deepening her understanding of psychology at the University of British Columbia. Madison brings her passion for mental health to our community through her writing. As our blogger in residence, her contributions offer a fresh perspective and shed light on the importance of mental wellbeing. We are grateful for her eloquent words and the insights she shares on her journey towards cultivating a "Wise Self." For more insights, information, or to book an appointment, please visit or reach out to our team at

Works Cited
Kaplan, Bonnie J., and Julia J. Rucklidge. The Better Brain: Overcome Anxiety, Combat Depression, and Reduce ADHD and Stress with Nutrition. Mariner Books, 2022.

Madison Stevenson

Madison Stevenson

Digital Marketing & Psychological Assistant

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