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The Better Brain summary

Bonnie J. Kaplan Julia J. Rucklidge

Overcome Anxiety, Combat Depression, and Reduce ADHD and Stress with Nutrition

4 (362 ratings)
22 mins

Brief summary

The Better Brain by Bonnie J. Kaplan and Julia J. Rucklidge provides a guide for optimizing brain health with nutrition and personalized micronutrient treatments.

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    The Better Brain
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    Key idea 1 of 7

    Good nutrition can do more for your mental health than pharmaceutical potions.

    The notion of curing sickness through food is not a new concept. More than 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates wrote, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.” And just a century ago, an article in The People’s Home Library advised readers to tackle mental-health problems by eating better. 

    The problem is that the message hasn’t always gotten through. 

    Take the story of ten-year-old Andrew, who had symptoms of anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and psychosis. His parents were getting increasingly desperate. Andrew had been treated, medicated, even hospitalized. Nothing seemed to work – until he was prescribed multinutrients, which included an array of vitamins and minerals. Within ten months, his OCD was gone. 

    The key message here is: Good nutrition can do more for your mental health than pharmaceutical potions. 

    It wasn’t just Andrew’s OCD that went away. Next, his symptoms of psychosis vanished. Now an adult, Andrew has graduated from high school and has a job. What’s more, the nutrients cost just 2 percent of what his parents had been paying for his inpatient care.

    If such an easy, affordable, and available cure can be found right in your pantry or local grocery store, why isn’t food touted more? Why don’t psychiatrists prescribe multinutrients or a change in diet instead of a drug regimen?

    The answer is simple: money. The committees that write the clinical practice guidelines are tied to drug companies through funding. And there’s another problem, too: societal norms mean we’ve grown used to treating everything with medicine. 

    From their earliest years in medical school, psychiatrists are trained to prescribe drugs. And since 1985, when direct-to-consumer advertising started, our population has been increasingly eager to consume them. The change in advertising laws didn’t just mean that people were suddenly inundated with ads for medications; it also meant they were discovering more and more conditions for which they could get a magic pill.

    Some medications have only been approved based on 6–12-week clinical trials but are regularly prescribed to patients for life. They often have side effects or are extremely addictive. And yet we rarely stop to ask whether drugs are the best answer.

    It’s time to take a step back. In the next blinks, we’ll look at how to fix your nutritional habits and build better mental health without relying on pharmaceuticals.

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    What is The Better Brain about?

    The Better Brain (2021) serves up the ultimate mental health cure: good nutrition. With numerous anecdotes, case studies, recipes, and actionable tips, it explores the connection between what we eat and how we feel – and shows how a healthy diet can help battle mental problems.

    The Better Brain Review

    The Better Brain (2021) is a thought-provoking book that explores the connection between nutrition and mental health. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers groundbreaking scientific research and evidence-based strategies that show how diet can impact and improve brain function.
    • By challenging traditional approaches, the book presents innovative ideas and alternative solutions for treating mental health disorders.
    • With its engaging storytelling and relatable examples, it breaks down complex concepts and keeps readers captivated, ensuring an enjoyable and enlightening reading experience.

    Who should read The Better Brain?

    • People living with anxiety, stress, or depression
    • Parents looking to improve their children’s mental health
    • Anyone interested in living a healthier life

    About the Author

    Dr. Bonnie Kaplan is a psychologist, researcher, and professor at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. She writes and teaches about nutrition and mental health. Dr. Julia Rucklidge is a clinical psychologist at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. She has conducted extensive research on micronutrients. 

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    The Better Brain FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Better Brain?

    The main message of The Better Brain is that nutrition plays a key role in mental health.

    How long does it take to read The Better Brain?

    The Better Brain can be read in several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Better Brain a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Better Brain is worth reading as it provides valuable insights into the link between nutrition and mental well-being.

    Who is the author of The Better Brain?

    The authors of The Better Brain are Bonnie J. Kaplan and Julia J. Rucklidge.

    What to read after The Better Brain?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Better Brain, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The ADHD Advantage by Dale Archer
    • ADHD 2.0 by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey
    • Anxiety at Work by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton with Anthony Gostick
    • Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety by Drew Ramsey
    • Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve by Stanley Rosenberg
    • Faster Than Normal by Peter Shankman
    • Anxious by Joseph Ledoux
    • A Really Good Day by Ayelet Waldman
    • The Wealth Money Can't Buy by Robin Sharma
    • Dopamine Detox by Thibaut Meurisse