The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
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The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

May is National Mental Health Month–and while we should be taking care of our mental health every month of the year, this month gives us a good reason to highlight the importance of this topic.

There are many factors that play a role in the status of our mental health–one of the most important being our diet. What we eat has an incredible influence on the health of our minds, considering our nutrition is one of the first steps we can take for a healthier brain. Read up on what foods to boost below and give your brain some TLC this month! 

Brain Boosting Nutrients/Foods to Focus On:

Fermented Foods→ Foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir help to increase the diversity of the gut microbiome. These beneficial microbes naturally live in our colon and help modulate our immune system and inflammation. Much of our brain’s neurotransmitters are produced in the gut, further supporting the importance of a healthy and robust microbiome. 

Leafy Greens→ Kale, bok choy, arugula, swiss chard, and collard greens are all examples of leafy greens. Leafy greens are incredibly nutrient dense–not only for their vitamin and mineral profiles, but also for their abundance of phytonutrients. They are high in B vitamins, magnesium and fiber, both critical for brain and gut health. 

Omega 3’s→ EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids are found in foods such as wild caught fish, (salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel) avocados, walnuts and other nuts and seeds. EPA  helps to lower inflammation in the brain and DHA plays an important role in the brain’s synaptic function, facilitating brain connectivity. It is important to get these daily either through diet or supplementation for not only brain health, but heart health, prevention of inflammation, and lowering cholesterol. 

Magnesium→ Magnesium is also known as the calming mineral. It is essential for adequate function of nerve and brain cells and also stimulates brain growth. Nuts, seeds, beans, almonds, cashews, spinach and leafy green are all high in magnesium.

Potassium→ Potassium is vital for brain health as it regulates every neural signal and nerve cell in our nervous systems. Foods high in potassium include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and leafy greens. Foods particularly high in potassium are avocado, broccoli, sweet potatoes, white beans and bananas.

B Vitamins→ B vitamins are essential for brain health, namely they act to synthesize neurotransmitters. To increase your intake of B vitamins, incorporate foods such as leafy greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, liver, spinach and eggs. 

Zinc→ Pumpkin seeds, oysters, and ground turkey are rich in zinc. Zinc helps to regulate neuroplasticity and brain signaling. It is also great for boosting immunity, wound healing, and cell growth! 

Iron→ Iron is an important player in the production of the brain’s neurotransmitters that are responsible for regulating mood, pleasure and focus and hormones dopamine and serotonin. Increase your daily intake of iron through foods such as seafood, beans, nuts, leafy greens, quality meats, pumpkin seeds, oysters and spinach. Make sure to have some vitamin C with your iron to help boost absorption! 

Other ways to boost mental health:

  • Exercise- get your body moving and your brain will thank you!
  • Mindfulness (Deep breathing, meditation, yoga)
  • Prioritizing good sleep hygiene 
  • Finding community and connection in friends, family etc.- social health is so important! 

Recipe Inspiration:

  • Fresh Spring Guacamole
  • Zesty Citrus Salmon
  • Brain Boosting Berry Mocktail
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The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test looks for the inappropriate presence of bacteria in the small intestine known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or “SIBO”.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

SPECIMEN TYPE

Breath

COLLECTION INSTRUCTIONS

COST

$85-$225 depending on insurance coverage. 

The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of harmful mycotoxins (toxins produced by molds).

LOCATION PERFORMED

At Home

SPECIMEN TYPE

Urine

COLLECTION INSTRUCTIONS

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$699

INSURANCE

Fully covered by Medicare. Repeat test prices $249

The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the genetic profile for multiple health indicators. Click here for more information.

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At home

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Blood Spot

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No insurance accepted

COLLECTION INSTRUCTIONS

The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

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This company can test for lyme, babesia, bartonella and additional tick-borne illnesses. Click here for more information.

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In office

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Blood

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around $1600 (depends on panel selected)

INSURANCE

Fully covered by Medicare. May be reimbursed with PPO plans.
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of harmful mycotoxins (toxins produced by molds).

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$299

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates a wide range of environmental toxins that may be leading to harmful health effects.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$199

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted $30 discount given if done with mycotoxins.
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

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Blood work for blood count, urinalysis and vitamin levels.

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BLOOD FLUID

Blood

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You often have to fast for these tests-please check your providers notes.

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Depending on the test, deductible or copay may apply.

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Depends on insurance coverage, deductible or copay may apply.
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

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Glyphosate (“Round Up”) is a pesticide that is widely used and this test indicates the body’s levels.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

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Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

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$99 ($69 if performed with mycotoxins or environmental toxins).

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No insurance accepted $30 discount given if done with mycotoxins or GPL Tox.
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates many measures including micronutrients, antioxidants, minerals, detox, overview of gut function, omegas and toxic exposure. Click here for more information.

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Urine

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$179 – $400

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Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

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The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the gut function and indicates microbiome balance, overgrowth, infection, inflammation, parasites and digestive efficacy. Click here for more information.

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At home

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Stool

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$179-$425 depending on insurance coverage.

INSURANCE

Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

No probiotics for one week.

VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS

The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

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This test evaluates the full menstrual cycle, female hormones, and adrenal profile.

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Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

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Must be off hormones in order to do the testing.
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test is specifically for a tick-borne illness called “Bartonella”.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

COST

$260

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of potentially harmful heavy metals stored in the body.  Click here for more information.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

SPECIMEN TYPE

Urine

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Testing: $79 x2 paid to Doctor’s Data
DMSA: $38 paid to Johnson’s Compounding Pharmacy

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Not covered by Insurance
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

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This test measures saliva cortisol testing throughout the course of one day and informs us where there might be an adrenal imbalance.

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Saliva

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The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health
The Power of Nutrition for Optimal Mental Health

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This test is designed to look at food sensitivities (IgG immune responses). It is available in both a 99 or 184 panel. Click here for more information.

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In office

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Blood

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No insurance accepted