The Intersection of Diet and Psychotherapy with Yulia Brockdorf, RD, LD, CDCES, CST, NCC, LPC, BC-ADM (Ep 19)

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Key Information

Diet Influences Brain Function

The food we consume is information that heavily influences how our brain works.

Serotonin Syndrome Requires Medical Attention

Issues with the gut can sabotage serotonin and neurotransmitter metabolism, requiring medical attention.

Genetic Variance Affects Food Metabolism

Genetic variance makes a significant difference in how your body metabolizes food.

Lion’s Mane Improves Mental Health

Lion’s Mane can ameliorate mental deficiencies from a bad diet and is beneficial for blood sugar.

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In this episode, I’m talking to Yulia Brockdorf all about the intersection of diet and the brain.

We had a great conversation all about how different foods affect cognition and how there’s no one-size-fits-all diet.

The food you eat is information and heavily influences how your brain works.

Yulia’s practice focuses on using foods and different cognitive-based therapies to help patients with mental health issues.

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About Yulia Brockdorf

Yulia Brockdorf, RD, LD, CDCES, CST, NCC, LPC, BC-ADM is a dietitian and licensed professional counselor. She is board certified in advanced diabetes management, diabetes education, sex therapy, and EMDR (an evidence-based trauma treatment intervention). She serves on several boards and in her practice she strives to integrate the fields of clinical mental health counseling and psychotherapy and dietetics.

Topics Discussed

  • Nutrition + Psychotherapy
  • People w. Trauma can benefit from nutrition modification
  • Tryptophan – 5-HTP pathway
  • Most serotonin is in the gut
  • Serotonin syndrome symptoms can require medical attention
  • Gut issues can sabotage serotonin and neurotransmitter metabolism
  • Serotonin taken exogenously cant cross blood-brain barrier so you need your body to make it
  • GABA should not cross Blood Brain Barrier and if it does it can be a sign of a problem
  • GABA-like sources: L-Theanine, skullcap, milky oat, Passionflower, hops
  • Psychobiome research can help work with gut bacteria’s production of neurotransmitters
  • Certain diets can affect gut bacteria
  • Fermented foods are a great source of probiotics
  • Prebiotics: Jicama, resistant starch
  • Individualized diets are better than trendy diets.
  • Good quality fats are needed for optimal brain health
  • Genetic variance makes a difference in how your body metabolizes food
  • Turmeric and its effects on memory and cognitive decline.  Saffron helps long term memory.
  • Pickled turmeric is a great source of turmeric
  • Lion’s Mane can ameliorate mental deficiencies from a bad diet
  • Diabetes and mental health: Long term use of Metformin affects B12
  • Diabetes increases depression and increases inflammatory markers
  • Rule of 15: For less than 70 Blood Sugar Only need 15g (tbsp sugar, fruit juice, glucose tablet etc) of carbohydrates.. 15 minutes later BS should jump 30-40 points, then follow up  of.. don’t need to consume a snack bar or sandwich bc these foods slow down the absorption of glucose and person will want to consume more bc they don’t get the benefit of glucose
  • Carbs and sugar in the morning is the worst time to eat carbs
  • Mood disorders can come from food sensitivity like gluten.
    • Also from medication reaction
  • Cortisol drops with Bacopa Monnieri 
  • Lion’s Mane is good for blood sugar.. BDNF is beneficial for blood sugar
  • Trauma: Body Keeps Score- looks at the impact of trauma on the body
    • Trauma impacts methylation, and epigenetic markers
    • Issues like forgetfulness can be a symptom of trauma
    • Trauma affects how we present to the world and respond to issues
  • EMDR: eye movement desensitization
    • Allows body to bring memories stored in the hippocampus back to life and find peace with them
  • Biofeedback
  • Neurofeedback

Yulia Contacts Profile

Studies Discussed

Mediterranean diet improves cognition: the PREDIMED-NAVARRA randomized trial.Retraction

Effect of the NU-AGE Diet on Cognitive Functioning in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

The effects of acute wild blueberry supplementation on the cognition of 7-10-year-old schoolchildren

Influence of the Mediterranean and Ketogenic Diets on Cognitive Status and Decline: A Narrative Review

Music Makes the World Go Round: The Impact of Musical Training on Non-musical Cognitive Functions—A Review

Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory

Hericium erinaceus Improves Mood and Sleep Disorders in Patients Affected by Overweight or Obesity: Could Circulating Pro-BDNF and BDNF Be Potential Biomarkers?

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Erik Abramowitz is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), Naturopathic Doctoral student, health coach, and father. He is the primary content creator for and the host of the Holistic Nootropics Podcast.

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