Dr. Drew Ramsey is prescribing his patients an alternative treatment for anxiety and depression that deviates from the standard Prozac, Zoloft, and Celexa: oysters. Yep, we’re talking about shellfish. According to the Columbia University assistant professor and psychiatrist, the popular dish can improve mental health.
Ramsey credits the food’s high vitamin b12 for reducing brain shrinkage, while noting the link between long chain omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies and depression, New York Times reports. Given the oyster’s high level of the polyunsaturated fatty acid, they can reduce symptoms.
It’s a treatment method his patients are clearly fond of. In fact, one took Ramsey’s advice a step further and ordered three dozen oysters in one weekend. “You’re the only person I’ve prescribed them to who came back and said he ate 36!” Ramsey reportedly told the 48-year-old, who was suffering from mild depression and anxiety.
Ramsey’s belief in the ties between food and mental health extends beyond shellfish. In fact, the psychiatrist has published a number of books exploring the “food mood connection.” The author of “Eat Complete,” “Fifty Shades of Kale,” and “The Happiness Diet,” claims poor diet choices can contribute to depression.