Ruth Ann Foster, RN


Food for Thought - Nutrition for Mental Health

Containing as many neurons as the spinal cord, the human digestive tract is described as the “second brain”. Although a gut-brain connection has been known for centuries, converging research efforts have unveiled a complex communication system between the gut, its microorganisms (microbiome), and the brain. These intricate, bidirectional relationships are greatly impacted by diet. Consistent epidemiological evidence links poor quality diet with physical and mental illness. Despite the link between diet and wellness, nutrition information is often inconsistent, confusing, and controversial. Because few health care providers receive nutrition education, dietary habits are frequently overlooked. The addition of nutritional approaches to other therapies may improve physical and mental outcomes. Recent advances in the gut-microbiome-brain axis offer new insights for dietary recommendations. This presentation will provide current evidence for clear, accurate, and understandable nutrition information that may assist professionals in helping their patients in improving their quality of life.

About Ms. Foster

Ruth Ann Foster, RN, is currently a doctoral candidate pursuing a Doctorate of Science in Holistic Nutrition through Hawthorn University. Ms. Foster began her nursing career in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where her interest in the link between nutrition and health was born. Recognizing the impact of media for education and awareness, she then earned a Masters degree in Public Media Arts (Broadcasting). Ms. Foster has worked nationally and internationally in the film and television industry.

Across her varied careers, the common thread in Ms. Foster’s body of work includes a passion for research, inspiring others through innovative problem solving, and creative information sharing. Combing her careers in nursing, film production, and nutrition, Ms. Foster’s next goal is to produce a documentary highlighting the importance of magnesium in drinking water.

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