Thoughts on Record: Podcast of the Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Dr. Uma Naidoo: This is Your Brain on Food

February 21, 2022 Season 3 Episode 4
Thoughts on Record: Podcast of the Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Dr. Uma Naidoo: This is Your Brain on Food
Show Notes

The interface between nutrition and mental health is a fascinating area of study that is of great interest to both mental health clinicians & clients alike; however, it can be at times difficult to find coherent messaging and/or data-driven information as it relates to the link between diet and psychological well-being.  Uma Naidoo, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist, professional chef, and nutrition specialist joins us for a wide-ranging discussion about themes explored in her new book This is Your Brain on Food including:  

  • how  Dr. Naidoo combined her training as a psychiatrist, professional chef and nutritional specialist to write her book "This is Your Brain on Food"
  • forming realistic expectations around the potential impact of nutrition and supplements on symptoms of mental disorders
  • the special role that inflammation may play in the exacerbation and maintenance of mental health symptoms
  • the enteric nervous system and the role the microbiome/gut flora might be playing with respect to mental health
  • the pros/cons of supplements vs. real food
  • the role that food & nutrition can play in the context of an overall treatment strategy
  • the dangers of compulsive monitoring of food intake and the balance that must be achieved in this respect
  • specific food-based strategies for anxiety
  • considerations around caffeine and well-being, including guidance around recommended daily intake
  • Dr. Naidoo's opinion with respect to elimination diets for assessing the relationship between nutritional factors and mental illness 
  • the link between ADHD and sugar, as well as gluten and mental health challenges
  • Dr. Naidoo's stance of being "diet agnostic" in the context of evaluating strategies such as "low carb", "carnivore", or ketogenic diet
  • considerations around how medication interacts with nutrition
  • Dr. Naidoo's overall diet recommendations
  • Dr. Naidoo's favourite brain friendly recipe

Uma Naidoo, MD is a board-certified psychiatrist, professional chef, and nutrition specialist. She is currently the Director of Nutritional and Metabolic Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where she consults on nutritional interventions for the psychiatrically and medically ill; Director of Nutritional Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital Academyand in private practice. She also teaches at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. She blogs for Harvard Health and Psychology Today and has just completed a unique video cooking series for the MGH Academy, which teaches nutritional psychiatry using culinary techniques in the kitchen.Dr. Uma has appeared as amental health and nutrition expert on Live withKelly & Ryan, Today Show, 700 Club, Impact Theory, and been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Shape, Parade, Boston Globe, mindbodygreen and more.