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TMHS 618: The Powerful Connection Between Food & Mental Health - With Dr. Uma Naidoo

September 19, 2022

The Model Health Show


Modern medicine tends to divide the human body into separate, distinct systems but our bodies are complex entities that are intricately connected. The field of gut health is constantly evolving, and the more we learn, the more we understand about the body’s expansive interconnectedness. Our gut health impacts a myriad of functions in the body, including metabolism, immune health, and even our mental health. 

One of the leading experts in dissecting the relationship between food and mood is Dr. Uma Naidoo. She is a Harvard psychiatrist, professional chef, and a nutritional specialist. Her specialty is Nutritional Psychology—a field that approaches mental health in a holistic and integrated way. On this episode of The Model Health Show, Dr. Naidoo is back to share powerful insights on how what we eat affects our mental health. 

You’re going to hear key insights on the gut-brain connection, and how taking a wider perspective on mental illnesses can facilitate healing. You’re going to learn what to eat for better mental health, including specific nutrients and foods you can incorporate into your diet. Dr. Naidoo is a true expert in all things psychiatry, and I think you’re going to love her realistic and balanced approach to boosting your mood through diet. Enjoy! 

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • The connection between mental health and physical health.
  • How your diet impacts your mental well-being. 
  • What the gut-brain connection is, and how it influences mental health.
  • The definition of Nutritional Psychiatry. 
  • Why taking a holistic approach to mental health is so important. 
  • The role that therapy and medication plays in Nutritional Psychiatry. 
  • Why the standard practice of diagnosing mental illnesses is antiquated.
  • How nutrition can impact the symptoms of anxiety.
  • The connection between serotonin and gut health. 
  • Why SSRIs can cause gastrointestinal distress. 
  • How leaky gut is initiated. 
  • Why your gut microbes need fiber.
  • How optimizing your fatty acid ratio can improve gut dysbiosis.
  • The problem with food wars and strict food rules. 
  • What to look for when reading food labels.
  • The role that balance, moderation, and inclusivity should play in your diet.
  • What resistant starches are. 
  • The connection between inflammation and trauma. 
  • How our bodies can carry trauma on a long-term basis.
  • The mental health benefits of drinking coffee.
  • How dehydration can present as anxiety symptoms. 
  • The power of healing your mind. 
  • Specific foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. 

Items mentioned in this episode include:

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