#214: How to Feed Your Brain to Better Emotional Wellbeing with Dr. Uma Naidoo

What we’re talking about in this episode

  • Learn about the groundbreaking research happening in nutritional psychiatry 
  • Why adding in foods rather than restricting them is more successful for many
  • The science behind the importance of the gut microbiome and the gut-brain connection 
  • What you eat can improve your mood, relieve anxiety, and more
  • Which superfoods you should be incorporating into your diet right now

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Episode Summary

Did you know that what you eat actually plays a large part in how you are feeling? Eating the right foods can improve your mood, prevent a wide range of psychological and cognitive health issues, and boost your emotional capacity. Dr. Uma Naidoo is a board-certified psychiatrist, nutritional specialist, and professionally trained chef, who is here today to share how you can use food as medicine to nourish your body and soul every day. 

Often times when we are feeling not quite ourselves, doctors will prescribe medication with potentially harmful effects. Dr. Naidoo offers a more holistic, root-cause approach by using nutrition to stabilize your hormones, heal your gut, and help you start feeling better on a cellular, emotional, and mental level. Backed by scientific evidence and research, Dr. Naidoo is the answer to improving your gut microbiome for the benefit of your whole body. 

Instead of restricting yourself from foods, Dr. Naidoo wants to help you create a personalized plan of foods that are going to work for you while still tasting delicious. Everything from the gut-brain connection, to the exciting field of nutritional psychiatry and the power of foods to affect how you feel is on the table today as we dive into an episode that everyone should hear. 

Were you aware that food can affect your sleep, mood, anxiety, and mental health? Share what shocked you most about Dr. Naidoo’s groundbreaking research in the comments below!


“Nutritional psychiatry is working with someone to feel emotionally better using nutrition and nutritional strategies.” (7:52)

“When individuals restrict in terms of a dietary plan, they tend to bounce back and boomerang and do worse after that period of restricting of food. So I would rather give them, on the front end, a lot of options that they can fold into their diet while giving them guidelines about processed food, ultra-processed foods, the hidden sugars in food, etc.” (12:47)

“If you are eating poorly, or if you are stressed and it affecting your gut, your gut is disrupted, maybe it becomes leaky or inflamed or all of those things together. Serotonin is impacted, therefore your brain is impacted, therefore you may suddenly appear much more anxious. So the moment you can start to correct all of those issues, I see patients really start to feel much calmer and much less stressed.” (17:06)

“There are all these disorders in mental health and we wanted to make it user friendly for people. So someone might pick up the book because they have depression. Someone else might pick it up because they are not sleeping well. Someone else might pick it up because they are struggling a little bit with their memory, or someone in their family they have noticed is struggling with their memory.” (27:58)

Resources Mentioned

This Is Your Brain on Food by Dr. Uma Naidoo

Dr. Uma Naidoo Website

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