The Science Of Mood And Your Microbiome

We often hear about food in the context of physical health—eating for a strong heart, healthy weight, and glowing skin. But what about the other impacts of food, like how it makes us feel emotionally and mentally?

The growing field of nutritional psychiatry is shedding light on this profound connection, and it’s something I’m personally really excited about.

On this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, I was so happy to talk to Dr. Uma Naidoo about the connection between food and mood, looking at how what we eat impacts everything from anxiety and depression to ADHD and more.

Dr. Naidoo used food as medicine to support herself after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She shares her personal story and how that led her to realize that she was lacking a deeper education in nutrition. She also noticed improvements in her own anxiety after using functional ingredients like turmeric and black pepper. Dr. Naidoo now recommends diet and lifestyle changes, like mindfulness practices, along with all her psychiatric prescriptions for optimal results.

One of the most common food offenders she sees with her patients is gluten. We discuss the correlation between anxiety and consuming gluten, even in those without celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Studies have shown gluten leads to dysbiosis in the microbiome which is linked to mood imbalances.

That is just one of many food-mood connections. We also talk about the research behind omega-3’s for neuroinflammatory conditions, how poor food choices affect us from childhood, and so much more.

Get Dr. Naidoo’s book, This Is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More, at https://book.umanaidoomd.com/.

This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market and Joovv.

Our mitochondria get weaker and less abundant as we get older, plus lots of things in our lives like stress, bad food, and toxins damage them over time. But a modality called red light therapy helps me support healthier mitochondria and fight inflammation—I use Joovv red light therapy devices to do this at home. If you want to check out Joovv’s various red light therapy devices for yourself just head over to joovv.com/farmacy.

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