#GUESTPOST: How Food Can Help Feelings, Uma Naidoo, M.D.

#GUESTPOST: How Food Can Help Feelings, Uma Naidoo, M.D.

Sep 30, 2020Uma Naidoo

Listening to experts about what you should eat can be dizzying. For instance, some swear by a plant-based high fiber diet while others recommend that a meat-based diet is the way to go. Then there are those who promise longevity with a reduced intake of saturated fatty acids such as the Mediterranean diet, while others prefer a high fat diet such as the ketogenic diet.

The real experts may be the people who live the longest. Yet, even they differ in their dietary habits. For instance, Emma Morano of Italy died at the age of 117. She believed that her secret to her longevity was eating three eggs every day – two of them being raw along with some raw minced meat. Susannah Mushatt Jones, who passed away at the age of 116 years, believed that breakfast of four pieces of bacon and eggs every morning were key to her longevity. Misao Okaw who lived till the ripe old age of 117 years believed that delicious foods like sushi contributed to her longevity, while the world’s oldest man at 113 years of age attributed his long life to pickled herring and Nabi Tajima, who is still living at 116 years of age said that ramen noodles are her secret to old age.

So, what do you eat? Vegetables? Meat? Low fat? High fat? Raw eggs? Sushi? Ramen noodles? Bacon? The answer is, it depends. And in sifting through the 700 articles that I reviewed, two things were clear: some choices are better than others; and what you eat can affect how you think and feel.

In my book, “This Is Your Brain on Food”, I explain why some foods are good for your brain while others are not. And I also explain that what you eat depends on what you are feeling.

To lower depression consider:

Saffron (add it when cooking a risotto)
Turmeric (add it to a soup or smoothie or stir fry)
Oregano (add some to a home made vinaigrette)
Pepper (always add a pinch of black pepper to activate turmeric)

To help beat COVID Anxiety try:

(Here’s a sneak peek at my Nutritional Psychiatry EQUATION to begin fending off COVID ANXIETY, or any anxiety!)

DOT minus GAPS
(D) – add in vitamin D rich foods
(O)mega 3 rich sources such as fatty fish (e.g sockeye salmon)
(T)urmeric with a pink of black pepper
(G)luten – reduce or avoid
(A)rtificial sweeteners – avoid
(P)rocessed vegetable oils – avoid
(S)ugar – avoid

For clearing Brain Fog try these:

Oregano (Dried Mexican Oregano)
Peppers (sweet and spicy)
Peppermint (fresh)

What’s best to eat for longevity is not always a straightforward answer. However, some foods are undoubtedly better for the health of your body and brain than others. At the end of the day, a diet that makes you feel your absolute best (both physically and mentally) is indicative of a diet that works well for you. When in doubt, give the suggestions above a try, and focus on incorporating herbs and spices and omega-3 & vitamin D rich foods, and eliminating gluten, sugar/artificial sweeteners and processed oils & food products.

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