What an exciting and important presentation we have for you today. For many years we have been providing information focused on the pivotal role of nutritional choices as they relate to the brain, mostly in the context of neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Today, we’re going to explore how our nutritional choices actually impact us from a mood perspective with our very special guest, Dr. Uma Naidoo. Let me tell you a bit more about her.
Michelin-starred chef David Bouley described Dr. Uma Naidoo as the world’s first “triple threat” in the food as medicine space: She is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, professional chef who graduated with her culinary schools’ most coveted award, and a nutrition specialist. Her niche work is in Nutritional Psychiatry and she is regarded both nationally and internationally as a medical pioneer in this field.
In her role as a Clinical Scientist, Dr. Naidoo founded and directs the first hospital-based clinical service in Nutritional Psychiatry in the USA. She is the Director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) & Director of Nutritional Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital Academy while serving on the faculty at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Naidoo graduated from the Harvard-Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program in Boston during which she received several awards, some of which included a Junior Investigator Award (American Psychiatric Association); Leadership Development for Physicians and Scientists award (Harvard), as well as being the very first psychiatrist to be awarded the coveted Curtis Prout Scholar in Medical Education.
The American Psychiatric Association has asked her to author the first academic text in Nutritional Psychiatry. Think of that, a mainstream organization championing a book that explores the effects of food choices on states of psychiatric well-being! In addition, she is the author of the upcoming title: “This is Your Brain on Food” and this is the subject of our discussion today.
Please note as we move through our discussion that we explore, in the context of psychiatry, some important themes that we have discussed in the past in the context of Alzheimer’s disease including the importance of gut health, the influence of the microbiome, the overall lack of pharmaceutical efficacy, and the pivotal role of inflammation.