Uma Naidoo, MD, MBCHB: The Food-Mind Connection
About the Episode
Uma Naidoo, MD, developed a passion for food and cooking at a young age—a deep interest that persisted throughout her career as a practicing psychiatrist. Eventually, it led her to wonder if food and diet can somehow be used in mental health medicine. As the founder and director of the Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry Program at Mass General, Dr. Naidoo is a leading expert and pioneer in the field of nutritional psychiatry, a new area of research and clinical practice that looks at how food influences brain function.
In this episode of Charged, Dr. Naidoo talks to us about how she built her career in this niche, how she helps patients foster healthy diets to improve their mental health and her experience implementing this knowledge in her own life.
About the Guest
Uma Naidoo, MD, is the director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Mass General and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School as well as a professional chef and nutrition specialist.
In her role as a clinical scientist, Dr. Naidoo founded and directs the first hospital-based clinical service in Nutritional Psychiatry in the U.S. In addition to her work as a psychiatrist, Dr. Naidoo is interested in the impact of food on mood and other mental health conditions.
Dr. Naidoo graduated from the Harvard-Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program in Boston where she was the first psychiatrist to be awarded the “Curtis Prout Scholar in Medical Education.”
After pursuing her passion in cooking by completing both savory and pastry classes at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and at the Culinary Institute of America, Dr. Naidoo decided to pursue a degree as a professional chef from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Massachusetts.
Dr. Naidoo is also the author of This Is Your Brain On Food, which was released in 2020.