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The Food Mood Connection

Jun 21 | 3:55 PM

Our brains being the most complicated part of the body, there's a lot that remains to be discovered. With the ever-growing developments in Psychiatry, today let's explore the Nutritional aspect of it with Harvard's Mood-Food expert Dr. Uma Naidoo. Put simply, in this session she'll be sharing the treatment choices, non-linear and scientifically proven methods, not to mention, her own journey within the field of Nutritional Psychiatry.

good evening all the viewers and good morning dr uma naidoo she is our guest of honor today it gives me an immense pleasure on the part of medflix i am dr madhav desai practicing physician and a director of plexus md and medflix today we are going to discuss a very important issue on food mood connection it gives me an immense pleasure to welcome dr uma naidoo welcome madam well thank you so much thank you dr thanks for having me it's a pleasure to have you and first of all i must thank you from the bottom of my heart that you accepted this invitation because of your very busy schedule we can see this in the last couple of days we have known you are extremely busy busy practitioner busy writer busy author and it gives you really a pleasure that it gives us a very big head start for our new platform to all our viewers dr uma naidoo she is a harvard qualified psychiatrist nutrition specialist and also a professional chef she has been trained at the harvard medical institute and she is currently the founder member as well as the director of the nutritional and lifestyle psychiatry even at massachusetts general hospital she's the head and she's also a faculty at Harvard medical school she has many pen down her bow selling books and the last one was this is your brain on food which is a go-to guide book for any mental health for with the food she has been very busy with the many of the organizations which keep on calling her for her interviews and she has appeared in the wall street journal in boston globe in group and also she is appearing regularly on abc news and today she has been given many best designations but one of the one which is given by david bailey who is one of the famous french cuisine experts and she say that madam is a triple threat because of our medical background because of our nutritional background and also because she's a professional chef so dr mr david bailey thought that dr naidoo is a threat to the medical as well as the nutrition space but madam i think i would call it a triple treat rather than triple threat thank you all right and i think we better begin with your very core expertise madam you have a triple treat so i just think that you have traveled at path which hardly people travel so what prompted you and what inspired you to start this unique field thank you for asking the question you you know i grew up in a very large indian family and as as many of us know many of us all will understand that there's often a really strong drive towards education and i was always encouraged by my parents and my mother is a double-boarded physician herself she's now retired but she was in medical school when i was born so i spent the day time with my grandmother my maternal grandmother to whom my book is dedicated and i skipped out of preschool i for some whatever reason i didn't want to go so they allowed me to stay home with my grandmother and she would be preparing for the large family so i'd watch her and i'd be with her and i learned you know to pick fresh vegetables to help her prepare would be shelling peas and doing all sorts of little things i was very little but it obviously came with me that interest that love of food the joy around food family nurturance but also discussions about science nutrition around the dinner table around the lunch table and there was also many of my uncles and aunts who were training to be allopathic doctors but a couple of ayurvedic practitioners so there was also this discussion around ayurvedic practices and i feel like i came into the world with that my grandparents told me to meditate they taught me yoga so i i feel like i learned all of that so when i ended up deciding to choose psychiatry i brought those interests with me and i felt that medications while they are life-saving too many people also have serious side effects metabolic side effects and several several others so although they do save lives and they are very important and i do still prescribe medications i felt that patients in mental health needed more tools in their toolkit and that just you know medicine the way that it is practiced in the west does not provide those now i would say that there's more mind-body medicine involved even at Harvard mass general we have the beds and henry institute which is about that mind-body connection um they teach meditation they do lots of courses like that but there wasn't this gap the missing gap was food and i began to ask questions of my patients and really look more into that field and i think those of us who are medical practitioners on the call you know on the app today know that we don't really learn enough about nutrition in medical school so i chose to undertake that now the reason i went to culinary school to tie this loop together is because of coming from that large indian family everyone else cooked by myself because i was younger my older cousins my grandmothers my aunts everyone else cooked so i i would help but i didn't really know how to cook so it was really when i moved away and i needed to learn how to cook that that came to me and i found a real joy and a very creative space and a space of mindfulness when i was around food and i paid attention to that um and when i was studying i couldn't afford um cable television and so i had public television and on public television was julia child and she had a series called the french chef and this really helped to i would have my mom's recipes i'd learn how to make some spices i failed recipes and but i would watch her and she gave me a lot of confidence and as i learned more about her and i understood that her main career she was known for was the culinary arts and her chef her being a chef but that was her second career and she did that later i thought well why not me you know why can't i go to culinary school so again i followed something that i loved to do and um i did not know at that time that my love for nutrition and what i was studying mental health and the culinary arts would come together but it really began to be the way i was talking to patients in addition to everything else and then i was given the opportunity through my mentors at mass general to start this clinic and that really gave it much more of a forward uh forward thrust into the world and that was one of the ways in which my book came to be so it's a very long story but but it starts with my my origins and my family and that's how it came today yeah for the viewers dr naidoo is the first person who started these psychiatry services in entire usa and so on and since madame you mentioned about the yoga today's incident the world yoga day and we give greetings to all of our viewers for that and probably if time permits will discuss something about yoga and mind connection also madam what is the scope of nutritional psychiatry in india according to you i think there's a lot of hope for it and i think that um i was very excited when um the the publisher in india actually bought the book because i felt that that was one way to share my message it's not about selling the book it's about sharing the message right because that's that's that's really what becoming an author is about um it becomes a platform to share a bigger message like like the act that you've created but also being able to speak to other people the reason i think it's so important is because metabolic health has become so important and covid has taught us that those with pre-existing conditions um those with you know type 2 diabetes very very very very prevalent in in in our culture in our population all of those became much harder for the individuals during covid so in addition to that we know that inflammation through research is the basis of many conditions in mental health and one of the ways inflammation is impacted is through how we eat because we are eating pro-inflammatory foods fast foods junk foods processed foods ultra-processed foods tons of sugar added sugar in our food that sets us up for inflammation so i feel that there's a huge scope if people are interested i would hope that they are and i hope that they would start to incorporate some of this and certainly i'm starting to set up education and training in this of course that takes a little bit more time because people are interested in knowing and i think it becomes important for the conversation yeah right very important madam because i am a practicing physician right though i am not a diabetologist my every second patient is a diabetes having diabetes and where nutrition comes a big way exactly since most of our viewers are uh having a medical background will you some elaborate about the gut brain axis and the role of vagus nerve in the super highway biodirectional of course so you know if if you went to medical school one and a half to two decades ago you were not learning about the gut microbiome because it wasn't in the current science it's really in the last one and a half to two decades that it emerged and the microbiome uh the term the microbiome was sort of coined in 1995 but now we understand that this gut microbiome is almost some physicians are even considering it an organ of its own and um i i would agree with that and i think it will emerge as as our medical science emerges what we can say is that for example between 2013 and 2017 there were about 13 000 articles published in the gut brain axis so so obviously is now burgeoning research and on the cutting edge where it impacts mental health is that the gut brain connection also explains the food mood connection because the gut and brain if you take us back to embryology plus originate from the very same neural crest cells and then they form these two organs then the vagus nerve tenth cranial nerve connects to: from the brain to the gut and the gut to the brain so you have that bi-directional flow of chemical messages that helps us understand this further and then two more things i like to talk about the fact that right now we should be aware and as doctors we know this but not the the lay public tend not to know this is seventy percent of our immune system is in the gut and ninety percent of the serotonin and the receptors are in the gut so that also explains when you prescribe a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor like prozac or fluoxetine citrulline um many patients will first and foremost experience gastrointestinal distress or side effects it's it's also because of the location of the receptors so when people start to understand that these two organs are connected and that the breakdown products of food can be either positive products or more toxic products so very very simply and i break it down and i include the research in my book um when you're eating a healthier healthier meals you get better breakdown products such as short chain fatty acids which are actually going to reach the brain and have positive effects if someone starts to go down the road of a fast food processed food junk food diet that tends to set up the gut for the gut microbiota inflammation and that's when you do see over time an uptick of anxiety depression mental health symptoms so that's very simply the connection in a nutshell but it also explains how the food we eat is now a very sort of powerful tool in terms of how we feel right once i had a lecture on the antibiotics and i just raised the same question that how many cells do we have in our body the answer is 10 millions 10 billions and how many microbes we have it's 100 trillions so really the question is whether we live in microbes of microbes live in our body absolutely that's absolutely true that's exactly right so we have to understand that you know whether it's our skin our mouth our gut there's there are these mic there's you know there's there's the microbiome there's a microbiota of the microbes and a lot of therapeutic uses are coming out with modulating the microbes microbiomes now yes including obesity also yes absolutely absolutely yeah now we want to listen more about your book this is your brain food absolutely so the basis of the book is based on my clinical work and what i chose to do um and the american psychiatric association has asked me to write the textbook so at the moment what i'm also doing in my spare time is trying to produce the academic book for this but the this particular the food mood connection or this is your brain on food is based on my clinical work but looking at the research so that it's obviously translated for the lay public but what i discussed with my editors including all the references so at the end of the book are 553 references so when i say it's a guide i understand it's not a medical book but if you actually want to know which study i'm referencing you can look look you can literally look it up in the end notes of the book but it's based on the gut brain connection chapter one is called the gut brain romance because like a romance the gut brain connection some days are good and some days are bad but the connection is food the bad days are related to not so healthy food that they may be eating and it just it helps to get the message across to people but it starts with that explanation and then what i did is i looked at the most current research which i update all the time on my instagram handle and on social media because nutrition science changes all the time the gut brain research and the studies are emerging all the time and looked at the different mental health conditions and what are the foods that we should add into our diets there are many more foods we can add in but what are the foods we need to be careful about such as you know people may not realize that saffron has a lot of good evidence for mood disorders people may also know that processed meats and certain processed foods that in certainly in the u.s have nitrates um worsen depression so so little things like that become important for people to know when they when they're re-examining their diet and their diet and how they're eating is a complementary method to anything else they're doing therapy is extremely important medications can be life-saving for people but that doesn't mean that you cannot be eating differently or in a more healthy way and frankly individuals who are following a healthier diet will also have the physical benefits of that on the on the rest of their health as well so just a short question madam does the same food give different effects at different time different season or the in the different genders so you know between that the research is not quite there yet certainly some research has been done on women in the mediterranean diet and that type of thing in the mediterranean diet is the one that seems to be the most popular for showing good effects in mood and anxiety but one of the guidelines i allowed say for um for uh for people is that we have to understand that the gut microbiome is like a thumbprint so how i respond to even a healthy food may not be how you would respond i once treated a mother and daughter i was actually treating the mum but the teenage daughter came with her to the session this was before covid and they had an opposite reaction to the same healthy food so you know even when you're biologically related to someone your microbiome can respond quite differently so i don't feel like our research is there yet but i do think that some guidelines around this are the following unless someone at any age group has a food allergy or intolerance same thing for children or the elderly you can always try food so unless you have celiac or non-celiac sensitivity or some sort of allergy like peanuts you know then then you have to be careful about that food but if not why not try to include as many of those foods in your diet and i think that as the research continues we'll know more about the different age groups in that type of thing madam we know as a medical person when we prescribe that we are very careful about the drug drug interactions so are there also food food interactions or we should be avoiding some food with contradictory effects so that's a good question but you know i think that the the the ones that we learned in psychopharmacology and in pharmacology are the ones to remember so i always say to people the reason i say discuss your dietary changes or your nutrition changes with your doctor if your doctor knows the medications you are taking for example grapefruit it's a healthy fruit i would recommend that most people eat it but depending on what medications you are grapefruit interacts with certain liver enzymes and liver enzyme systems so you have to as a physician be aware of that if someone comes to you and says oh you know i've started having grapefruit juice every day but if you're prescribing a medication that interacts so i would say be guided by the pharmacology you've learned and that's why i always say to people they have to involve their medical doctors in this because you know we study the psychopharmacology and the pharmacology behind medications but that but in general when you are pursuing just a change or improvement in your diet you you really should be guided by allergies and intolerance first and foremost and also what i call body intelligence which is if you eat a certain food understand how it makes you feel i'll give you an example i was invited out for dinner with friends the other day and they chose a chinese restaurant and it was not one that i've been to before and i um like chinese food in general and i try to make healthier choices when i go there but i developed a headache about halfway through the meal and that's very unusual for me i'm not someone who has but i i thought it was directly related to the food and probably some content whether it was the msg or something else in the food yeah that i was not used to because i hadn't been there before so i think it's paying attention to to your yourself your body how it makes you feel is hugely important as well to the viewers uh madam said that msg is a monosodium glutamate that's what we in our teaching also say that chinese restaurant syndrome people go to the chinese restaurant and get the headache and especially if you are headache prone like migraine then probably you got to inquire about this yeah but exactly now coming to your another best-selling book food mood food connections something about the mood and food yes so so in fact the book is the same um they just have different titles the title in india is the food mood connection it's the same book that i was just speaking about so it's outlined the same way it's a soft suburb in india and it follows much of the principles of nutritional psychiatry if you if you want to learn them that way they also have lists at the end of every chapter about foods to embrace and foods to avoid so if you are say working with an individual with anxiety would be worth looking at those those end notes because they give you guidance as to what you can tell your patients and then chapter 11 has recipes that you can share with them now i happen to be vegetarian i was raised that way my family is vegetarian but some of my family uh does not does is not vegetarian so i actually have recipes in the book where you know you can interchange the chicken that i'm talking about with a cauliflower steak or you can make it friendly towards indian food just by the spices you change or say the vegetables or things like that that you that you interchange and that becomes important in in how you adapt things for different cultures and for different types of cuisine i've heard madam that you already fond of rainbow foods so some people let's talk about the rainbow foods yes so so i talk about pillars of nutritional psychiatry and one of them is i'll start off i'll start off with that one so eat the color of the rainbow you know when you see a very very colorful uh fruit and vegetables the different colors actually represent plant polyphenols which are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory property so blueberries have anthocyanins you know the red bell peppers green bell peppers all of the colors of foods that we eat become important and those antioxidants are extremely important for our gut because our gut microbes need two very important things they need they help those antioxidants work but they also need fiber from those foods and you don't get fiber from meat or seafood protein you get fiber from plant-based sources such as vegetables fruit beans nuts lentils legumes seeds and healthy whole grains so we want to include the color of the rainbow for two reasons the fiber as well as the antioxidant properties then another principle i talk about is eat whole be whole so think about you know the orange you know eat the orange you know instead of going to this the store and buying the store-bought oranges because the united states are store-bought juices lack fiber but they have a lot of added sugar so the principle is you know just eat eat the whole food you know cut it up eat it cook it whatever it is but don't go to the processed version of it which would be the juice another one is is the greener the better you know we as indians and indian culture we eat a lot of greens and this is very healthy for us so the the more greens whether they raw or cooked the better these are good for you because they contain folate and folate are low levels of folate associated with depression and loss of brain cells so there's a very healthy thing that you can do right there so you know what that those these are some of the things that i try to encourage people to do but i'm a little confused while going through the literature some people believe that you should keep on changing your diet some people believe that you should be more consistent with your diet so what's your take on that you know in in the in the us i think that people are very very confused by the diet wars as i call them because one day it's eat keto another day it's be vegetarian or vegan or you know paleo all these different terms so i really feel that nutrition is re and certainly nutritional psychiatry doctors really going towards being highly personalized now so everyone like i mentioned that mother and daughter everyone needs their own specific plan to actually feel better and where where i like to guide people is say say you're choosing you're choosing you've spoken to your doctor your nutritionist and you choosing to eat a ketogenic diet um make sure that you're not missing out on entire food groups because that balance becomes important right if you know maybe you're if you're vegan you may not be getting enough vitamin b12 so you might have to speak to your doctor about taking some supplementation there so you have to you have to balance things out and i feel that people improve their mental well-being when they follow more of a consistent eating plan they make slow and steady changes you cannot give someone a list of 10 things to change overnight you know give them one to two at a time and have them work their way up so i actually believe it's not about one specific dietary change or another it's about a it's about a comprehensive what i call a holistic functional and integrated plan in mental health to slowly and consistently adjust your diet so that those habits stick and so that over time these will not just be habits but they become part of your lifestyle right so i read that you just advocate 80 20 principles that 80 percent should be considered 20 percent new company changing right you can continue to change yeah yeah yeah yes with covid pandemic everybody's after boosting their immunity and though many companies have also come out with the immune boosters and the alternative medicine also are coming with immune boosters so do we have foods which are boosting our immunity absolutely so you know i think the the thing with with covid and and understanding that you know the cytokine cytokine storm and this sort of some people had these abnormal responses in terms of their immune system with covid so what i like to talk about doctor is just improving almost improving where we're at so you don't necessarily have to boost the immunity but including foods that are rich in vitamin c are good for you anyway you don't have to take an excess amount of vitamin-C supplementation but you know you can eat citrus fruits you can eat lemons you can eat limes these are parts of things that are very much part of our food vitamin c is very rich in kiwi fruit and in red bell peppers so red bell peppers is something we cook a lot with an indian cuisine so that's something that is rich in vitamin c so including those foods in in a in your healthy diet becomes important i wouldn't go eat an excessive amount of them use them as part of a balanced plan because you don't kind of want to overshoot that immune immune response you just you want to keep it on an even keel so this is the mango season in india right now so where do you plate mango so here's the thing i love mangoes mangoes are delicious but one of the things i talk about my book is the glycemic index right and tropical food mangoes are tropical fruit they tend to be high on that glycemic index so what i think about it is you know it's mango season enjoy a piece of mango don't overdo it everything in moderation if if you are struggling with your weight if you are if you have you know insulin resistance or you're developing type 2 diabetes or you're concerned about that then you have to be more careful about those foods so berries like blueberries, raspberry, blackberry, strawberries are slightly lower in the glycemic index and if you want to sweet and you know you have a sweet tooth or you're looking for healthier fruit those are better options for you so certainly when when you have problems with weight it becomes an issue to only eat the pineapple and the mangoes the tropical fruit do tend to be higher in the glycemic index so so it's about finding that balance our patients are so smart they don't book their appointments during the mango season they will come only after the mango season yes they don't want their blood sugar to be checked. yeah because they get this scolding so they would avoid meeting us during the season another issue which also there are confusing evidences and the literature is about intermittent fasting and it has become a very big feed fad these days so what do you think once how do we observe intermittent fasting and how does it help in the overall health as well as the mental health sure so there was a 2019 um article published in the new england journal of medicine that did a very nice job speaking about intermittent fasting fasting mimicking diets and i encourage people to look at that if you i'm sure many people have read that already but what it showed us was that there's good scientific evidence that intermittent fasting is good for our physical health and those individuals again people should be speaking to their doctors because you may not know that you have problems with your blood sugar control and the most dangerous thing would be becoming hypoglycemic when you don't know it right so as doctors we know that and you want to therefore offer people guidance um what i say to people is the following if if you get up and you you know you you don't need to take medications first thing in the morning um and you're not feeling hungry you can eat later in the day and then if you're tolerating that well and your doctor thinks you can do it you know you might eat between 11am and 7pm and then you stop eating for the day you may support her or drink you know herbal teas or something like that and then you wake up the next day because that's what the overnight the overnight fast that you're doing it has to again it comes back to this being personalized so speak to your doctor see how you know see how you tolerate this one of the things that i think intermittent fasting does is it makes us more mindful of our food and it changes our relationship with cravings that's what that's that's what and what that's what the research has told us what we don't know yet is all of the impacted mental health anecdotally my patients will say they have less brain fog and they have more energy but again i think we need to do a little bit more research so in general i think intermittent fasting is is if it's someone wants to do it check with your doctor it's a good idea there are many good health benefits i don't yet know all the health outcomes for mental health so in short you will say that people who are diabetic heavily diabetic they should consult their doctors before resorting to intermittent fasting right or pre-or pre-diabetic or have problems with insulin resistance right because if they've dropped their blood sugar suddenly and they don't know that could be dangerous so just discuss with their doctor the indians use a lot of spices these days so what is their role in the mental health and does it really help in the mental health as well as the digestion absolutely you know so i think that one of the um one of the superfoods in indian cuisine are the spices not only because they make food delicious but it turns out that you know turmeric capsaicin and chili peppers and so many of the others have very strong when i say medicinal they actually have medicinal properties that also impact mental health so turmeric with a pinch of black pepper it has shown that pepperine and black pepper activates the curcumin in the turmeric about 20 fold so it's worth even if you're making a making a tea with your turmeric adding in a pinch of black pepper is important to activate it it's strong anti-inflammatory antioxidant properties it has multiple different things that are useful and it has been shown in multiple randomized controlled trials to help mood so remembering that you know you start with the quantities in a day if you're cooking but that you cook with the amount that you're using and in your black pepper the effect is going to take time so it will take at least a month before you notice anything so so being consistent about it which i think isn't easy for our sort of food because we we cook a lot with it right and and it's easy for us to work with turmeric you can even add that to a tea and then there's the impact of capsaicin from chili peppers so we have we have a whole we have an armamentarium of positive um uh benefits of spices which which is as as um in the indian culture we should tap into another one is saffron now saffron we don't use it as much of in a single dish right it's expensive and we use a few strands but that's one way i say speak to your doctor about a supplement because there's such good evidence of saffron supplementation and improvement involved matter what matters the most in the food preparation is it the food is this the timing it is the baby food or the quantity of food it's overall what is more important the most important in my opinion is rather than counting calories it's the source of the food right so so where you're getting your food if you have access to it and i know it's different in different countries we have food deserts in the u.s we have you know people who are who who go hungry there are many different complications about where people source food but when you can if you can getting good quality vegetables good quality fruit uh becomes important i cannot stress the importance whether it's eggs whether it's milk that you're eating whether it's it's different forms of seafood it's the source becomes important because now we know a lot more about farming and that type of thing i worry less about calories because i feel that if you're eating a healthier diet you're including those vegetables of food you're paying attention to fiber in the united states people are obsessed by the amount of protein they're eating but we actually sincerely lack fiber in our diet only one in ten americans actually eats enough vegetables um and fruits so so we are lacking fiber and and by including those slowly and steadily in your diet you will definitely start to see uh start to see improvements this question dr naidoo is on a personal level that we all of us now know that you are the triple treat so what is the fourth and fifth feather you are going to add to your cap i'm actually working in it right now so so when it comes out i'll be sure to let you know thank you so much madam now we have questions from the audience also and one of the important questions which i think i should have also asked you is the relations between food and sleep and the importance of sleep apnea absolutely so sleep is especially during the pandemic people have really suffered with sleep so much so that some individuals call it coron-somnia and sleep definitely impacts mental health because poor sleep worsens depression it can drive anxiety can do so many things the thing about sleep is it's not just one thing it's not just just sleeping it's it's the whole it's the whole pattern of what you're doing how you're handling your day what you're eating what you're drinking um and and and the level of your stress for example so i like to pee i like to say to people that you know they should start off with good sleep hygiene um you know not not shopping and eating late at night so not going into supermarkets and places that have ultraviolet lights and upright eating earlier um getting the body ready to rest and i know i know when i have visited india that people can sometimes eat some people can eat their meals later and i think that that can definitely impact um sleep so setting your family's schedule so i'm sorry i'm hearing an echo can you hear me okay yeah absolutely fine you can go um okay um so so you may be eating dinner early as a family and getting ready to to go to bed meaning you stop eating you may drink um decaffeinated tea or you may drink water but you're kind of getting your and then shutting up your phones and your devices it's 30 minutes to an hour before notifications going off all the time i know when i forget to shut up my notifications my phone is buzzing throughout you know and i it keeps interrupting me people use things like blue blocking light glasses and all sorts of things to help with encouraging sleep but also becomes a food you eat right relying on a glass of wine to help you sleep ultimately that glass of wine is going to disrupt your sleep architecture that's very different to just having a glass of wine with dinner because that's something you enjoy if you're not using it to help you sleep that's very different of course again in moderation then coffee you know coffee having that and even tea tea has tea can keep you awake so having it early in the day switching to an herbal tea later in the day um making sure that if if cut caffeine keeps you awake you you maybe cut back a little bit on it all of that becomes important and then eating melatonin-rich foods can be helpful and i list some melatonin rich foods um my my favorite one but not everyone eats eggs is flipping breakfast for dinner because uh eggs are rich in melatonin so making an omelette for dinner can be something that i i share with individuals that they can do if they eat eggs but also vegetables that contain melatonin um and so you know that that becomes important yeah and tryptophan-rich eggs having electronic is a new learning for us and i'm sure after this people would start trying that and we know that blue light of the blue light of uh the mobiles have definitely inhibitory effect on the melatonin yeah yeah they do they absolutely do so yeah so so it's about changing all of those things in in unison we have certain craving for foods so what does that mean that was one of the questions asked sure you know they can mean many different things and i definitely feel there's an association with stress many people over the times of covid were feeling very stressed and they were craving certain foods um unfortunately you know basically i i have written about this but you know comfort foods that we see as comfort actually discomfort for the brain unfortunately because of the things that people turn to that they feel are comforting often they are high glycemic foods um sugar rich foods sometimes processed foods um sometimes extremely sweet foods like ice cream and candies and things like that so it's it becomes an important balance to understand where that comes from now interestingly intermittent fasting can sometimes help people with their cravings so if if you have patients who are suffering with that and they are otherwise healthy and can tolerate a trying out of fasting window diet maybe that would be one way to think about it but my other trick about that is to try to think of foods that replace the unhealthy foods you are craving and so that becomes a little bit of work because they're not usually available in a supermarket or a store but it's changing out the things that you are craving um you know and finding a healthier healthy finding a healthier recipe for those another interesting question that some people stress uh binge eating at night so how to overcome that right so so binge so binge eating at night is sometimes brought on by eating not eating consistently during the day you know doctors this happens to doctors because they're rushing the whole day and they not stopping for lunch and then they end up really hungry at night so partly it's making sure you're eating even if it's small meals throughout the day so that you're not starving in the evening another thing is managing your stress now that is very separate to binge eating as an eating disorder because with eating disorders you really have to see an eating disorder specialist a psychiatrist who will help you repair that relationship with food to help that patient repair their relationship with food because until they can repair the relationship they can't change to a healthier food right yes they've got they've got to fix the fact that they stop binging on certain foods and then sometimes vomiting um so binging and purging or restricting food entirely and being underweight so so it's it's more complicated when it comes to eating disorders uh another question about the vegetarian food versus the omnivorous diet is there a definite scientific evidence of superiority of one over the other so here's here's where we get back into those diet walls right because certain studies will talk about and certain practitioners will talk about well a plant-based diet is the only way to go you shouldn't be eating dairy you shouldn't be eating cheese you should only be vegan and plant that's what plant-based means but at the same time you know other advocates of say a more keto forward diet will say you you need the nutrients from meat you should be eating red meat and other seafoods and that you you know that that's what your brain needs so this is what i'm i'm going to say to people it's more about the impact of how your gut microbiome is unique and it's more important the impact of what your diet is and how you can treat them so if you are an omnivore then having a healthy version of the foods that you're eating becomes important for your mental health if you are vegetarian then having healthy you know a vegetarian diet can be pizza and coke you know a slice of pizza and a coca-cola so so we have to be careful when we say these things that if you're a vegetarian diet that you're eating healthy foods that are going to improve your mental health i feel that that's the way forward if not people get very lost in what the different research shows and i would say that right now there isn't any definitive research to say that you have to be vegan or plant-based but if you listen to certain doctors or certain authors or certain practitioners they will say very definitively you should be plant-based i don't think we're there yet i think it really depends on what you're eating are they benefits of a plant-rich diet absolutely so we talked about the 80 20 rule i also like people to mostly on their plate have vegetables and then a source of protein that they prefer it could be it could be meat it could be seafood but also be a plant-based source of protein i think that that becomes very important so i don't i don't want to underscore i actually want to underscore the importance of plant-rich foods in your in your overall balance because of the fiber and those nutrients i mentioned much earlier earlier when we were talking of diet it was only in relation to the diseases or relation to weight loss or related to the recovery of the acute myocardial infarction or something but that is probably more than that and it's more higher value preventive value and modifying our behavior and everything then only the absolutely absolutely not behavior modification stress management exercise movement meditation mindfulness all of that becomes important yoga i mean you mentioned yoga you know there was a study from 2020 that looked at pranayama yoga and the effect on cardiac health but it also showed an improvement in depression and anxiety so you know these um these the research is is important to look at and it's showing us the way uh one interesting question was what is the difference between nutritionist and dietitian really the answer i had given partly there in the united states um there are a whole lot of different pathways to the study i i don't i don't know how to differentiate that for you in india because i don't know how the training is um i think that you know that's a very very important part of uh understanding our nutrition i think that as a doctor you know understanding the the physiology the anatomy of the body the biochemistry and the pharmacology also helps um but i think that they play a very important role in helping patients with figuring out how to how to eat better there is a question on the low fodmap diet for the people who got issues (issues) it's also right now absolutely it certainly can be helpful for individuals with gut issues um i think that understanding that when someone has got issues getting to the root cause of that becomes important and one of the causes is diet and is how we're eating because certain foods can be more inflammatory in the gut and disruptive to those gut microbes so starting to work with someone on eating gut healing foods becomes important so i think it certainly works for those individuals and they should be speaking to their gastroenterologist about following that um following that more carefully uh another question is it really helpful to take salad of special vegetable or locally grown vegetable so you know locally grown a lot of people would argue is probably better if you have access to your own garden or organic produce where you live that's always a great option because if you're buying something in a store on a supermarket or a market it's been transported from somewhere so definitely uh if you have access to that good for you and maybe try that naidoo would you suggest the patients who are suffering from depression to avoid certain foods yes so so those are the foods that i understand my illusion my book and what some of the things that they want to be careful are those very processed and ultra processed foods and junk foods because the processed uh in the ingredients that make them processed are not good for the brain and they disrupt the gut another category is the added and refined sugars so a lot of savory foods are very high in sugar things like ketchup things like salad dressing pasta sauces actually have a lot of added sugar that you don't realize so being careful about where you buy what you're buying looking at the food labels seeing the amount of sugar becomes important and then processed vegetable oils becomes important so if you you or your children like fast foods and you know the fast food restaurants that we have in the us tend to use a lot of processed vegetable oils which can be very inflammatory for the gut and setting up for inflammation and then worsening of symptoms and the other category in addition to trans fats is artificial sweeteners so if you're trying to cut back on sugar be careful of the no sugar low sugar versions because they might have artificial sweeteners but i list these in my book as well madam we talk a lot about the microbiome so are there any specific foods or prebiotics that can help improving our health absolutely so um there are you know supplements you can take but i would rather start with food first i mean i think there is a place for supplementation um because our diets are not perfect but for for prebiotics you can get this through food um asparagus beans oats bananas just to name a few um are rich in prebiotic fiber and probiotics you can get from the supplement but you can eat fermented foods kimchi miso pickles kombucha kefir i just to name a few of uh the fermented foods that that uh actually help the gut microbes uh by bringing back live active cultures so those are great ways to go plus remember the fiber rich foods that i mentioned the fruit vegetables beans nuts seeds lentils legumes and the healthy whole grains also provide fiber for the gut microbiome yeah we also advise our patients to take curd and butter milk because rich in lactobacillus that's right they're rich in probiotics uh can food work as a placebo that was an interesting question you know i think that anything can work as a placebo right because that's related to your mind i think that uh i i think absolutely quite possibly for some people may be a placebo but i think that it's also if you've followed and seen people clinically who are adjusting and making nutritional changes changes that they start to improve their mood scores they have lower anxiety improvement in ocd and other symptoms it becomes important remembering that i'm not very careful to not overstate where the science is at for nutritional psychiatry that's why i did so much of research for my book and we we cannot you know doesn't replace medications it's a slow and careful plan of improving how you eat to improve how you feel and um that and just being being you know being uh doing things in moderation so of course thank you very much dr naidoo for all your time and efforts and enlightening us and it was really a great pleasure to have you us on our platform thank you very much thank you so much thank you thank you thank you and thank you viewers for being with us and we'll keep bringing such celebrities and scientists basic scientists to you once and again thank you very much we end the session here thank you goodbye thank you madam

Agenda for this talk
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BEING ATTENDED BY

Dr. KHUSHBOO PANCHAL & 293 others

SPEAKERS

dr. Uma Naidoo

Dr. Uma Naidoo

Michelin-starred chef David Bouley described Dr. Uma Naidoo as the world’s first “triple threat” in the food and medicine space: a Harvard trained psychiatrist, Professional Chef graduating with her c...

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dr. Mahadev Desai

Dr. Mahadev Desai

Senior Consultant Physician | Ahmedabad

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dr. Uma Naidoo

Dr. Uma Naidoo

Michelin-starred chef David Bouley described ...

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dr. Mahadev Desai

Dr. Mahadev Desai

Senior Consultant Physician | Ahmedabad

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