The big topic all over social media and Tik-Tok lately is all about healing your gut. Why is it so important? Your gut is the foundation of everything. It helps digest foods, absorb nutrients, and use your food as fuel. If your gut is imbalanced then your immune system won’t work properly, your hormones can be out of whack, and staying healthy then becomes a challenge due to the stress your body is under. If your gut is unhealthy then, your body is unable to properly detox, it can create illnesses, inflammation as well as fatigue. This is why you might experience gas, constipation, achy joints, inability for your body to recover despite doing everything you can to help it recover. If our gut isn’t working then that also leads to brain and mental health struggles which in turn creates loads of stress.
“What is the connection between psychiatry and food?” is a question Dr. Uma Naidoo poses and shares in her book This Is Your Brain On Food. Dr. Uma Naidoo is a board-certified psychiatrist, nutrition specialist, and professionally trained chef. She has a wealth of knowledge in the nutrition world and she finally was able to make the connection between brain and gut health in culinary school. This Is Your Brain On Food is filled with scientific research, nutrition recommendations, and tons of healthy recipes to guide readers to make better food choices to optimize their mental health.
Now I don’t want to give too much information away so I will keep this book review brief and you can read it yourself if this sounds intriguing to you.
The book has a simple flow, everything is easy to follow, and is broken down into chapters talking about each mental health disorder such as Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, Dementia, OCD, Insomnia, and Bipolar Disorder. For each of the mental health disorders, she shares foods and vitamins that can help alleviate some of the symptoms and at the end of each chapter, she gives a clear breakdown or “cheat sheet” of the “foods to embrace” and “foods to avoid” to guide you on better food choices to make.
For example, Foods to Embrace to combat Insomnia and Fatigue are:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: like salmon, tuna, and sardines
Melatonin: eggs, fish, milk, rolled oats, walnuts, and more
Tryptophan: turkey, chickpeas, and carbohydrates
L-ornithine: meat, poultry, soybeans, and quinoa
Foods with helpful micronutrients: lettuce, tart cherry juice, and maca
Foods to Avoid are:
Caffeine: doesn’t have to be eliminated, but sticking to guidelines of no more than 400mg/day and not drinking caffeine past 3 pm
Alcohol: because it can disrupt your sleep
At the end of the book, Dr. Uma Naidoo shares tons of her favorite recipes and how to prepare your kitchen to best serve you with brain-gut health foods. Some examples of recipes are; Baked Salmon with Walnut Kale Pesto, Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon with Baby Spinach and Chimichurris, and Southern French-Style Scallops. Isn’t your mouth watering already? I can’t wait to try some of these recipes!
Overall, I found this book to be very interesting and impactful about how to optimize our brain health and heal our bodies all by the foods we are putting in it. If you are at all interested in changing your diet to benefit your overall brain and gut health then this book is for you. Thanks for reading my book review and I hope you enjoy reading this book if you do decide to get it. Happy reading!