This is your brain on food, according to Dr. Uma Naidoo.

What a fun conversation I got to have with Dr. Naidoo! If you’re into learning more about the gut-brain connection, then this episode is for you.

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Dr. Uma Naidoo is a Harvard trained nutritional psychiatrist, professional chef and nutrition specialist who wrote the recent national bestselling book, “This is Your Brain on Food.” 

She founded and directs the first hospital-based Nutritional Psychiatry Service in the United States and is the director of Nutritional and Metabolic Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Director of Nutritional & Lifestyle Psychiatry at the MGH Academy while serving on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. 

Dr. Uma is regarded as the US pioneer in the ground-breaking area of Nutritional Psychiatry 

She is a regular expert resource for media and has appeared in publications including the Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, goop and more, and in appearances including ABC News, Live with Kelly & Ryan, and TODAY.

Your Brain on Food {Episode 19 with Dr. Uma Naidoo}

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Your Brain on Food Dr. Uma Naidoo #wellnesspodcast #gutbrain

Resources Mentioned

  1. Dr. Uma Naidoo on Instagram
  2. Her website
  3. This is Your Brain on Food
  4. Vagus Nerve
  5. Probiotic Foods vs Prebiotic Foods
  6. All About Prebiotics
  7. Gut Healing with the GAPS Diet
  8. Chia Seed Pudding {Using Just 2 Ingredients}

Don’t Miss These Thoughts

  1. Dr. Uma’s story
  2. What is nutritional psychiatry?
  3. The gut-brain connection; what does that actually mean?
  4. 90% of serotonin is made in the gut; the receptors are there as well.
  5. “A happy gut is a happy mood.”
  6. Inflammation in the gut ultimately leads to inflammation in the brain.
  7. What comes first; the gut problem or the brain problem?
  8. Dr. Uma’s 6 pillars
  9. The GAPS diet thoughts from Dr. Uma
  10. A list of foods that worsen mental health issues
  11. Foods that help mental health issues
  12. Dr. Naidoo’s top 3 convictions around gut health and gut healing
  13. What Dr. Uma eats in a typical day

More from A Gutsy Girl

1. Welcome to A Gutsy Girl Podcast
2. Hang out on Instagram
3. BFF’s on YouTube
4. Free resource: The Master Gutsy Spreadsheet
5. Rated-G Email Club

Your Brain on Food Dr. Uma Naidoo #wellnesspodcast #gutbrain Uma Naidoo

Nerve Endings

After my conversation with Dr. Uma, there were a lot of different things I thought about.

One thing I couldn’t get out of my mind was nerve endings and receptors.

I already knew that 90% of serotonin is made in the gut, but when she said, “the receptors are there as well,” it got me thinking.

In my head, I was seeing a bunch of circuits.

And that’s kind of right.

According to Loyola Medicine,

The digestive system has its own nervous system, called the enteric nervous system. It has over 100 million nerve endings and in many ways, it can control digestion independently without your conscious awareness. 

Fascinating, right?

Now, I’m not really sharing anything too new to you, right?

I wrote about this all with quite the detail some time back.


Remember when I wrote Endocannabinoid System and Your Gut?

If you have never nerd-ed out with me over on that post, now is your chance.

It’s a good one. And, by the way, I think it will help clarify even more around the gut-brain connection.

Wrap Up

Time to wrap this up. As always, a huge goal for this show is to connect with even more people. Feel free to send an email to our team at We want to hear questions, comments, show ideas, etc.

Did you enjoy this episode? Please drop a comment below or leave a review on Apple Podcasts.


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