5 Foods to Eat to Take Control of Your Mental Health
5 Foods to Eat to Take Control of Your Mental Health

Dive deep into the revolutionary full-body approach to relieving anxiety and improving your mental health through the healing power of food.

Dr. Uma Naidoo is a Harvard-trained nutritional psychiatrist, professional chef, and nutrition specialist. In her newest book, “Calm Your Mind With Food,” she deep dives into her revolutionary full-body approach to relieving anxiety and improving your mental health through the healing power of food.

In our Live Purely Magazine, she breaks down this approach and provides insights into how food and nutrition can be utilized to calm the mind. Below, we give you a peek into Dr. Uma Naidoo’s top five foods that can help reduce anxiety symptoms for an improved sense of calm and focus.

  1. PREBIOTIC FIBER

    Veggies are rich in prebiotic fibers that feed and help maintain an abundance of healthy bacteria in the gut, which is associated with reduced neuroinflammation and stress. Prebiotic foods include asparagus, garlic, onions, leafy greens, artichokes, legumes, mushrooms, and apples, among others. Dr. Naidoo recommends including a variety of these veggies in the diet to ensure a diversity of brain-boosting vitamins and minerals, along with fiber.

  2. BERRIES

    Loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins, berries support a healthy microbiome and can reduce inflammation. Blueberries, specifically, contain one of the highest concentrations of anxiety-reducing anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that supports brain health by fighting off oxidative stress. Wild blueberries even have twice the antioxidant power of regular blueberries! However, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are all great fruits to reach for when feeling anxious. Dr. Naidoo loves having a quarter cup of blueberries daily as part of a brain-healthy breakfast!

  3. OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

    Omega-3 fatty acids are an incredibly powerful tool in reducing inflammation in the gut and brain. They can be found abundantly in wild-caught fish like salmon, anchovies, tuna, mackerel, and sardines, as well as in nuts and seeds like walnuts and chia seeds. Omega-3 consumption is associated with reduced anxiety, brain fog, and cognitive decline, as well as improved mood.

  4. SPICES

    Spices like turmeric, with a pinch of black pepper, cinnamon, saffron, rosemary, and ginger, not only boost the flavor and color of our meals but are also rich in antioxidants, micronutrients, and anti-inflammatory compounds for improved mental fitness. Enjoying a turmeric latte each morning is one of Dr. Naidoo’s go-to practices for reduced stress and good energy throughout the day!

  5. FERMENTED FOODS

    A healthy microbiome is dependent on a healthy presence of good bacteria in the gut, and an effective way to replenish these populations of good bacteria is through eating fermented foods! Naturally rich in live cultures, foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, miso, and plain yogurts are excellent for mental fitness. Consuming fermented foods in conjunction with the above-mentioned fiber-rich veggies is key for maintaining a healthy microbiome and defending against chronic inflammation.

    As Dr. Uma Naidoo explains in our Live Purely Magazine, incorporating these five foods into your diet improves your mental health and strengthens the gut-brain connection. Our magazine's theme, "Purely Better Together," revolves around finding foods like these that are better eaten together. If you want to learn more from Dr. Uma Naidoo and other leading wellness experts, click here to purchase the magazine!

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