The #1 Diet in the World for Lowering Inflammation | Dr. Uma Naidoo

The #1 Diet in the World for Lowering Inflammation | Dr. Uma Naidoo

Intro (00:00:00)

  • Inflammation is a word that often gets confused.
  • Acute inflammation is a natural healing response to injuries.
  • Chronic inflammation builds up slowly over time and is linked to a poor diet.
  • Chronic inflammation can drive conditions like anxiety, depression, and cognitive disorders.

25% off Your First Order from SEED (00:01:56)

  • Probiotics are important for gut health and overall well-being.
  • SEED is a recommended probiotic brand that combines a prebiotic and probiotic in one capsule.
  • SEED's multi-stage delivery system and research make it a reliable choice.
  • Probiotics can be especially beneficial when making dietary changes.

The Best Diet to Reduce Inflammation (00:02:50)

  • The Mediterranean diet, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, emphasizes whole foods, healthy fats, certain meats or seafood, and a balanced nutrient profile.
  • While the Mediterranean diet's benefits are widely recognized, it's unclear whether they stem from what it includes or excludes.
  • Beta glucans, found in whole grains like barley, have positive effects on inflammation and other health markers.
  • Highly processed grains, like instant oatmeal, can be detrimental due to added ingredients, while cooking whole grains like barley and quinoa is encouraged for their fiber and protein content.
  • The impact of grains on health depends on the type and processing methods, highlighting the importance of context when discussing their effects.

Food in America vs Europe (00:10:20)

  • There are differences in the levels of gluten and gadin in pasta between Europe and America.
  • Some individuals can eat bread in Europe without issues but not American bread.
  • Eating pasta in the US can lead to weight gain and discomfort, while pasta in Italy does not have the same effects.
  • The wheat used in the US is different and less healthy compared to European wheat.
  • Processed meats in Europe, such as prosciutto and parma ham, are made differently and may not contain harmful additives like nitrates.
  • Nitrates in processed meats can contribute to depression.
  • European processed meats may have bioactive peptides with beneficial effects.

Mediterranean Regions & Blue Zones (00:13:50)

  • The Mediterranean diet is often idealized, but it's important to consider the true cultural and geographic data of the Mediterranean regions.
  • The Blue Zones, which are regions known for longevity, have different diets but share commonalities such as eating whole foods.
  • The Mediterranean diet is often misinterpreted as being entirely plant-based, but the traditional Mediterranean regions are not predominantly plant-based.
  • Labeling, including, and excluding foods can make healthy eating confusing for people, leading them to choose unhealthy options.
  • The Blue Zones have different diets but share common denominators such as lifestyle, activity, and relationships.
  • The United States needs to be more open-minded and inclusive around food, rather than messaging that certain foods are good or bad.
  • Guidelines for healthy eating should be offered without judgment.

How to Add a Mediterranean Flair to Your Diet (00:17:18)

  • The Mediterranean diet offers anti-inflammatory and mental health benefits.
  • Incorporate healthy fats like olive oil, avocado oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds into your diet.
  • Choose high-quality meat, such as grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, and pastured lamb, when possible.
  • Eat a variety of colorful vegetables, including cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, and legumes.
  • Adapt Mediterranean recipes with spices and flavors from other cultures for inclusivity and appeal.

Rates of Anxiety & Depression in US vs Other Countries (00:22:42)

  • There is limited literature comparing rates of anxiety and depression in the US versus other countries.
  • Nutritional science and epidemiological studies can be challenging due to small data sets and limited funding.
  • Anecdotally, there are differences in dietary patterns between the US and other countries.
  • The Mediterranean diet has been shown to improve mood and anxiety, not just physical health.
  • Certain foods, particularly plant-rich foods and healthy fats, play a significant role in anxiety.

Reducing Inflammation & Improving Mental Health (00:24:20)

  • Polyphenols in foods interact with gut microbes to influence neuroinflammation, executive function, and neurotransmitter production.
  • Polyphenols have a more specific impact on inflammation reduction compared to fiber alone.
  • Psychobiotics, the use of food to treat mental health, explores the effects of certain foods and microbial strains on anxiety and other conditions.
  • Polyphenols play a crucial role in the gut-brain axis by influencing short-chain fatty acid production and fatty acid oxidation.
  • The food is medicine movement emphasizes the potential of food as a therapeutic tool, complementing pharmaceutical research.
  • Protein is essential for gut and brain health and should be prioritized in the American diet, regardless of dietary preferences.
  • Fiber is also important and should be consumed in sufficient amounts.
  • Consider protein smoothies as a meal replacement when healthy meals are not readily available.

Where to Find More of Dr. Naidoo's Content (00:35:31)

  • Dr. Naidoo's website:
  • Sign up for her newsletter for weekly discussions on different foods, their preparation, and the science behind them.
  • Follow her on social media: @DrUmaNaidoo
  • New book: "Calm Your Mind with Food" (releasing December 26, 2023)
  • Previous book: "This Is Your Brain on Food"

Overwhelmed by Endless Content?