Nutritional Psychiatry Expert Unveils CALMS Mnemonic for Improved Mental Health through Diet

CALMS Mnemonic

Dietary Strategies for the Global Mental Health Challenge through the mnemonic, “CALMS”

The growing prevalence of global mental disorders makes health experts to emphasize on the impacts that lifestyles have on mental well-being.

Crucial but often ignored factors such as nutrition are part and parcel of improving mental health.

Dr. Uma Naidoo, a Harvard-trained nutritional psychiatrist, nutritional biologist, and professional chef, delves into the vital food-mood connection in her latest book, “Calm Your Mind with Food.”

Dr. Naidoo introduces “CALMS” mnemonic as an easy-to-use guide for people who wants to eat foods which can boost their moods on regular basis.

This mnemonic “CALMS”, is more like a map in the grocery stores indicating nutrients and food groups that are good for mental health.

C – Choline, Vitamin C, Chocolate & Chickpeas

Choline is essential when it comes to production of neurotransmitter acetylcholine linked to memory and learning. For those with egg intolerance Dr. Naidoo suggests beans and lentils as well.

Besides, biochemical reactions usually require vitamin c especially in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dealing with stress responses.

She points out several other vitamin C sources apart from citrus fruits such as orange and kiwi fruit.

Chocolate rich in plant-based iron fortified with Vitamin C sources like oranges is a powerful combination for addressing anxiety. Chickpeas that contain tryptophan also aid serotonin’s role in mood regulation.

A – Antioxidants, Ashwagandha & Anthocyanins

Various antioxidants are discussed with focus being on anthocyanins found in dark colored foods like black currants blueberries grapes and black berries among others that play a significant role in brain health.

These antioxidants are believed to help clear cognitive decline after certain studies found reduced risk associated with anthocyanin intake.

In addition, Dr Naidoo highlights the ashwagandha, an adaptogen that has been shown to lower cortisol levels and activate brain receptors that can reduce stress.

L – Liquids

The health benefits of hydration on brain are discussed, with stress on the necessity of meeting water requirements that should be taken daily.

Dr. Naidoo further notes the relationship between dehydration and elevated anxiety levels, recommending calming herbal teas like passionflower and green tea.

M – More Omega-3s

Importance of omega-3 fatty acids in wild-caught salmon, flaxseeds and chia seeds for overall health as well as gut and brain is explained.

They have mood balance support based on research hence thoughtful supplementation may be necessary due to widespread low omega-3s in diets.

S – Spices

Chili pepper and turmeric are two spices which are expounded upon where chili peppers are anti-inflammatory, exhibiting potential mood-enhancing effects according to some animal studies.

Turmeric containing curcumin has neurotrophic activities that are good in enhancing attention, cognition and memory among others.

The Takeaway

In CALMS, for instance, she gives flexibility and argues against a comprehensive shopping list. She also moves on from others defining what constitutes CALMS.

Her counsel, introducing the mnemonic CALMS”, encourages one to incorporate as many mood-enhancing foods as possible in each shopping trip to initiate the anti-anxiety diet plan.

Therefore, with such a strategy, people will be able to make step by step changes leading to better mental health through food choices.

Paving the Way for Mental Well-being Through Dietary Choices

The CALMS mnemonic is a new way of improving mental health through nutritional intervention, released by Dr. Uma Naidoo in the face of a global mental health crisis.

This is because people get to understand how diet relates to mental health and therefore make better choices that can help them deal with anxiety issues among other complexities as well as increase their resilience when it comes to mental matters.

That hope is visible in Dr. Naidoo’s suggestions, which illustrate that food can be used as an important element for the promotion of good mental health.

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