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Food for Thought: The Relationship Between Food, Gut and Brain

The gut and brain are very closely linked. Explore how neurology, the microbiome and more interact to affect health.

35,371 enrolled on this course

Food for Thought: The Relationship Between Food, Gut and Brain
The CPD Certification Service

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. Find out more.

Find out how your diet affects your brain, and your brain affects your diet

Please note this course runs without facilitation. A Spanish version of the course can be found here.

Over the last few years, the importance of the link between gut and brain has become clear. On this course you’ll explore this complex relationship.

You’ll learn how the brain works, and is affected by diet and nutritional deficiencies. You’ll also discover less known, cutting-edge subjects such as the gut-brain axis, the microbiome, and the relationship between food and reproductive health.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second [music] Do you know how food affects our body and mind? And how our emotions, and thoughts, affect the way we eat? In Food for Thought, we will touch both psychological topics, such as emotional eating, And biological ones, such as the relationship between our brain and the microbiome In the course you will find videos, videos, articles and quizzes That will help you understand the relationships between areas that could seem unconnected So, how does the food affect our mind, brain and body? Join us, and we will discover it together! [music]

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Introduction

    • Welcome to the course

      Introduction to the course, its structure and its content.

    • Introduction to the brain and cognition

      Let's explore basic information about the brain and its energy metabolism. We will also introduce some psychological topics, most notably what is meant by cognitions.

  • Week 2

    Responses to feeding, reward systems and food addiction

    • The reward system and response to feeding

      What is a reward and what is the reward system in the brain? What happens when we eat food and how this activates the reward circuits? Let's find out!

    • Food addiction

      What is food addiction? Does it really exist? Let's explore the idea of food addiction from a biological point of view and featuring the point of view of a clinical psychologist.

  • Week 3

    Cognitive and emotional influences on food behaviors

    • Emotions and food intake

      Can emotions change our eating behaviour, and can what we eat change our emotions?

    • Cognition and food intake

      How do our thoughts and experiences affect our eating style? What is restrained eating and what are its consequences?

  • Week 4

    Brain, mind and our diet

    • Food and our brain: the good...

      Let's explore the positive effects of some foods and molecules, such as antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, on our brain.

    • ... and the bad

      Now ;et's focus on the negative effects of the food we eat on our brain and on our body, including the effects of nutritional deficiencies and diets rich in sugar.

  • Week 5

    Gut-brain axis and the microbiome

    • Microbiome and the gut-brain axis

      Let's explore the gut-brain axis and the role that the microbiome plays in it.

    • Microbiome and the brain

      Let's explore the relationship between our brain and our gut, including the role of gut microbiome in the gut-brain axis.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain the role of our diet on brain function
  • Reflect on the role of psychological and neurobiological factors in our food choices
  • Reflect on the possible causes (biological, social, psychological) of unhealthy and pathological eating behaviours
  • Describe the connection between the brain and our digestive system (gut)
  • Discuss the topics of the course and their relationship with daily life

Who is the course for?

This course is open to everyone, but may be of particular interest to psychologists or people working in health and well-being. No previous experience is required, though a background knowledge of biology or psychology may help.

The Educators won’t be able to join the discussions themselves or respond to individual comments, but the course encourages a strong learning community. The learning is focused around debate and discussion – supporting other learners, sharing your own experience and knowledge, and listening to new perspectives. We hope that you will enjoy interacting with and learning from each other in this way. Don’t forget to comment, reply to other learners and ‘like’ comments.

What do people say about this course?

I thoroughly enjoyed the course.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the course. I especially loved learning about the different vitamin deficiencies, brain and body feedback, biology, and eating disorders. "

Really enjoyed the course

"Really enjoyed the course. It covers very complex and complicated mechanisms which affect our emotional, mental and physical well-being, in a way that is accessible for the non expert."

Who will you learn with?

I am a research fellow and lecturer at the University of Torino, Italy. My research activities include neuroimaging of eating disorders and neurostimulation with therapeutic and rehabilitative goals.

I am a professor at the Institute of Animal Reproduction & Food Research Polish Academy of Sciences in Poland. I am interested in molecular aspects of reproduction, including diet-mediated programming

I am a professor and lecturer for nutritional psychology at the University of Hohenheim in Germany. I am interested in the psychological aspects of our eating and consumer behavior.

Who developed the course?

EIT Food

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food initiative, working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted.

University of Turin

The University of Turin is one of the largest and most prestigious Italian universities, with about 70,000 students, 4,000 employees, and 1,800 research fellows, encompassing all academic sectors.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

This activity has received funding from EIT Food, the innovation community on Food of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the EU, under the Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

Supporters

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