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EIT Food

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

EIT Food and Università di Torino via FutureLearn


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.

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.

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge on this topic, you might also find of interest the following EIT Food courses on nutrition and health:

  • Nutrition for Health and Sustainability
  • The Human Microbiome
  • Superfoods: Myths and Truths
  • Food and Nutrition: The Truth Behind Food Headlines
  • Understanding Mediterranean and Okinawa Diets


  • Introduction
    • Welcome to the course
    • Introduction to the brain and cognition
  • Responses to feeding, reward systems and food addiction
    • The reward system and response to feeding
    • Food addiction
  • Cognitive and emotional influences on food behaviors
    • Emotions and food intake
    • Cognition and food intake
  • Brain, mind and our diet
    • Food and our brain: the good...
    • ... and the bad
  • Gut-brain axis and the microbiome
    • Microbiome and the gut-brain axis
    • Microbiome and the brain

Taught by

Alessandro Cicerale


4.7 rating, based on 9 Class Central reviews

4.5 rating at FutureLearn based on 247 ratings

Start your review of Food for Thought: The Relationship Between Food, Gut and Brain

  • A great class! It is a class, that helped me recognize and modify my daily food habits. I have understood the importance of pre-biotics and pro-biotics in the diet. It is so important for one to understand the effect of microbiota and micro-biome on our general health.

    This class discusses cutting-edge research in biology and gives perspective from neuroscience and psychology. It is really fascinating subject! How our gut health can influence our mood and vice-versa. What happens in our gut can change our life. So, take care of your gut by taking care of the microorganisms that live in our guts! Take this class, to learn more and your eating habits will change, believe me!
  • Anonymous
    Really superb course. Engaging informative well presented (i do however tend to mute videos and read transcript) Learnt some important stuff that I have seen nowhere else. It all makes sense and supports and cements most information I already had. I had no idea however about the differences in the way Fructose and Glucose were used in the body . I don't believe sugar is just sugar anymore!
  • Profile image for Eileen Gilpin
    Eileen Gilpin
    I started this course because I have an interest in the subject.
    On completion of the course, I am now captivated by the information and I want to learn more. I want to investigate ways that I can share this knowledge and look at future careers where I can apply what I have learnt.
  • Anonymous
    Its a very interesting and informative course. Certainly well worth doing.
    If I was to complain, was that some of the videos were not as clear as they could be and where the videos had diagrams these were not included in the transcripts.
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed this course, the presenters and videos were so informative and interesting. I would recommend it and would study more with EIT Food.
  • Anonymous

    This course was really interesting. It was interestingly approached from different perspectives. It was a pleasure to study.
  • Anonymous
    This course is very interesting and useful, I enjoyed a lot and learned and will continue to join other courses
  • Profile image for Konstantinos Skoundras
    Konstantinos Skoundras
    Not happy with the fact that no certification is provided. Don't claim it as CPD then guys, it isn't fair..
  • Anonymous
    An amazing and informative course, I have made a few changes to my diet because of what I learned. I am getting organic plastic free veg delivered, storing food in glass jars instead of plastic and buying locally made kefir. Many thanks.

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