It’s true. did you have any idea that your gut health would have such an impact on your mood?
The gut (gastrointestinal tract) is often referred to as the bodies' ‘second brain’ and as such is lined with 100 million nerve cells. Ninety per cent of the chemical messengers that are responsible for modulating your mood are produced in the belly. Your gut is not only responsible for digesting the food you eat, but also the emotions and experiences you process every day.
No doubt you’ve heard common expressions such as:
- gut feeling
- gut instinct
- making a 'gut-wrenching' decision
or having “butterflies” in your stomach when you’re nervous?
These are more than just a figure of speech.
The gut and brain are constantly in communication with one another – connected via the two-way superhighway of the vagus nerve, also known as the gut-brain axis. Along this pathway, messages are relayed from the depths of your digestive tract up to the highest regions of your brain.
The vagus nerve is part of your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, associated with ‘rest and digest’ – as opposed to the sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response.
Some simple ways to improve your vagal nerve tone:
Gargling, singing, left nostril breathing and and slow, deep belly breathing
If you’re experiencing digestive disorders, it’s not unusual to experience disruption to your mood and mental cognition too. Stress and mental health can affect your gut, and vice versa – the health of your gut can affect your state of mind.
How can I improve my gut health?
Cut out all processed, refined and sugary foods (that means lollies, cakes, muffins, icecream!)
Reduce coffee, alcohol, fizzy drinks including V. (Don't over drink kombucha)
Increase whole foods such as green leafy vegetables, lean meat, fish and free range meats
Drink 1.5 litres of filtered water daily. Adding lemon juice to your water is a great way to alkalise your body.
Don't overeat, chew your food thoroughly and don't' eat when stressed.
Book a Hair Test! This will show you what foods are affecting your body and you can start changing your eating as soon as you get the results back.
An overgrowth of candida can contribute to poor gut health. Have you got candida?
Book a naturopathic consultation for a personalised plan to get you on track. We can address your gut health and your mood together, and I can recommend supplements specifically for your symptoms.