Naturopath Carmen Cooper shares some insight into the connections between our brain and gut health.
It is no secret anymore, how you are feeling is directly related to what is happening with your “second brain” – your gut. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach right? And who doesn’t get “hangry”. Most people are really driven by their gut feelings.
It is of no coincidence, as evidence suggests the gut microbiome is essential to human health and the immune system and plays a major role in the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain.
The use of specific pre and probiotics to alter and regulate gut microflora has been shown to improve neurotransmitter production such as Serotonin and Dopamine. These are our feel-good hormones and it is estimated that 90% of our body’s serotonin is made in our digestive tract.
So it makes sense that if you are feeling symptoms of anxiety, depression, low mood and poor sleep, the first place to treat is not so much your brain, but your gut.
Do you have an anxious mind? A serotonin-boosting diet looks like this;
-Complex Carbs – Beans & Vegetables, Root Vegetables, Whole Grains
-Moderate Protein – Lean Meats, Eggs, Clean protein powders
-Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Oily Fish, Nuts and Seeds
Do you feel unmotivated or have a sluggish mind? To increase your dopamine;
-Consume lean protein
-Increase foods with high water content.
Regulation of the gut microbiota using diet and probiotics may have important benefits for preventing and treating depression.