This might surprise you, but there’s a relationship between the state of your gut and your wellbeing and thoughts. We know that our gut health plays a significant role physically, but it plays a role psychologically too. What’s the connection then?

Honestly, the gut keeps surprising me! I used to think that the gut only dealt with the digestive process of absorbing nutrients from the food we eat and purging out the waste, but studies have shown that it does so much more! It impacts our immune system, has a direct hotline to our skin, and as we have recently discovered, influences your mental health.

How gut health affects our thoughts and overall mental health 

According to some studies, there is a chance that if an imbalance of the microbiome occurs (due to inflammation, disrupting the ratio of good and bad bacteria, or perhaps an intestinal leak) it will create a disorder psychologically. 

But how? Well, the gut itself is connected to the brain directly through millions of nerves so anything that’s happening inside the gut flora can certainly affect your brain…both positively and negatively. Balanced, healthy gut flora creates an ideal environment and positive signals for the brain and vice versa. 

Interestingly, some studies discovered that patients with several psychological disorders had unusual species of bacteria in their intestines. It has also been proven that a diet that includes probiotics to improve the gut flora ratio can significantly improve symptoms of depression and various mental health disorders. 

This more than suggests that your gut can affect the health of your brain tremendously. 

Certain species of bacteria can help the body to produce neurotransmitters. Depending on the type of the neurotransmitter produced, the impact on the brain can be beneficial; but others are not so great. For example, serotonin — the ‘happy’ neurotransmitter — is produced mostly in the gut. 

It should be noted that this field of study is still in infancy but considering how promising the results are I’d say we’re headed into the right direction in showing a correlation between the health of your gut, and the health of your brain. 

How can you improve your gut microbiome

With everything you’ve read here so far, it’s a no brainer that improving the gut environment is one of the basic steps you can take to ensure that your mental health, thoughts, and well-being as healthy as possible. Going hand-in-hand with our daily routines of positive thinking, self-talk, and practicing daily gratitude, including considered food intake to improve the gut can ensure that you have a wholesome approach to maintain your well-being.

How to start you may ask? Begin by including plenty of fermented foods in your diet such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi. These foods are high in good bacteria known as lactobacillus that are known to reduce quite a number of disease-causing bacteria in your gut. If that’s not possible, a good probiotic supplement is the next best alternative.

Avoid refined carbs and sugars as much as you can as these types of food increase blood sugar which in turn stimulates the growth of bad bacteria in the gut. This throws out a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria. 

There’s nothing better than having a healthy gut – not only because it ensures the digestive process flows smoothly but because it ensures your brain health is kept in check too.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gut-microbiome-and-health#section8

https://www.psycom.net/the-gut-brain-connection

 

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