Healthy gut, happy brain! Let's explore the connection between gut health and mental health - and why it really matters.
The Gut Brain Connection 🤝
We all know that different parts of the body are all cogs in the same machine, each playing their own role to contribute to overall health and wellness.
However, when it comes to the gut and brain - this connection is something much more than that.
In fact, many people refer to the gut as our 'second brain' because of the huge impact gut health has on brain function and mental health.
Let's take a look at the facts 🔍
👉 95% Serotonin is made in the gut
This is a neurotransmitter which is made by the brain to help regulate mood, emotion, happiness, motivation and optimism.
Its affects on mental health are so impactful that many prescribed medications for anxiety and depression, act by increasing the amount of serotonin available to brain cells.
The more serotonin our gut makes, the happier our brain is!
👉 Our Brain & gut are in constant communication
If you've ever had butterflies before a first date, or a churning stomach before that big job interview, there's a simple reason for this - your gut and brain are talking to each other!
Without getting too science-y this is made possible by the Gut-Brain Axis (GBA), which connects the central nervous system to the digestive system so that this communication can happen.
It is our body's clever way of letting the brain know what it needs, to help regulate the immune system, endocrine function, hormonal balance and much more.
👉 A healthy gut microbiome is key to good mental health
Gut microbiota have a huge role in supporting brain health and function. In fact, research has shown that microbiota can actually produce molecules that act as local neurotransmitters.
This includes not just serotonin but also GABA, which plays a major role in managing stress and anxiety - and melatonin, which regulates our sleep cycle.
A healthy gut will produce these in abundance, but a not so healthy gut will struggle to - creating a number of bad effects on the body.
Can bad gut health lead to poor mental health? 🧠
Having a healthy gut microbiome is super important to ensure that your gut can function at its best and make all of these amazing things happen.
If your gut is suffering it can throw this all off balance, affecting everything from mood and emotion to your hormones, immune function and sleep health.
Studies have shown that 'dysbiosis' increases the risk of several mental health conditions such as chronic stress, anxiety and depression.
What's more, those with a digestive health condition are more likely to develop mental illnesses than those who don't.
So, it's clear to see how gut and brain health are connected - and why it is so important to nurture both for overall wellness.
How to nurture a happy and healthy gut & mind 🦠
Enjoy a diet rich in these essential nutrients to feed your gut with the good stuff:
Omega-3 fatty acids - Healthy fats which increase good bacteria in the gut as well as support brain health. Enjoy: chia seeds, edamame, hemp seeds, walnuts, seaweed and algae.
Fibre - Healthy gut bacteria feeds on fibre so the more you eat, the more you flourish! Enjoy: fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
Prebiotics - These clever little things reduce stress hormones and stimulate the production of healthy gut bacteria. Enjoy: fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut and pickles.
Polyphenols - Nutrients found in plants which help to support a balanced microbiome and also improve mental cognition. Enjoy: green tea, coffee, olive oil and cacao.
- Tryptophan - An amino acid found in food which is readily converted into our happy chemical serotonin. Enjoy: seeds, lentils, tofu and oats.
Superfoods for gut health 🌱
Incorporating gut loving superfoods into your daily routine is a simple and easy way to nurture a healthy body and mind.
Our superfood blends contain essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fibre to help support good gut health, as well as medicinal mushroom extracts and adaptogens for a healthy brain.
We would recommend the Feel Good Bundle to give your gut all it needs to thrive. To support brain health, for better focus and a clearer mind - switch out your afternoon cuppa for a cup of Shroom Coffee or Magic Matcha.
We're hugely passionate about gut health and its impact on the rest of the body, so have been working hard on something new to help your gut feel its best every day. You won't want to miss out, so please keep an eye on your inbox to be the first to hear! 👀
More food for thought?