Unless you have been living under a rock these days, you have probably been hearing nonstop about gut health, leaky gut, probiotics, prebiotics etc. Not just how important it is for your health, but how it can affect your mood, sleep, and even skin.
Why is gut health suddenly such a hot topic?
Well, a lot of people want to sell you a lot of stuff, and gut health is trendy. But more importantly, it’s only been recently that the scientific community has really started focusing on this importance of gut health.
It is a widely accepted fact that there is a gut-brain axis, which is how your brain and gut are connected. Think of it as a 2-way communication pathway.
Since these two pathways are directly connected, it would make sense that they highly affect one other, right?
Bacteria in the gut activates your central nervous system – which helps to control your brain. As a result, issues such as anxiety, minor depression, and lack of motivation are all affected by your gut
Welcome to Your Smarter Brain
Taking a step back, your gut-brain is not the connection mentioned above. It’s a smaller, smarter, and more vital brain inside your gut.
This brain is just like your regular brain – it contains chemicals your brain uses for signaling (known as neurotransmitters) that are very important to our mood, motivation, sleep, sex drive, hormones, and energy.
It’s “smarter” because it produces more neurotransmitters than our head brain. Chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, the stuff that makes us motivated and happy, are produced in greater quantities in our gut brain.
Feed Your Gut Brain
Does it sometimes feel like your gut is speaking to you?
Well, it turns out you are probably right. The bacteria in your gut will affect how effectively these systems are working, and will directly affect your mood, mental health, and the messages being sent to you.
Ancient cultures have always made gut health and digestion a priority. It’s a big reason why fermented foods are present in most cultures, no matter the region of the world. They long understood that when foods are fermented, “good” bacteria is present, and that’s good for your body and mind.
In modern life, consuming large batches of kimchi and sauerkraut may not be practical. There are other ways to balance your gut health. Taking a pill is not always the most balanced option, but it is the most convenient.
Adding a probiotic that is more effective than hype is the simplest way. It won’t undo eating foods that are causing your gut problem (anymore than exercise will undo a bad diet), but it is an easy way to make gut health a priority.
Do you feel the difference in your mood when you eat certain foods? Comment below and share your thoughts.
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