The relationship between our gut health and how we feel is lately a hot topic of discussion and research amongst the scientists and health practitioners. We are being more and more aware of the way we feel and our gut health.
To fully understand how this process works, we need to explore this area in more depth.
Our gut is known as the ‘second brain”, scientifically known as the enteric nervous system. It contains of sheaths of neurons located in the walls of the gut. These sheats are called vagus nerve, which runs from our oesophagus to our anus. The vagus nerve contains 100 millions neurons, which is much more than the spinal cord or whole peripheral system.
Our gut sends more information to our brain then the other way around. 95% of serotonin (happy hormone) is made up in our gut. So if our digestive process is not running correctly and we are lacking the good, beneficial bacteria, we cannot produce our neurotransmitters and produce a good amount of energy.
Due to the connection of our brain and the enteric nervous system, once our gut is out of whack, we are experiencing emotional discomfort, anxiety, depression and panic attacks.
So how do we let that bad bacteria overgrowth happen?
There are many reasons, mainly unhealthy diet, exposure to chemicals, stress, prescribed medication, drinking tap water, using plastic containers, frequent use of antibiotics, steroids, the pill, regular consumption of alcohol, high sugar, low fiber diet, exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
What can we do to improve this imbalance, how can we increase the good bacteria in order to heal our gut?
- Eliminate all the foods which are unhealthy and difficult to digest; grains, red meat, dairy products, processed foods, anything in a packet, trans fats, starches,
- Include fermented foods, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir. Do not have yoghurt.
- Plenty of fiber, veggies, nuts, seeds.
- Good fats; salmon, walnuts, avocado, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, coconut oil.
- Take a good probiotic: Bifidobcterium longum and Lactobacillus Rhamnosus are very beneficial for anxiety and depression.
- Buy your produce local and get organic products
- Drink only filtered water
- Exercise daily, walk or bike, sweat!
- Practice meditation daily to reduce your stress levels. The goal is to observe your mind and become more conscious, not to try stop thinking all together. Focus on one word or phrase.
- Get enough sleep each night in a well ventilated room. Make sure there is no mould where you sleep. Switch off all phones in a house. No Wi-Fi at night.
The good news is that because we now know and understand that there is a connection between the mind and body, we have the knowledge and tools to make immediate changes that will produce significant results in how we feel.
The better we understand and participate in our own sense of wellness and empowerment the more likely we are to embark on change that starts from within.