Our gut and brain are more connected than we think
Nutritionists, Naturopaths and Psychologists alike are discovering the power of what is now called the gut-brain axis and the role our gut health plays in mental health.
Did you know we host an entire nervous system in our gut?
Even more fascinating is that this nervous system sends signals to our brain and the brain responds, sending signals and messages back to the gut!
This means, under times of high stress, our gut health can often suffer the consequences, presenting as:
- IBS, gas, bloating, constipation
- Weight gain, weight loss
- increased or decreased appetites
- blood sugar spikes and dips
- even vomiting and diarrhoea
Similarly, when we stress our gut by:
- putting the wrong foods in
- contract a parasite
- drink alcohol
- take excesses of medications
- cause alterations to our protective healthy gut bacteria
Our gut signals these stress messages to the brain and it responds by sending unpleasant chemical reactions around the body, often resulting in:
- anxiety, depression, irritability
- aches and pains
- hormonal alterations
- blood sugar dysregulations such as hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar)
- and more.
To protect ourselves from these resulting complications, we require a diet high in:
- prebiotic fibres
- balanced protein and low GI carbohydrates
- minimal saturated fats
- generous amounts of essential fatty acids (healthy fats)
- minimising alcoholic beverages and non-prescription medications
These will all greatly reduce gut-brain axis complications from impacting on our quality of life, leaving us to live a healthy happy life!