Gut health, happiness and probiotics

Could what you’re eating (and not-eating) be the cause of your depression, bloating, fatigue or weight-gain? How is your happiness connected to your gut health?

It’s an epidemic. People are dropping like flies with various digestive issues that sometimes come under the umbrella term ‘irritable bowel syndrome‘. Fatigue, bloating, weight-gain and depression to name a few.

The sciencey people have spoken: issues in your gut can directly impact your emotional wellness affecting things like anxiety, fatigue and depression. 90% of our good-old mood-regulating friend serotonin originates in our intestine, so if things aren’t working in the gut, serotonin can’t do it’s job. What science knows for sure is that gut bacteria has been linked to depression and bacteria that lives in this area can have a profound effect on your mood. Studies suggest that 80% of those with some kind of gut issue suffer from depression and anxiety. So before you start popping prozac or wondering why your life feels so suckful, take a look at your gut health! It might be easier to resolve than you think!

The trillions of bacteria that live in our bodies make up what is called the human microbiome. It’s the whole inner world that lives within your intestines—100 trillion tiny microbes that help you extract the nutrients from your food, balance your mood, and sharpen your clarity and focus. Our bodies actually have ten times more bacterial cells in your body than human cells! Woah!

When the balance between good and bad bacteria is out-of-whack, toxins are produced that cause inflammation, depression and a raft of other issues.

 

What’s causing this gut-health problem?

Chemicals. The preservatives and additives in processed food can cause major issues with your digestion and gut bacteria. Studies have proved that glyphosate (this is the dodgy ingredient in Roundup that is often sprayed on non-organic plants) alters and destroys this good gut bacteria that keep our gut healthy and keep us happy and energised.
Antibiotics kill off all of the bacterial cells in our gut. Studies have shown that even a single course can kill off some varieties of bacteria altogether. Sometimes antibiotics are necessary, for example in the case of infectious diseases, but choose wisely if it’s worth it.
Sugar. The ‘bad’ bacteria in your gut loves sugar and will thrive when you keep feeding it, so avoid excessive sugar (including artificial sweeteners). This also includes fast-burning ‘white’ carbs, like white bread, cakes, alcohol etc
Stress. The changes that happen in your body when you are stressed can affect every part of the digestive system. When we are in ‘fight or flight’ mode, our digestive system shuts down so we can focus on more important things like running from man-eating monsters and other massive threats like rush-hour traffic and massive lists of unread emails.

 

Eek, what can I do?

  • Eating a high-vegetable, fibre-based diet and staying away from processed food is a good place to start.
  • Many people find that eliminating gluten and dairy from their diet helps with gut-issues (try it for yourself and see if this is a factor for you).
  • Reduce sugar (including artificial sweeteners).
  • Consume Probiotics and fermented foods to promote the ‘good’ bacteria in  your gut.
  • Chill out. Meditate. Get some down-time and daily chill.
  • Exercise. Moving your body has profound effects on your mood and stress.

 

Are Probiotics and Fermented Foods the New Prozac?

Probiotics are the good bacteria that are normally found in the healthy human gastrointestinal tract. They are super healing, fighting off toxins, surpressing inflammation and reducing the risk of infection, depression and diseases.  Additionally, probiotics act as guards at the gate of our delicate inner lining, so baddies like toxins and chemicals can’t get in.

Some simple ways to add probiotics to your day:

 

Here’s a cool video that explains more about our gut bacteria:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *