Could proper gut health be the answer to functioning your best physically, mentally and emotionally? Research has shown that there is a connection between our gut and our brain; and each impact the other. This means gut health not only impacts the functioning of our digestive system, but it also impacts our cognition, motivation and our ability to intuitively make decisions. A disturbance in our gut can cause inflammatory effects in our bodies, obesity and mood disorders. For example, a negative gut health state, such as bloating or nausea, closely relates to our feeling for social withdrawal. In the same way, a properly functioning gut, from healthy food consumption, contributes to an optimistic mood and positive social interactions.
Because of this close connection, our guts are often referred to as our “second brain.” Examples of these connections include the feeling of nausea or “butterflies” during times of stress, or the presence of irritable bowel syndrome in those with long term anxiety or depression. More than just a coincidence, these occurrences show the bi-directional relationship between our gut and our brain. The next time you experience high anxiety, depressive mood or poor sleep, first shift your focus to the status of your gut health. Focus on prebiotic and probiotic foods and high-quality supplements to boost healthy gut bacteria and help your brain function at its best.
Written By: Tori Parsons, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern
Source: National Institute of Health