How Gut Health Affects Mood
Even without a global pandemic, mental health problems are on the rise. Depression, anxiety, and constant stress are ever present in most people’s lives. From high-stress work to global fear, our brains are going a mile a minute, worrying and anxious.
While many people are talking to counselors and taking medication to help with their mental health and mood, there’s one aspect of mental health that often goes overlooked – our gut health. Our gut flora is linked to our brains through the aptly named gut-brain connection. You know how when you’re stressed, your stomach tends to get messed up? You might feel sick or you’re running to the bathroom every ten minutes?
Stress affects your guts the same way it affects your mood and brain, and the bacteria in your intestines send signals to your brain. When your gut is under fire, your brain reacts with anxiety, depression, low mood, fatigue, and a host of other chronic problems.
The good news is, however, that you can do something about it. Let’s take a look at psychobiotics – natural supplements that can actually help calm your mind.
How your Brain and Gut are Connected
Your brain and gut are literally connected through a set of nerves that line your intestines. Fear, panic, anxiety, or stress triggers in your mind can cause your guts to contract faster or slower, causing diarrhea or constipation. What’s worse, when your gut is in a bind itself, it can make your brain more anxious. Why is this?
It turns out, your gut microbiome – the bacteria, fungi, and other critters that live inside you – like things to be a very specific way. If you eat a lot of sugar, you’re going to have a lot of bacteria that thrive on sugar. Those bacteria tend to be bad for your health, so they’re going to make you inflamed, sad, and mopey, and a quick pick-me-up for poor mood is, well, sugar.
Depressed people are more likely to eat badly, and the bacteria that eat processed food and sugar cause inflammation that makes you depressed. It’s a vicious cycle!
How do I fix my Gut Microbiome?
There are two main components to fixing your gut health: fixing your diet and then introducing prebiotics and probiotics.
What does a Healthy Gut Like?
The kind of gut bacteria that are good for our mood thrive on healthy food like fiber, vegetables, fruit (not fruit juice), some meat, nuts, and fermented foods.
Some healthy additions to your diet are:
- Vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, spinach, kale, cauliflower and radishes
- Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi
- Lean meats, ideally from grass fed animals
- Eggs, again from free range animals
- Whole fruits
Fixing your diet is the first step – it will kill off bacteria and yeast that live on unhealthy food, but you need to replace them with good mood probiotics.
What are Mood Probiotics?
Probiotics are food like yogurt or supplements that introduce beneficial bacteria to your gut, so they can multiply and help restore balance. Mood boost probiotics are specifically designed with your mental health in mind, using a key formulation of ingredients that target bacteria that help nerves that affect anxiety and depression.
Mood boosting probiotics like those that contain the prebiotic Jerusalem artichoke can reduce inflammation and improve your mental clarity
Mood probiotics in general are seen as ones that thrive on whole foods, good sleep, and exercise. For the most part, bacteria and fungi that eat processed food and sugar will cause you to feel pretty bad.
By eating a healthy diet, you can kill off harmful gut bacteria and by using psychobiotics – those that are designed to have a beneficial effect on your mood via the gut-brain connection – you can start to naturally reduce your stress. Using mood boosting probiotics can have a profound effect on your mental health and works in conjunction with your doctor and other interventions.
If you’ve ever considered using mood boosting probiotics, also known as psychobiotics, Nutriotix has the perfect blend of plant-powered supplements to help you get back on top of your life.