How you think and feel can have a direct impact on your gut health. What you eat is vital towards creating a healthy micro-biome but we are now guided to be mindful of stress, negative emotions, anxiety and depression. These brain stressors can be the trigger to an unhealthy gut.
There are many studies showing that your gut health is indeed affected by your emotions. This is vital information as thousands of people suffer from a form of Irritable Bowel Disorder (IBD). The IBD umbrella includes Crohn’s Disease and Celiacs. The number of people diagnosed with IBD has increased threefold over recent years and they don’t stop at IBD. These can include constipation, diarrhoea, and diverticulitis,
We’ve also seen an increase in the number of those diagnosed with anxiety and depression, largely due to stress. Stress comes in many forms and its impact can be unique to each individual. We know that stress causes weight gain due to the increased release of cortisol, often resulting in a extra weight around the mid-section. Excessive stress can lead to hypertension and high blood pressure creating strain on the heart and vascular system. It also creates a dysbiosis in the gut, resulting in bloating, stomach upsets and general discomfort.
With this research and the link between the gut and the brain, it is so important that we nourish our bodies from the inside as well as the outside. An abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables consumed daily provides a natural pre-biotic. Adding a variety of herbs, nuts, seeds, legumes, along with appropriate grains (gluten free if this suits you), and a little good quality oil is essential to a balanced diet. Add small amounts of fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut as a natural probiotic to help keep the micro-biome happy .
There are tools we can put into place to help manage stress. Check out my article 5 tools to manage stress.
Be mindful of how you are feeling before you eat. Try to avoid eating when feeling tense or upset, or spend a few moments to take some deep breaths to help calm the nervous system. We are all unique and we all have a different set of circumstances and responsibilities. Find tools that can easily fit into your schedule without becoming a chore. Food should nourish, food should be enjoyed. Breathe deeply, live life.
Choose wisely. Live vibrantly.