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Gut and Mental Health: How Poor Digestion Affects Your Mental Health

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gut health tips

How the gastrointestinal system and brain are linked is not a matter of debate anymore. Many successful studies have shown that a troubled stomach sends signals of discomfort to our brain which in turn affects our mental being.  Moreover, they have claimed that bacteria present in our gastrointestinal (GI) greatly impact our gut health.

The Belly-Brain Connection

The system of connections between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract is called the “gut-brain axis”. An article in Scientific American states:

“The gut-brain axis seems to be bidirectional—the brain acts on gastrointestinal and immune functions that help to shape the gut’s microbial makeup, and gut microbes make neuroactive compounds, including neurotransmitters and metabolites that also act on the brain.”

Now, any disturbance in the brain-gut axis contributes to both gastrointestinal and mental disorders. This fact is further supported by recent Taiwanese research performed on over 4000 people suffering from Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common gastrointestinal disorder. According to the research, IBS patients are more likely to suffer from mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders.

Effect of Microbiome on Mental Health

The field of neuropsychology and studies conducted on the relationships between gastrointestinal disorders and mental health problems speculates that the human microbiome that live in our gastrointestinal tract is associated with all such disorders. Researchers believe that any disruption to the normal balance of bacteria in the microbiome results in the inflammation of the GI tract and also negatively affects the mental health of an individual.

The Advantages of Taking Probiotics

It goes without saying that it is crucial to maintain a strong balance of ‘good’ bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract for optimal physical and mental health. This, in turn, calls for the intake of probiotics that contain probiotic bacteria (live bacteria) to restore balance to the gut microbiome. One may simply rely on probiotic foods and beverages that replenish the gut with good bacteria and support microbial health. This includes cottage cheese, plain yogurt, apple cider vinegar, kefir, fresh sauerkraut, etc.

Use of Prebiotics

Prebiotic foods that do not have live bacteria like probiotic foods also contribute to the health of the microbiome. They possess indigestible fibers which are consumed by probiotic bacteria in the GI tract and converted into other beneficial substances. The list of prebiotic foods include garlic, onion, oats, cabbage, legumes, and asparagus.

Tips To Achieve Optimal Gastrointestinal & Metal Health

A healthy gastrointestinal system is important for sound mental health and vice-versa. For optimal gastrointestinal and mental well-being, you need to:

  • Consume probiotic and prebiotic foods to help nurture beneficial gut bacteria. Containing 9 billion live probiotic cells, this sugar-free and calorie-free probiotic effectively removes toxins from your colon and promotes healthy digestive health.
  • You should also eat fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and all those foods that are rich in polyphenols.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners and highly processed foods possessing saturated fat, salt, and sugar.
  • Don’t smoke or consume alcohol. Drink plenty of water every day.
  • Practice meditation to de-stress. Try to engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
  • Looking for more. Try this best digestit colon cleanse.

Photo by Life Of Pix from Pexels

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