Did you know your gut is called your second brain? Our gut stores high levels of serotonin a chemical messenger that helps us feel good. What we think and feel affects our gut health. Poor gut health also impacts our brain function and how we may view things.
Following a diet high in vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds all help increase prebiotics. These help feed the friendly bacteria in our guts. When our gut bacteria is in balance this has a positive affect on our immunity and mental health. Being under stress, in pain and taking medications all affect intestinal balance.
Eating foods high in tryptophan which the body converts in the gut to serotonin has been found to improve mood and anxiety. These foods include oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, bananas, spinach, nuts and seeds. They are also high in Omega 3. Low levels of Omega 3 are associated with high levels of anxiety and depression.
Being mindful, regular exercise and a healthy diet all help improve the function of the enteric nervous system improving digestion and reducing IBS, pain and low mood.