When you think about good health, what comes to mind? For many, it’s eating the right foods and participating in a regular exercise program.
You tend to think of good health as meaning your body is functioning strong and your muscles are well-developed and looked after. But what about your brain health? And, what about all the factors that influence your brain’s health?
One thing that few people ever stop to consider is their gut health. And, there just happens to be high correlation between the state of your gut and the state of your brain...
When we refer to your gut health, we are talking about the environment that is sustained within the confines of your digestive tract. Many factors influence the current state of your gut health, with one of the most notable of them being the level of probiotics you have in your system.
The Gut-Brain Axis
The gut is directly connect to the mind, meaning the less healthy your gut is, the less healthy your mental state will be as well.
When your gut is healthy and contains an optimal level of the healthy good bacteria (probiotics), you’ll experience normal behavior, normal cognition, and normal levels of emotion.
All in all, you’ll just feel good and like yourself.
On the flip side, when your gut is unhealthy, it will have large impacts on your central nervous system. Those who are experiencing unhealthy gut environments will be at a higher risk for both depression as well as anxiety, as was noted in a study published in the Trends In Neurosciences journal.
Scientists also noted that studies have shown that those who have been exposed to pathogenic bacterial infections, probiotic bacteria, or antibiotic drugs have shown a strong role in the microbiota and the regulation of anxiety, mood, cognition, and pain.
As more and more research is being done in this area, we are noticing that our internal gut environment may have a large impact on our overall well-being and mental states. This makes a strong case for including gut health as part of your overall path to health and well-being.
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Foster, Jane A., and Karen-Anne McVey Neufeld. "Gut–brain axis: how the microbiome influences anxiety and depression." Trends in neurosciences36.5 (2013): 305-312.
Cryan, John F., and Timothy G. Dinan. "Mind-altering microorganisms: the impact of the gut microbiota on brain and behaviour." Nature reviews neuroscience 13.10 (2012): 701-712.
Love the article. I am a big believer in clean eating and everything starts from the gut. I’m going to share your article to my health and wellness clients. Thanks
What is the best source of probiotics in our food? Are active yogurt cultures the only source? If we are watching dairy, is there another source than yogurt? Sadly, I’ve been on excessive amounts of antibiotics in the last couple of years and I’m concerned about gut health. We’ve made the switch to a much healthier lifestyle, but there are areas I’m still in the dark about.
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