When is the last time you had butterflies in your stomach when anxious? Or had a gut instinct about when to leave the house or a particular route to take on the way home? We have these feelings because of the connection between the brain and the gut, which scientists refer to as the brain-gut axis. This connection also sheds light on the source of many common conditions. Gut health is responsible for mood, inflammation, appetite, immunity, your brain health, and much more. Below, I share more about the brain-gut axis and my favorite ways to ensure the health of your gut!
The Brain-Gut Axis
So much of our health begins in our gut. Serotonin, dopamine and many other neurotransmitters and chemicals are actually produced in the gut. When gut function is slowed or faulty, the production of these essential substances is also put on hold. This causes all sorts of symptoms like hormone imbalances, anxiety, and depression. However, we can restore the proper function of the gut by practicing the methods below.
Consume a Gut-Friendly Diet
Take the first step toward a healthier life by making changes to your diet. An incredible microbiome of beneficial bacteria lives in our gut. Over time, these bacteria break down from toxicity in our diets and lifestyles and the use of antibiotics. Eating foods that are rich in probiotics is a wonderful way to support and replace these bacteria. Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi are all delicious, natural food sources of probiotics.
Choose Your Supplements Wisely
There are thousands of supplement options on the market, with varying strengths and quality. Because of their delicate state, it is important to find a probiotic supplement that will survive its way to your small intestine. My webinar, Top 20 Supplements for Healthy Living, can help you determine which supplements are best for you.
Evaluate Your Gut Health
If you suffer from digestive upset, a hormonal imbalance, a mood disorder, or even chronic pain, it is important to address whether your gut is functioning properly. There are many tests that can measure the health of your gut. You can see whether you have infections, how your digestion is functioning, whether you have food allergies, and look for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) with specialized tests. To learn more, see your functional medicine practitioner.
Learn to listen to the messages coming from your gut. If you suffer digestive upset, feel sluggish, fatigued, or depressed, the problem may stem from your gut. Choose foods that will replenish the beneficial bacteria in your system, invest in a high-quality supplement, and pursue testing if you still suffer from uncomfortable symptoms.