Your Gut Influences Your Mental Health
Have you ever felt that bad mood settling in for no apparent reason? Not really a depressive state but a feeling of not being as perky as usual? Your gut might be in on it…
You’ve probably heard this expression before: ‘the gut is the second brain’. Well, it is more accurate than you know.
And to understand how important this organ is, here is a little story.
At the very beginning, we all roughly developed from 3 important ‘tubes’ in our mum’s tummy. The first tube runs all the way through us and has a knot in the middle. This is our cardiovascular system and that little knot will soon develop into our heart. The second tubes develops more or less parallel to the first one, and forms a bubble that migrates to the top of our head and stays put. This tube is our nervous system with its spinal cord and our brain at the top. And the third
tube runs through us from end to end. You guessed it… This is our gut!
If the two first tubes have always been considered research-worthy ‘masterpieces’, the gut is getting brand new (but well-deserved!) attention.
So, how is this incredible organ influencing our mood for the worst or shifts our state from depressive to cheerful?
Signals from the gut reaches different part of the brain. Guila Enders*, medical researcher on the gut, roughly defines the responsibilities of these brain regions as; self-awareness, emotion, morality, fear, memory and motivation. This doesn’t mean that the gut has full control over our moral principles but wether that it can influence them.
But why is the brain allowing the gut to send those messages during its busy day? Well, look at it this way. At the top of our head, insulated by a thick bone structure, its every drop of blood filtered, the brain is like the CEO at the top of a window-glass building. He might see what happens outside but he has no idea how his employees are faring. Are they happy? Are they organising rebellion? Is there a gastro epidemic that will impact productivity? Is there a spy sabotaging the next production?
The gut, however, like a trusty assistant, is right in the thick of it! ‘It knows all the molecules in the last meal we ate, inquisitively intercepts hormones as they swim around in the blood, enquires of immune cells what kind of day they’re having, and listens attentively to the hum of the bacteria in the gut’*. And it reports it all to the brain.
With all of these information (plus the ones from our nerves system), the brain gets a general idea of how the body is faring. And if your gut doesn’t receive the proper fuel (bacterium, probiotics or prebiotic), it might transmit to your brain how irritated or sluggish it is feeling.
Our advice to avoid the mood shifts:
• Enjoy your meal times without any pressure, at a leisurely pace and in a stress-free zone.
Stress of any kinds can activate the nerves that inhibits the digestive process, which means we extract less energy from our food and take longer to digest it, putting the gut under unnecessary strains.
• Rest after a good meal.
Your gut needs the extra energy to digest the food properly and collect all the nutrients, proteins, etc. that your body needs to function well.
• Keep your vitamins levels high and maintain a healthy sleep cycle.
Vitamins are these useful little substances that helps for many things - preventing migraines, strengthening our nerves, etc. The more, the merrier.
• Nourish your gut flora with probiotics and prebiotic from our Gutsii shakes.
You inherited your gut flora from many different sources: your ancestors (including your parents and your European or Asian heritage), your environment and what you ate. This flora of good bacterias helps you function in more ways than you know - to synthesise carbohydrates and fats for example. In short, probiotics are good bacterias you need and probiotics fuels them.
*"Gut, the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ” by Giulia Enders