How can food boost your mood?
One of the easiest ways to focus on nourishing your body is by eating foods that create a healthy gut.
Why is the gut so important? 80% of our immune system is there and 70-80% of our serotonin is created there. There is a very famous saying that dates back to Hippocrates. “All diseases begin in the gut.” If this is the case, than health begins in the gut too!
Your gut is so much more than just your stomach digesting food. In fact, many people are shocked to learn that their microbiome – the intestinal gut ecosystem – is critical to their overall health. When the gut bacteria are out of balance, it impacts all the systems in the body, not just the digestive system. Not only is your gut physically central in your body, but it also acts like Grand Central Station.
Drinking enough water, moving daily, keeping stress under control, and getting enough sleep are all components of health, but if your gut is out of balance, you’re not going to feel your best. Why? Let’s take a look at 2 of the important ways gut health affects our own health. Our immune system and the gut-brain axis or our second brain.
But first, what is our Microbiome?
- Bacteria in the GI tract are also called your gut flora or microbiome.
- The microbiome helps us digest food.
- They also regulate hormones, help eliminate toxins, and produce vitamins, plus other healing compounds that keep your gut and your body healthy.
- This ecosystem of friendly bacteria must be in balance to do their work effectively and to create a healthy immune system and feel good neurotransmitters and hormones.
Our Gut-immune system
- 80% of your immune system resides in your gut. That in itself is reason enough to create a healthy gut.
- Your immune system and the rest of your body are protected by a lining that functions as a barrier to the toxic environment in your gut
- If that barrier is damaged, you may experience malabsorption of nutrients or have a compromised or overactive immune system that triggers inflammation (think autoimmune disorders), which can become chronic and systemic.
- Gut protection is key to defending your body from being invaded by unfriendly critters, such as parasites, bad bacteria, viruses, etc.
Gut-Brain axis – your gut’s nervous system
- The gut system actually contains more neurotransmitters than your brain and is often referred to as the “second brain.”
- Messages constantly travel back and forth between your gut-brain and your brain; when those messages are interfered with in any way, your health will suffer.
- The majority – 70-80% – of your happy, feel-good hormone, serotonin, is produced in the gut. If your gut is out of balance, you’ll feel out of balance; without the feel-good hormone, mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety, can manifest.
So you can see why having a healthy gut is critical. The next question is, what are the best food sources to help create and maintain a healthy gut? Depending on what you eat, Food can make you sick or It can make you feel energized and vibrant. Each meal, each day can send you into the direction of feeling stronger, clear, more energized or more and more depleted. It’s THAT powerful.
A balanced plate with real food creates balanced blood sugar and that equals balanced energy and balanced moods. And if you have better energy and moods, how does that affect your thinking? You think better. Your actions? You do better. Food is the fastest way to feel better. Nutrition has more power than any other single intervention on earth.
3 simple ways to start are:
1) Eliminate Processed Foods as much as you can. Start by giving up the packages and boxes and start by eating real whole foods. Most boxed and packaged foods contain trans fats and hydrogenated oils and are full of hidden and added sugars your body does not need and may not even recognize as food. For a complete article on what to eat you can go to my blog post here to see what a healthy plate looks like. A Healthy Plate
2) Add in Good Fats to your diet. Healthy fats are essential to good gut health and brain health. Traditional fats are the best choices such as olive oil, coconut oil, ghee and even butter. YES, Grass-fed Butter is one of the best fats for your body and it makes food taste better. Try a brand like Kerry gold or give it a go and make your own.
3) Eat Fermented foods to restore and balance your gut flora. Fermented foods contain prebiotics and probiotics which are the beneficial bacteria that keep the ecology of your gut in balance. You don’t need to take expensive supplements to balance your gut. Eating foods such as RAW sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, coconut kefir and lactose-fermented vegetables from whole food sources are your top choices. You want to make sure these foods are truly fermented and not just pickled in vinegar. They are easy to make at home or you can look for brands like Bubbies, Farmhouse Culture or make sure the label says RAW. According to Dr. Kelly Brogan, probiotics can actually help reverse psychiatric symptoms. That is how powerful getting your gut in balance can be.
I’ll be teaching a class on making homemade sauerkraut this April 21, 2018, at Happy Roots in Salisbury. If this is something you’d like to learn, come join in. I’d love to teach you how simple to make these foods really are. You can learn more HERE.
Want some help to stay on track and make healthy eating a habit that lasts, for good?
Schedule a breakthrough session with me today and let’s uncover what’s keeping you stuck and how to get back on track!
Click here now to schedule a time to talk with me today if you need the support and accountability to help you follow through like never before!
Don’t forget to head on over to the FB group and let us know how you are doing with your 5 days of essential self-care!
In Health, Wellness and Joy!