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Healthy Gut, Healthy Mind

February 7th, 2019

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Gut health proved to be one of the latest trends of 2018.

Your gut is full of trillions of microbes (bacteria) that perform many tasks and help support or disrupt your nutritional needs. Your gut health and the health of your entire body may rely on the balance of good and bad bugs in your microbiome.

Good microbes help digest nutrients from your food, make vitamins and amino acids necessary for your health and performance. Bad microbes may produce inflammatory compounds called lipopolysaccharides (LPS) that disrupt your health and cause some serious challenges.  

In fact, studies have now linked gut microbiota to the following…

  • Weight Gain / Loss
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Inflammation
  • Auto Immune Disease
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Brain Fog
  • Skin Conditions
  • Hormone Dysfunction & much more

How does the Gut communicate with the brain?

The gut seems to have a bidirectional communication with the brain via the vagus nerve. It can send and receive signals via this system.

In a recent study of mice fed a healthy probiotic, researchers saw a reduction of anxiety when the mice were placed in a stressful situation verse non-probiotic fed mice. However, when the vagus nerve was severed the benefits were lost, suggesting this is the main way our gut supports mental health.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy and calm. More than 80% of this neurotransmitter is made in the gut. We produce more serotonin in a balanced microbiome than in a dysfunctional microbiome. This suggests that brining back the balance of your microbiota will go a long way towards bringing back the balance of your mind.

To further support the gut depression link, a study published in 2016 titled “Transferring The Blues” showed when the gut microbiome of depressed humans was transferred into bacteria sterile (no microbes) mice, the mice show traits of depression.

However, this link can go both ways. Healing the gut heals the mind but if you are stressed it can disrupt gut health and change the microbiome. In a study published in 2015 in McMaster University when rat pups were placed under stress (being separated from their Mum) it resulted in a change to their gut microbiota, stress response and behaviour.

What comes first… The stress or the gut dysfunction?

We really don’t have the answer to this yet.

Although we do know mindfulness practises like yoga and meditation have been shown to improve mental health and simultaneously improve gut health. Also, the administration of healthy pro-biotics (like that found in Vitality Switch have been shown to improve gut health and simultaneously improve mental health.

Maybe the best approach is to support mental health with mindfulness practises, gratitude and having fun while simultaneously supporting gut health with the following simple steps…

  • Reduce Sugar Intake
  • Reduce Alcohol Intake
  • Use selective probiotics
  • Consume marine collagen
  • Consume more leafy greens
  • Use digestive enzymes
  • Repair leaky gut
  • Reduce dairy and gluten
  • Chew your food
  • Drink plenty of water

Several nutrients that have been shown to help support gut health can be found in 1 serve of Vitality Switch. This product along with some mindfulness techniques might be the quickest and most effective way to support your internal and mentally health.

Like Ayurveda wisdom suggests and hypocrites wrote… Food is thy medicine and medicine is thy food. Do something good for your body today that future you will thank you for tomorrow!!

Check out Vitality Switch HERE. 

Thanks to Switch Nutrition for providing this blog content. 

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