The Good Gut Giveaway
During mental health awareness week, we’ve been looking at how your gut health can affect your mental health. We’ve pulled together a range of tasty prizes in our good gut GIVEAWAY that will help to soothe and restore your gut. From Coyo we have their yummy dairy free coconut kefir, which can help to populate your gut with good bacteria. There are bottles of Lost Coast ACV to soothe your tum with their Apple Cider Vinegar based drinks. Some delicious Kimchi from Eaten Alive with all its fermented goodness and our yummy macaroons as a healthy treat for when hunger strikes.
How could you benefit from all these lovely gut friendly products? Did you know that you have two brains? One in your head and one in your…..gut. Yes, your gut! There has been an increasing amount of research in recent years into the gut-brain axis. Studies seem to be indicating that many mental wellness issues originate as imbalances in the GBX (gut-brain axis). So, what does this mean?
Good Bacteria vs Bad Bacteria
The bacterial population of your gastrointestinal tract is called the microbiome. Your microbiome should be a happy spot, full of a diverse range of both good and bad bacteria, which both kefir and kimchi can help with. In a healthy microbiome all of these bacteria are thriving, and the balance is tipped towards the good bacteria. Problems start when your microbiome becomes less balanced and the bad bacteria takes over. Bad bacteria takeover can lead to a host of health issues from inflammation of skin and joints to depression and anxiety.
So, gut health and mental health are intrinsically linked and the phrase ‘gut feeling’ is a real thing but what does this mean for your mental health? Think of your Vagus Nerve as the crossroads where your brain and gut communicate with one another. Apart from sending signals through the Vagus Nerve, the brain communicates with the gut using neurotransmitters. Again, these are sent both ways, for example, serotonin is one of the most popular neurotransmitters, and it is mostly produced in the gut.
Serotonin is referred to as the hormone of pleasure and happiness. When the gut is healthy, serotonin is produced which travels upward through the gut-brain axis towards the brain. When serotonin arrives in the mind, it can generate a good mood and feelings of confidence and peace.
Another important neurotransmitter is gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It is responsible for reducing feelings of depression and anxiety. In other words, the more GABA your gut produces, the more confident you’ll feel.
Also in the neurotransmitter mix is dopamine, which is heavily involved in the motor system and is responsible for, regulating movement, attention, learning, and emotional responses. If you’re struggling to concentrate when studying for example then you probably need those dopamine receptors to be firing better.
So if you’ve been feeling low, lacking in energy or feeling anxious it’s definitely worth taking a deeper delve into your ‘gut feeling’ and maybe exploring further whether some good digestive friendly foods would worth a try.