How Your Gut Health Affects Anxiety and Depression
Do you know that your Gut Health directly affects your levels of Anxiety and Depression? Gut Health has a direct relationship with your brain. Let's dive into this critical topic to learn how.
Recently I listened to a recent Chalene Johnson's podcast, "Anxiety, Depression, Gut Health with Dr. Daniel Amen," a Second Brain.
Our gut operates independently of our brains. It has its nervous system and coordinates with your brain all the activities to move waste through your digestive system.
Gut Health that is not optimized will affect your brain function as well. Our food sources and products often have hormones, antibiotics, and other toxic substances that cause anxiety, depression, along with long term health issues.
Toxins are a significant cause of anxiety and depression. They create inflammation in your body and are directly linked to anxiety, depression, and memory fog and most neurological disorders.
If you find yourself struggling with anxiety, depression and memory fog, you need to fall in love with your brain. Then you will need to learn how to take care of your mind. ~ Dr. Amen
Gut Health-Brain Connection
We have Gut Microbes in our gut, and they make other chemicals that affect our brain. We call these chemicals neurotransmitters. They control our feelings and emotions, even our body clock. A large portion of our serotonin is produced in the gut, the feel-good chemical. GABA, another chemical produced in our stomach, helps control feelings of fear and anxiety.
Gut microbes play an essential part in your immune system and Inflammation by controlling what is excreted. If your immune system is switched on for a long period of time, it will lead to Inflammation. Inflammation is associated with depression, anxiety, and even Alzheimers.
An inflammatory toxin made up of bacteria called LPS if it passes from your gut to your blood. Inflammation high with LPS in the blood is associated with brain disorders, including depression and dementia.
Foods we eat can cause Inflammation.
Many foods we eat are inflammatory. Some of us don't even know what foods make us feel good. Perhaps because some of us have never known what it is to feel good. It becomes vital to build a relationship between your gut and your brain.
Antibiotics, given to livestock are absorbed by us when we consume those antibiotics from that animal. Whatever animals consume, we consume as well. It becomes important to be mindful of the meats you eat. You want to buy organic meats that have no hormones, antibiotics, and have been grass-fed. This serves to improve and help with gut health.
Dr. Amen talks specifically more on antibiotics and the effects it has on the food sources that we consume. The link for this podcast is at the top of this article.
We also need to be aware of the products that we put on our bodies or come into contact with on a daily basis. Lotions, oils, daily household products we use are absorbed into our bodies and it goes throughout the gut. That in itself is a whole other topic for another day about gut health.
A recommended App by Dr. Amen called, www.thinkdirty.com. It is a verification service that reviews your product or ingredient list in a database. Pretty cool to have a resource that tells you what you are putting on has harmful chemicals in it or is safe to use.
Proactive measures for good gut health.
Reduce or Eliminate Sugar
- Reduces Chronic Inflammation
- Metabolic syndrome
High Fiber foods
- Whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables all contain prebiotics fiber good for your gut,
Prebiotics can reduce stress hormone
- Cocoa, green tea, olive oil, and coffee. Polyphenols increase healthy gut bacteria.
- Turkey, eggs, and cheese. Tryptophan is an amino acid that converts into serotonin.
- Kefir, yogourt, sauerkraut, and cheese have been shown to alter brain activity.
- Omega-3 fats – fight depression and anxiety
- Probiotics – Improve digestive issues, improve memory, reduce anxiety, depression
- Prebiotics – Boosts energy level and combats fatigue and stress as well as nourishes probiotic effectiveness.
- Vitamin D – Support the immune, brain, and nervous central health.
Daily Self Care
- See Foods that Cause Inflammation
- Flushes body waste lubricates joints, improves the function of the brain, is involved with the production of hormones and neurotransmitters, improves digestive problems, such an overly acidic stomach.
- Improves mental health and mood and keeps your mental thinking sharp as you age.
- Reduces Stress, inflammation, improve memory, risk of depression
I know there is a lot of information I am sharing with you about gut health. It would be hard to know where to start if this article is resonating with you. We are in a day and age where we have to be our own advocates. We need to treat ourselves as if we are both the patient and the doctor. If you are not sure where to dig in and start… try starting with 1 or two things at a time such as Water intake and Exercise, or Sleep and Food.
Let's talk about this openly. Whatever you decide to start with let me know. I want to hear about your progress and learn how you are doing as you build a healthier gut and improve your quality of life.