Your gut, aka "inside your belly", has been proven to be your "second brain. For years the medical world has been trying to figure out what causes our moods to change and what causes the common problems that most of us face each day such as stress, anxiety, and even depression. These common problems are linked to serotonin, a mood stabilizer.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter thought to be developed mostly in the brain. However, research shows that 95% of our serotonin is actually produced in the gut and many researchers believe that it is actually a hormone. The food we eat is directly related to our emotional health. Serotonin is not found in our food but it is synthesized from tryptophan, an amino acid found in many of our foods.
Keep in mind that your gut and your brain work together, so if one is out of balance the other will be also. Have you ever had an upset stomach because your mind was stressed? Well think about it, if it works one way it works both ways. There have been many scientific studies that have linked mood problems to gut problems and vice versa.
In addition to serotonin, the gut contains bacteria that we need for healthy balance otherwise the rest of the body will not be balanced including our mood. Symptoms of an unhealthy gut flora or low bacteria, include gas, bloating, nausea, sugar cravings and more. What’s your mood like when you have these symptoms?
The best way to make ensure that the relationship between your gut and brain stays strong and healthy is to give it the nourishment it needs to thrive. That nourishment comes from feeding the gut’s bacteria with a healthy dose of probiotics. Really good sources of prebiotics and probiotics can be obtained in pill form but I prefer to get them from my food. Excellent food sources include, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, my personal favorite.
Keeping a healthy gut in check will help you to digest food properly, absorb vital nutrients, and maintain a healthy state of mind aka your mood.