AdvDip (Nut), AdvDip (Nat)
Ever noticed how you crave chocolate when you’re due for your period? Or chips when you’re feeling stressed? That’s because there is a link between the gut and the brain, known as the gut-brain axis, which means what we feel influences what we eat, and what we eat influences how we feel. And this gut-brain axis is directly influenced by our gut bacteria.
The bacteria in our gut, known as the microbiota, serves many purposes – two of which are to help digest the food we eat and produce certain nutrients, such as vitamin K; and to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin, which act as our “feel-good” hormones. This is what happens in a healthy gut anyway. In an unhealthy gut, there is an imbalance between the “good” and “bad” bacteria, which is known as dysbiosis. This imbalance not only causes digestive symptoms, such as reflux, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation, it also results in mental health symptoms, including anxiety, depression, poor stress response and insomnia.
Our diets play a key role in the balance between these good and bad bacteria. Here are my top 5 foods to cut down on to create better digestive and mental health:
By introducing positive nutritional habits, you can create a gut environment in which the good bacteria thrive and the bad bacteria can’t. Try these 5 simple tips to improve your gut and mental health:
Once you implement these healthy habits, if you’re still experiencing symptoms of poor digestive or mental health, consider seeing a qualified naturopath to have your gut microbiome lab tested so that your naturopath can devise an individualised treatment plan to suit your specific needs.
Suzanne is a qualified Nutritionist and Naturopath who works out of “The Natural Health and Wellness Clinic” in Somerville. Her areas of special interest include digestive health, and mental health disorders. Appointments to see Suzanne can be made by calling (03) 5977-7342 or online via www.sparrowholistic.com.au/make-a-booking.html
For more practical health and wellness information, follow Suzanne on social media: