Friday, December 6, 2019

The Gut Brain Connection

One of the first signs of microbial imbalances in the gut is depression and brain fog. Scientists who are mapping our gut microbiome have discovered that there is 100 times more bacterial DNA in the body than our own human DNA. It is estimated there are over 100 trillion microorganisms living in the bowels alone. What are they doing there and how does this affect mood?

One of the things these microbes in the gut do is produce neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, melatonin, and GABA. These neurotransmitters are primarily derived from the fiber and amino acids in vegetables—not from sugary, highly-processed, packaged goods lacking nutrients and fiber. Neurotransmitters communicate important information back to the brain thus affecting memory, emotional responses, mood, hormones, sleep, cravings and more.

Research on the gut microbiome is changing the way that we look at the links between food and the way we think and feel. Eating a single vegetable today is not enough. Eating healthy, unprocessed foods daily helps restore balance in the microbial population in the gut. When the gut ecosystem is healthy and fed properly, the brain is healthy too.

Those who struggle with depression, anxiety, or scattered thoughts should consider what they are eating. By feeding the microbes what they need, one can improve gut health, boost brain function, mood, and feel more energized.

Dixie Mehrens, FMCHC, is a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach. She felt called into health coaching after overcoming her own health challenges and autoimmune disease through healthy eating, exercise, sleep, self-care, stress management, and life balance. For more information or to book a free 30-minute call, visit