Your gut has been proven to be your bodies literal "second brain". For years, the medical world has been trying to figure out what causes our moods to change and what causes common problems that most of us face like stress, anxiety, and even depression. These are common problems, and we know they are linked to serotonin, but did you know that 95% of serotonin isn't even produced in the brain? Serotonin is actually produced in the gut.
What we eat is directly related to our emotional health. Our gut consists of bacteria and we need that bacteria to have a healthy balance. 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.
The recipe for a healthy gut and a healthy mood is 85% good bacteria and 15% bad bacteria. Some symptoms of an unhealthy gut include gas, bloating, nausea, sugar cravings, and more. The best way to make sure your body has healthy bacteria for your gut is to feed your gut healthy bacteria (probiotics). Probiotics can be in pill form, or you can get them right through your diet. Excellent sources of probiotics include kefir and fermented or cultured foods and beverages. Some of my favorites are:
- Ginger Beet Kraut from Farmhouse Culture (I get mine at Whole Foods)
- Spiced Apple Kombucha from Brew Dr. Kombucha
- Strawberry Serenity Kombucha from GT’s Enlightened line
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).