Gut Health Mental Health

Mental Health and the Gut Microbiome

Three major underlying factors that impact on your health are – Inflammation, Oxidative stress and Immune dysfunction. And guess what? They affect your mental health through your GUT Microbiome ( the garden of bacteria in your colon.)
Happy gut bacteria will make you happier!!!
The knowledge coming out about the importance of good levels and variety of gut bacteria is far reaching. The Microbiome is known as the second brain.
A new book by neurologist David Perlmutter called ‘Brain Change’ talks about the importance of gut bacteria for mental health . Having the right gut bacteria –your microbome affects mental health because these particular bacteria produce serotonin as well as B vitamins needed to make neurotransmitters. Pathogenic bacteria and LPS intestinal lipopolysaccharide (remnants of bacteria) in the bowel induce inflammation and oxidative stress that cause leaky gut syndrome and contribute to depression, anxiety and even bipolar conditions. The immune cells in your gut stabilize your immune system so it is nor under or over active. Particular bacteria can make your bowel acidic and increase anxiety and panic attacks.
To improve your mental health
Step 1
Embrace the microbiome as a factor for health, for mental health, weight, inflammation and protection from autoimmune conditions.
Step 2 Diet
Improve your gut bacteria – Avoid sugar as it feeds the bad bacteria , eat low carbohydrate diet and avoid grains. Gluten detrimentally affects brain function because Zonulin in it damages the gut wall. Eat lots of above ground vegetables. Eat a serve of fermented food every day e.g. Kimchee, sauerkraut or yoghurt.
Eat prebiotic foods- onions, garlic, leeks, globe artichoke and psyllium. Resistant starch from cold potato and sweet potato feed the bacteria .
Take a probiotic with 5 to 10 different strains of bacteria. Ideally have a stool test done to check the levels of your bacteria –they range from$100- 200. It’s helpful but not essential to know what’s in your bowel before you start adding more bacteria.
Step 3. Lifestyle – Sleep, water and exercise.
Get to bed before 10.30 Drink – 30 ml of fluid per kilo of body weight. Exercise – mix it up walking, strength and HIIT (high Intensity intermittent training).
There are so many advantages to having a healthy microbiome that influences everything. You can be healthier and happier.