How Gut Health Affects Physical and Mental Health

We all know how eating certain foods puts us in a good mood when we are eating – that’s why soul food is the best food! But did you know that what you put into your stomach affects the way your brain operates? And that the way you think has a direct effect on how well your stomach can process your food?

If this all sounds a bit new to you, stick with us, read further, and let’s get you some great information to get you healthy in all areas!

Let’s do an experiment: imagine drinking a cup of lemon tea right now. Is your mouth watering? Now, think about chewing a piece of ginger. Can you feel your taste buds waking up? Can you feel how your body responds to a thought?

Basically, your thoughts create certain physical reactions, and these do not just stop with that saliva that your mouth is creating now, with only the mere suggestion of certain foods.

And it works both ways!

Here is another question: have you ever had a stomach-ache or upset, because of some stress you were experiencing? Or had a thought that felt like you were ‘feeling it in your gut’? This is due to the fact that the brain and the gastrointestinal system are linked to one another. The brain influences the stomach and intestines, and the intestines send signals to the brain. This is why a distressed stomach can be caused by OR be the consequence of mental discomfort like anxiety or depression. 

“If there's one thing to know about the human body; it's this: the human body has a ringmaster. This ringmaster controls your digestion, your immunity, your brain, your weight, your health and even your happiness. This ringmaster is the gut”

― Nancy Mure

Food affects so many aspects of your system, including:

- Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders
- Skin disorders
- Blood sugar fluctuations
- Weight management
- Emotional behaviour like anxiety and depression
- Psychological or neurological problems
- Everyday brain function like focus
- And brain issues like ADD
- Stress responses
- Neural development
- And even pain perception

Show Me How Food Affects My Brain Chemistry…

It’s all in the bacteria! Studies have proven that the gut microbiome has influence over how the mind develops, and the mind has influence over how the body develops. Stress, even low-level, can change the gut microbiome and leave one more open to disease as well as affecting the central nervous system. While this is tough to hear as it places more personal responsibility on us, it also is great news because it means that we can also use beneficial bacteria to help mood and mental health.

Here is an excerpt that helped us to understand, and for those of you who enjoy ‘science speak’ will give you some more in depth insight.

At birth, every gut is sterile. But over time, everyone's gut develops a diverse and distinct brew of bacterial species, determined in part by genetics and in part by what bacteria live in and on those around us. The 100 trillion microbes that make the GI tract their playground are critical to health. Gut bacteria regulate digestion and metabolism. They extract and make vitamins and other nutrients from food that you eat. They program the body's immune system. They build and maintain the gut wall, which protects the body from outside invaders. And by their very presence, beneficial bacteria in the gut block harmful microbes from setting up camp and produce anti-microbial chemicals that defend the host against pathogens.

Gut bacteria also produce hundreds of neurochemicals that the brain uses to regulate basic physiological processes as well as mental processes such as learning, memory and mood. For example, gut bacteria manufacture about 95 percent of the body's supply of serotonin, which influences both mood and GI activity.

Your microbiome—the diverse population of microbes (bacteria) that live in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract—plays an important role in the health of your gut, and in other aspects of your physical health, from inflammatory skin disorders to obesity.1 Researchers now say that this role of promoting good health may extend to include the health of your brain and neurological systems.Thank you to the American Psychological Association.

Click here to read the rest of their article.

Do what you can to maintain beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract with a well-balanced diet including probiotic and prebiotic foods.

A Bit on Pro Biotic Foods

Your Prebiotic shopping list can include:
- Plain yogurt
- Kefir
- Cottage cheese
- Fresh sauerkraut
- Kimchi
- Kombucha
- Apple cider vinegar
- Miso
- Turmeric

Remember that the probiotic effects of these foods are destroyed by processing, and that includes cooking and preserving at high temperatures. 

A Bit on Pro Biotic Foods

Your Prebiotic shopping list can include:
- Legumes
- Oats
- Artichokes
- Leeks
- Onions
- Garlic
- Chicory
- Cabbage
- Asparagus

Prebiotic foods do not contain living organisms, but their indigestible fibers ferment in the tract, which are then consumed by probiotic bacteria, and converted into healthful substances.

Besides the Microbiome, What Other Food Factors Should I Know? 

There is so much to know, we encourage you to research further, but from our side we stand by turmeric! Because turmeric is a natural inflammation-inhibitor, it combats the oxidative stress in the brain by helping repair and promote new nerve cells. This helps to boosts levels of BDNF naturally, relieving mood-swings and alleviating symptoms like fluctuating weight and memory loss!

Balance is key to maintaining your hormone levels! When depression strikes, levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin become abnormal, but the curcumin in turmeric has been proven to block and counter this.

Scientifically, curcumin in glorious turmeric also modulates neurotransmitters, which are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body. Check out our blog on good mood food, for more information. 

Turmeric is one of the most important medicinal plants. It is considered a prebiotic and has a host of beneficial effects including regulation of intestinal disorders.

Our Taka teas and blends are lovingly loaded with curcumin-carrying turmeric and a wonderful array of natural, 100% organic ingredients. They are so easy to make, and your absolute essential in lifting any dark mood. Click here for our online tea shop.

Without premium fuel from our food, we simply do not function well. To help your own microbial health, and your own mental health AND your own physical, it is vital that you become aware! Like what you are doing right now, reading this article. 😊 


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IMPORTANT NOTE: Are you on any prescription medications? Before adding something new to your diet for medicinal purposes, make sure to check with your Physician .

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Article credit : Taka Turmeric Tea

Want to know more about Turmeric? See these Posts!