Take care of your gut and improve your mental health!
Interestingly this was a post that received many more answers and comments than other posts. It made me think and thus I want to explore this question a little more in this week’s blog. You will find some valuable tips on how to stay sharp and pain-free when growing older (we all gonna get there so better read on)
So, let me ask YOU first: “What is YOUR biggest fear when it comes to health?”
Please comment below and let me know BEFORE reading on.
I am curious what you will reply. When I asked this question online, a lot replied that they fear age, not being mentally fit, Alzheimer/dementia and having pain, not being able to live a “normal” life.
I understand that so well as, like everybody else, these are my fears too. But having studied intensively the science of nutrition, including mental health. I also learnt that many age related conditions can be prevented, reversed or at least diminished with the right food and lifestyle choices. This goes hand in hand with a balanced spiritual and emotional approach.
The biggest contributing factors to mental and physical dis-ease are:
- Gut health
When these are out of whack, it can lead to chronic diseases like
- Mental diseases (Alzheimer, Dementia, Depression etc.)
- Digestive disorders
- And so many more
The good news is, that you can control and improve most of this, including your genes as with the right environmental choices, even so called genetic pre-depositions can be altered.
I always say, genes load the gun, environment (food, lifestyle, pollution etc.) pull the trigger.
Understanding this, is crucial and knowing that we all are different, a personalised approach to improving your health by better eating and lifestyle choices, can help really address the root causes of inflammation and gut issues.
How can we take care of our gut and improve our mental health!?
Maybe you have heard that there is a gut-brain axis and as such a healthy gut helps to improve your brain functioning, your genetic expression and inflammation? I love starting here and improving the gut health. Did you know most serotonin is fabricated in the gut, and 70% of your immune system is “sitting” in the gut too? Fascinating!
Now with this knowledge, let’s get into action…..
Here are my top tips to improve your gut health, thus reduce inflammation, improve mental health and age happily.
HOW TO REPAIR/OPTIMIZE THE GUT-BRAIN AXIS
Rest, Relax, and Sleep
Proper rest, relaxation, and sleep are vital for the functioning of all organ systems, but especially the brain and gut.
Have you ever noticed that your memory is foggy, your cognitive function is decreased, and your bowel movements are either too frequent or not frequent enough after a long night of tossing and turning? This is a perfect illustration of how sleep or a lack thereof can negatively impact brain and gut functioning. In fact, after just one night of suboptimal sleep, there is already a marked increase in the amount of pro-inflammatory complexes in the blood.
Inflammation is not a good thing when it comes to the gut or the brain.
Eat a Whole Foods Diet
Steer clear of nutrient-poor, processed, and packaged “faux foods.” These may supply you with enough energy in the form of calories, but they do very little to meet your daily nutrient requirements. Dark green leafy vegetables, high-quality animal protein, and healthy fats nourish the brain and digestive system. Remember, when it comes to food, quality is key!
Eliminate Food Sensitivities and Intolerances
An Elimination Diet is useful to identify potential food sensitivities and intolerances. Chronic consumption of these irritants can lead to increased inflammation and leaky gut. But eliminating them completely from the diet will lead to increased cognitive capacity and better absorption of nutrients. Get my detox starter pack
Practice Stress Reduction Techniques
To steer clear of the path of chronic stress and chronic inflammation, it is vital to manage stress via stress reduction techniques. While it is impossible to avoid stress altogether, it is possible to shield the body from its negative effects. Deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and tai chi are all great coping mechanisms in the face of stress. Check out more stress tips here
Increase Probiotic and Prebiotic Consumption
To increase the health and diversity of the microbiome, take a high-quality probiotic supplement (preferably refrigerated with a high CFU count) or eat more fermented foods which naturally contain beneficial bacteria.
Fermented foods include: sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. Also be sure that you eat prebiotic foods (in the form of fiber-rich vegetables) or supplements to ensure that the beneficial bacteria will have a food source once they reach the gut. Otherwise, they may starve and die off immediately.
Find a Healthy Balance of Exercise
While too much exercise can worsen leaky gut, too little can cause chronic constipation. Each individual must find what works best for him or her, but an ideal fitness routine should include some cardiovascular stimulation, balance, strength, flexibility and coordination. Keep in mind that low-to-moderate intensity exercise tends to have a calming effect on the nervous system and increase mental sharpness and the capacity to remember. Create “fun” options for exercise as you co-create a digestive health protocol.
Now my second question is, what will you do today to improve your gut health and set the tone for your “young age” ?
PS. oh and did I mention that things like wrinkles, menopausal symptoms, low libido, low mood, PMS, headaches/migraines, fatigue, stress and so much more may magically disappear when correctly addressing your gut health? What are you waiting for?
Want to learn more? Apply for a F.R.E.E. “Fast action to health” consultation (value $267) where I help the lucky ones (there is a limited amount of spaces available – you need to apply to be lucky 😉 to improve your health or weight concerns with a personalized action plan. Interested? Apply while I still have space.