When our mood begins to spiral out of control and into anxiety or depression, our gut health is not necessarily the first thing you think of. But should it be?
Your gut health is about way more than just digestion. The world of the human microbiome is much more complex, as it impacts almost every other aspect of our health and wellness. As it turns out, these little microbes also play a huge role in our mood.
The trillions of beneficial bacteria that live in our gut are responsible for coordinating many other bodily functions, such as regulating our immune system, balancing our blood sugars, supporting inflammation and as it turns out, these little microbes also play a huge role in our mood!
Let’s have a closer look at why.
Your gut produces ‘happy hormones’
One of the most important (and probably overlooked) benefits of a healthy microbiome is a balanced mood. We often think of mood as originating in the brain, but your gut has more in common with your emotions than you may think.
In fact, our gut has sometimes been referred to as our ‘second brain’, as our gut and brain communicate closely through the gut-brain axis. Did you know arguably 70% – 90% of our serotonin (our feel-good hormone) is produced in the gut?
Your gut produces mood-boosting nutrients
Your beneficial bacteria help to break down and digest the food you eat so that you can absorb the nutrients you need to feel good. Some probiotics even produce their own mood-boosting B vitamins! The food we eat serves as the precursors to make many of our happy hormones.
Great gut health promotes de-stressing
Another thing to be aware of is our modern-day lifestyles are more often than not sending us in the direction of a burnout, which can quickly lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and other health issues impacting our happiness in life.
This is where our beneficial bacteria can support us, as they stabilise our cortisol (our stress hormone) levels and support inflammation levels, which are thought to be at the root of many emotional and physical health challenges.
Great gut health supports quality sleep
Sleep is also crucial to mention here, as we all know how a lack of sleep can negatively affect our energy levels and mind health. Our friendly gut bacteria produce and regulate important neurotransmitters and amino acids (like serotonin and tryptophan) that help you get the quality sleep you need to recharge and feel your best.