Digestion and Depression

Yes, we’re still here talking about Digestion.

Your gut health is central to the health of your whole body, and this is equally true for your brain health and mood balance.

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Wait, brain and mood balance are also regulated in the gut?

Mood via the gut is regulated through a few different pathways. First of all, not having enough of the beneficial bacteria in your gut has been linked to depression and anxiety symptoms. Changing the microbiome to a more beneficial balance has been shown to improve or resolve depression and anxiety. Secondly, nutrient absorption is dependent on overall gut health and depletion of nutrients can lead to mood or fatigue issues, because your body then struggles to build the hormones and signaling molecules it needs to regulate those functions. Third, inflammation in the gut, causes a change in nerve signaling to the brains that pushes the body into a constant state of low-grade stress, and ongoing stress causes mood imbalances leading to fatigue, depression, and anxiety. But that is a discussion for another day when we talking about HPA dysfunction and adrenal fatigue.

Yes, your mood is intricately connected with your gut health.

Finally, and possibly most importantly, we actually have more receptors and production of serotonin in the gut than we do in our brain! We know that the theory of low serotonin causing depression may not actually be correct, but if it is part of the issue in depression and anxiety, then it is important to know that the health of your gut has a significant impact on these levels and their signaling function.

So, helping the gut, helps your mood.

What is the best way to keep your gut healthy? You have to drop that highly processed junk food. Yep I mean the fast food, the chips, the sugars and syrups. I’m not saying that you can never had these things ever, but when they are making up a significant amount of your diet (be honest with yourself!), you are not feeding your body good nutrients, you’re killing the good bacteria in your gut, and you’re causing that ongoing low-grade inflammation and body stress. So, start adjusting what you’re consuming in order to eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruit, good quality fats, and adequate protein, and drink enough water!

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