If you suffer from poor digestion and a poor mindset, it’s possible that the two are connected. (No, it’s not just in your head!) And, it’s not just because you’re upset about your poor digestion! If you want to brighten your mood, first, you need to boost your gut health. Read on for all the ways to boost your gut health.
Are Digestion and Mental Health Really Related?
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If you heal your belly, you might also be able to heal your brain. You likely already know that your diet can affect your mental health. And your gut health can also affect your mental health. Your gut is sometimes referred to as the second brain. Just like your brain, your gut is full of nerves called the enteric nervous system, or ENS. The ENS has the same type of neurons and neurotransmitters found in your central nervous system.
Here’s how it works: when you are anxious or nervous, your body releases some hormones and chemicals that enter your digestive system. This affects the microorganisms that live in your gut and results in a chemical imbalance that can cause stomach upset and diarrhea, indigestion, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), loss of appetite, unusual hunger, or even nausea. (What a list!)
One of the most common symptoms of stress and anxiety is stomach issues. Think about it: when was the last time you were really nervous? Maybe on a first date or on the first day of a new job. And how did those nerves manifest in your body? Most likely, you felt some butterflies or uneasiness in your stomach. See, your brain and your gut are much more connected that you may have realized! The gut-brain connection affects your digestion, your mood, and even the way you think.
Tell Me More About Gut Health and Anxiety
Given everything occurring in the world these days, it’s no wonder that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the U.S. Over 40 million adults in the U.S., or nearly 20 percent (!), suffer from anxiety disorders. However, it might not just be the pandemic, your job, or your kids causing you extra anxiety.
Okay, we covered the bad news. Here is the good news: anxiety can be alleviated by regulating your gut bacteria. There are plenty of ways you can improve both your gut health and your mental health.
How to Improve Your Gut Brain Connection
Researchers have already identified the gut brain connection! It has literally been proven. It’s not just in your head. Here are some tried-and-true ways to improve both your digestion and your mental health:
Consider Your Diet
Mind what and how you eat. Sure that sugary donut might be a mood-lifter for breakfast in the morning and yes it tastes good in the moment. However, consider reaching for a healthier breakfast option that won’t end with a sugar rush and crash. Look for breakfast selections that will instead fuel you for your day ahead. A fiber-full breakfast is a great way to set up your day for success.
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Exercise has the double benefits of improving your mood and helping you get your digestive system moving. And this doesn’t mean you have to hit up an intimidating workout class or even join a gym! (Unless that’s your thing.) Simply try to squeeze in more walks around your neighborhood to boost both your mood and your metabolism.
Drink Your Bonny!
A powder fiber supplement like Bonny helps you effectively digest your food, which helps support a healthy body and brain.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is amazing for you! And if you want to make the most of your fiber supplement, you need to hydrate! Water acts like a magnet for fiber. In order to make the most of your fiber and aid your digestion system, aim to drink at least eight glasses of water throughout the day.
Ask for Help
If you are still struggling with your mental health, don’t be afraid to reach out for some help! A professional therapist can work wonders and today there are numerous telehealth options available.
Foods That Can Improve Your Gut and Mental Health
We already discussed how your diet can affect your mental health. We made a helpful list of some types of foods that can boost your gut *and* mental health.
Vitamin D regulates your microbiome and reduces gastrointestinal inflammation. Add some more egg yolks, salmon, tuna, and orange juice to get your daily dose of Vitamin D.
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Protein isn’t just for preworkout. Protein also contains nitrogen, which limits the number of bad bacteria in your gut microbiome. It’s proven that eating protein decreases your symptoms of depression because it boosts your serotonin production, which is responsible for improving your mood. Here’s how it works: up to 90% of your body’s serotonin is produced in your gut. (FYI: Serotonin is a chemical messenger that acts as a mood stabilizer.) Look for lean proteins from turkey, chicken, yogurt, fish, nuts, oats, and broccoli.
Omega-3 fatty acids help lower cholesterol, reduce your cravings for sugar, and can increase memory and cognitive function. Walnuts, flax seeds, salmon, sardines, and mackerel are all rich in Omega-3s.
You know thatwe are all about our favorite f-word: fiber. Fiber can help you improve your mood and even your memory. It can also decrease inflammation and oxidative stress by supporting your microbiota. Get fiber from beans, legumes, oats, nuts, fruits, veggies, and even dark chocolate, and supplement with Bonny, the best natural fiber supplement on the market.
Bonny Can Help Your Digestion and Mental Health
If you are thinking, “I know I need more fiber in my life, but ugh, that drugstore stuff is so gross!” Try Bonny instead. It’s the fancy fiber you gut wants and you actually like. Bonny won’t just make your gut and digestive system happy, but it’s actually delicious. Bonny comes in four delicious flavors that you will crave daily: Amplified Apple Pie, Berry Beauty, Strawberry Serenity and Matcha Magic.
As always, we wish you pleasant poops and stress-free days!