A quick Q + A on why gut health is so incredibly important, not just for our brain health but also general wellbeing.
How Does Gut Health Affect Brain Health?
The gut-brain connection goes both ways as a troubled digestive system also sends signals to the brain. So for example, distress in a person’s digestive system can lead to stress, depression, or anxiety.
How Does Gut Health Affect Mental Health?
The gastrointestinal tract can be fairly sensitive to our emotions, so feelings like anxiety, anger, excitement, and sadness can all trigger symptoms in our digestive tract.
The brain can also directly affect our intestines and our stomach, even just thinking about eating can make the brain release stomach juices before we take in food.
Can Your Gut Affect Your Mood?
Absolutely, this is because the gut and the brain interact very closely, which is why we can feel quite sick when we’re nervous, or we feel intestinal pain when we’re stressed.Our moods and emotions can combine with physical factors to cause digestive pain and other bowel symptoms. Psychological stressors can also influence the symptoms and the actual physiology of the gut.
What Does Your Skin Tell You About Your Gut Health?
Digestive problems and indigestion can affect the way your body retains the nutrients in your diet which in turn can affect our skin.Poor gut health leads to poor absorption of antioxidants, minerals, and the vitamins we need to keep skin healthy and this issue might also potentially worsen any existing skin conditions.
Can Your Gut Bacteria Help You Lose Weight?
Gut bacteria can affect your weight by influencing how your body digests different types of food and certain species of digestive bacteria can digest dietary fibres, which can also support weight loss.
A healthy gut microbiome can digest flavonoids, antioxidants found in plants, which can help prevent weight gain. It may also influence how the intestines absorb and store dietary fats.
How Does Gut Health Affect the Immune System?
A healthy gut microbiome keeps bad bacteria from outnumbering and overpowering the good bacteria in our system. It also stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies that prevent intestinal inflammation caused by bad bacteria, fungi and viruses.
This really exciting area is being updated all the time-there is still SO much we are learning about gut health, the microbiome and its role in general health and and our brain health.
Dr Clara Russell