By: Mind Key Community
We usually don’t think of our mental well-being as connected to the foods we eat. We may be inspired to eat better to slim up or tend to our physical health, but the truth is, what you eat has just as substantial an impact on your mental function. Admittedly, I’m not the best at eating nourishing foods. I’m a naturally active and productive person, and taking time to feed myself properly usually falls to the bottom of my priority list. To me, eating just seemed like another chore. That is, until I learned how important eating well and supporting a healthy gut was for my mental health. In this piece, my dear friend and holistic nutritionist Savannah Bleue gives some tips to support gut health and explains how eating well can help lower anxiety, improve brain function and lower your stress.
Supporting a healthy gut: How gut health affects mood
Anxiety is commonly misunderstood, with this belief that it’s all in your head, and if you just relax and take a deep breath you’ll be fine. Have you ever been told to “just chill”? That’s my favorite thing to hear when I’m spiraling into anxiety.
While “chilling” may nip normal anxiousness in the bud, true anxiety usually runs much deeper, all the way down to the gut.
There’s a bidirectional relationship where anxiety and stress damages the gut and a damaged gut creates anxiety and depression, and lowers resilience to stress. Creating this vicious loop and a bit of a hole that’s hard to dig yourself out of. Many mood disorders, including ADHD and OCD, can be linked with digestive issues as well. Following are my top tips to support gut healing.
1. Eat a whole food diet
This means eating foods as close to their natural form as possible, primarily fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, with some wild fish, and pasture raised, grass fed meat and eggs. Eating a diet revolving around whole foods also naturally increases fiber intake — more on this in a moment!
2. Avoid antibiotics and synthetic drugs
Sometimes we need these, but many people are on nonessential antibiotics and synthetic drugs. Antibiotics wipe out good bacteria, and it’s not as simple as just taking a probiotic to reinoculate the gut. It takes time, and often there’s lasting negative changes.
Synthetic drugs including aspirin and ibuprofen can break down the gut lining. Birth control negatively alters….