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Serotonin and Your Second Brain: 10 Tips for a Healthy Gut

 

Medicinal Herbs - low resThis month I’m going to focus the discussion on the blog and on social media around the gut. Also known as your second brain! Gut health is the key to so many elements of your health both physical AND mental.

So let’s start by talking about serotonin and it’s relation to a happy tummy and a happy you.

When you were just a tiny little ball of cells in your mother’s uterus your brain, nervous system and gut were all formed from the same tissue. That’s why we often refer to your gut as your second brain. And that’s where the term ‘gut instinct’ comes from…and understanding your gut instinct will be a WHOLE other blog post coming up this month!

Many people know that serotonin is the ‘feel good’ hormone and when your serotonin levels are low it can affect your mood.

Serotonin is a chemical found in the human body. It carries signals along and between nerves. It’s a neurotransmitter.

What most people don’t realise that the gut produces more serotonin than the brain. 90% of all serotonin is produced in the gut and requires plenty of dietary protein to create this essential feel good hormone. This is one of the reasons why a healthy diet and healthy gut is essential for healthy moods

And over 2000 years ago, Hippocrates said ‘All disease starts in the gut’. He knew what he was talking about!

So what we want to do is make sure that our levels of serotonin don’t drop and good digestive function and gut health plays a huge part in that.

So here’s ten ways you can keep your tummy in tip top condition:

 

  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Steer clear of processed foods and preservatives
  • Introduce kombucha and fermented food and drink to your daily diet
  • Avoid white bread
  • If you’re going to eat pasta, choose gluten free options
  • Don’t cook with olive oil, use it for salad dressing and ‘cold use’ only
  • If you need to take antibiotics, steroids or other prescription meds, work with a naturopath on how to counter-balance the impact that will have on your gut
  • Manage your stress
  • Eat food high in probiotics such as yoghurt and miso soup
  • Steer clear of caffeine and alcohol or if you can’t, minimise your intake

 

Next week we’ll talk about the link between gut health and emotional and mental wellbeing. It could explain the moody blues!

Has your tummy given you trouble? Pop your comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

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