How to build a healthy diet that boosts your mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Have you ever had butterflies in your stomach or “gone with your gut” while making a decision? You’ve probably experienced these reactions and gave them little thought. There’s actually a fascinating reason why this happens!
Most people are well aware of the fact that “we are what we eat.” Good nutrition is vital for the prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, obesity and certain types of cancers. But how does that affect our day to day mood? The answer is pretty cool.
To break it down a little bit, understand that:
The GI tract = digestive tract; it consists of all the organs from the esophagus to the colon. That means all the food we eat passes through it.
Serotonin = the “feel good” neurotransmitter; low-levels are associated with mood disturbances such as anxiety and depression.
Our GI tract is lined with millions of nerve cells and thus referred to as our “second brain” and the “enteric nervous system.” Shockingly, most of our serotonin is located here! In addition, our gut contains trillions of bacteria which play a big role in the way our systems operate.
Studies are now showing that there is a powerful connection between the brain and gut, which means that what we eat has a huge effect on how we feel. Certain foods can help us feel good and others not so great (even if we feel otherwise in the moment).
Here are some types of mood-boosting foods you can lean on for a healthy pick-me-up:
It’s amazing to see the deep connection between our food and our mood – and the science behind it keeps growing! The next time you get those butterflies or that gut feeling, let it serve as a little reminder to pick up some blueberries or snack on some walnuts.