A slight deviation from dermatology. HOWEVER ……not only is our gut linked to our SKIN, it can also influence our MOODS (and vica versa).
YES studies have identified that there is a strong link between our gut health and our emotions.
Our brain and our gut share much of the same tissue. Sometimes referred to as our ‘second brain’ our digestive system and our nervous system are link in many ways.
Our gut’s microbiome produces more ‘serotonin’ (our feel good hormone) than our brain. In fact approximately 85 per cent of our serotonin is found in our gut. In addition to this, there are a multitude of other neurotransmitters located in our gut. A clinical study involving (a large sample size of) patients with gut issues, showed that anxiety and depression correlate strongly with their gut issues. Another study showed that when gut issues improved, so did depression and emotional problems.
Evidence also suggests that the gut microbiome can influence sleep quality and our circadian rhythm. Our mental health is closely linked to the quality and timing of our sleep.
So there is no wonder that…..
Improving gut health can not only boost our immune system and overall health (including our skin), it can also improve mood. For good gut health we need good gut flora. The bacteria should be varied and well balanced. Meaning …more of the good guys than the bad! Read more about this in my previous Gut Article.
Easy steps to improve your gut health
- Eat foods high in probiotics – eg Kombucha, Kefir, natural yogurt, saurkraut & kimchi or other fermented foods.
- Avoid (or limit) inflammatory foods – Such as gluten, unfermented dairy, excessive alcohol, refined sugar & artificial sweeteners.
- Eat fresh unprocessed foods – Include lots of vegetables & fruits that are high in fibre (lots have the additional benefit of being prebiotics – which are like fertilisers for our good bacteria).
- Avoid unnecessary antibiotics – Which can wipe out our beneficial, protective gut bacteria.
- Limit stress
- If required supplement with high quality probiotic supplements – taking a probiotic supplement can also naturally boost the good probiotics in your system. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are particularly good strains for improving mood. Supplementation can also be beneficial for sufferers of inflammatory skin problems like acne, psoriasis, rosacea and dermatitis.
- Regular Moderate Exercise – has been shown to increase our guts (good) bacterial diversity and particularly increase Lactobacillus. Exercise also increases circulation, blood Flow, endorphins levels and reduced Stress.
- See Gut-Skin Connection