Happy Healthy Food – Using Diet for Optimal Gut and Mental Health – 100%
Gut health and mental health have a direct connection to one another. When the gut is unhealthy, it is possible to experience different brain disorders. Taking a comprehensive look at this connection, what can disrupt it and the happy healthy food that promotes a healthy connection is imperative for optimal wellness.
Since gut health is something that everyone has at least some control over, knowing more about how it affects mood and mind, how to heal leaky gut and knowing the signs probiotics are working is important knowledge. Here is a comprehensive look at this topic so that all people can be properly informed.
What is Leaky Gut?
Also referred to as increased intestinal permeability, leaky gut is characterized by toxins and bacteria leaking through the walls of the intestines and into the bloodstream. When someone eats or drinks, these items go into the digestive tract where nutrients are absorbed after they are broken down.
Under normal circumstances, there are tight junctions in the walls of the intestines that let nutrients and water to get by while harmful substances are blocked. When someone has a leaky gut, the good things get through but so to the harmful substances. This may result in multiple symptoms, such as:
• Gas and bloating
• Digestive problems
• Food sensitivities
• Skin issues
Due to the gut brain connection, this could also result in a person’s brain and mental health being affected. Issues from mood swings to Alzheimer’s disease have been attributed to leaky gut.
While this condition remains a medical mystery, experts have discovered some possible risk factors:
• Consuming too much sugar
• Chronic stress
• Too much yeast in the gut
• Excessive alcohol consumption
• Long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
• Being deficient in vitamin D or A and zinc
• Chronic inflammation
Poor gut health may also play a role. This is typically due to inadequate intake of happy healthy food and lack of probiotics. There are signs probiotics are working that are typically not present in people with poor gut health as a result of the unhealthy gut bacteria overwhelming healthy gut bacteria.
How Gut Health Influences Brain and Mental Health
Located in the gut is the enteric nervous system. It is comprised of 100 million nerve cells spread across two thin layers. They control blood flow, line the digestive tract and assist with digestion by controlling secretions. This nervous system also plays a role in behavior.
It is known that anxiety and stress are common among those with gastrointestinal issues. These two problems can also influence the severity of digestive problems. This is because the gut and the brain are in constant communication with one another.
When there is a problem affecting the gut brain connection, people can experience various gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea, heartburn, appetite changes, constipation and diarrhea. The possible mental or behavioral changes may include:
• Lack of concentration and focus
• Depression and anxiety
• Being indecisive
• Being quick to temper
• Memory difficulties
• Trouble relaxing
• Overwhelming tension
Much of the serotonin in the body is produced in the gut. Leaky gut may interfere with the production of this neurotransmitter. When someone has inadequate serotonin levels, they can experience a depressed mood and anxiety.
Poor gut health has also been implicated as a potential risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Another possible association is related to cortisol, a type of hormone. Some studies have shown that having balanced bacteria in the gut reduces cortisol levels which helps to alleviate chronic stress.
Healing Leaky Gut with Happy Healthy Food
When leaky gut is present, there are certain foods that can help to heal the gut and alleviate the associated symptoms and other issues. People should incorporate the following foods into their diet:
• Tubers and roots
• Sprouted seeds
• Spices and herbs
• Fermented vegetables
• Gluten-free grains
• Cultured dairy products
• Eggs and lean meats
• Healthy fats
It is important to significantly limit the following foods:
• Grains that contain gluten
• Baked goods
• Junk food
• Products that contain wheat
• Carbonated and sugar drinks
• Processed meats
• Unhealthy, processed snacks
• Artificial sweeteners
• Dairy products
• Refined oils
Probiotics and Signs Probiotics Are Working
Probiotics are happy healthy food bacteria that help to ensure that the gut does not become overwhelmed with bad bacteria. When there is not a solid balance of bacteria in the gut, this can contribute to leaky gut and other issues affecting the gut brain connection.
It is best to consume foods that are high in probiotics to introduce them into the gut. Common probiotic foods include:
• Coconut kefir
• Raw cheese
• Brine-cured olives
• Apple cider vinegar
• Salted gherkin pickles
• Traditional buttermilk
People can also take a probiotic supplement. This should include the following good bacteria:
• Lactobacillus bulgarius
• Streptococcus thermophilus
• Bifidobacterium bifidum
• Lactobacillus acidophilus
• Lactobacillus reuteri
• Saccharomyces boulardii
• Bacillus subtilis
In general, the signs probiotics are working include a reduction in leaky gut symptoms. People also tend to have a clearer mind and fewer incidences of mood swings, depressed mood and anxiety symptoms. Improved digestive health is also usually apparent. This includes fewer episodes of heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, stomach upset and nausea. Other benefits of gut bacteria balance include:
• Improved cholesterol
• Better skin health
• Healthy blood pressure
• Reduced inflammation
The Microbiome Diet
The microbiome diet is primarily recommended for weight loss via the restoration of a person’s gut health. Overall, the premise of this diet is to eat foods that encourage healthy gut bacteria to flourish and keep bad bacteria in check to improve someone’s overall health.
By ensuring the proper balance of gut bacteria, this could reduce anxiety and inflammation while enhancing digestion, mood and brain function. Balancing gut bacteria may also eliminate cravings and improve metabolism.
The first phase of this diet is focused on replacing digestive enzymes and stomach acids while removing unhealthy bacteria. People are essentially learning what to eat and what to avoid. Using probiotic supplements can also be an element of this phase. It lasts for 21 days. People have to avoid the following:
• All grains
• Most starchy vegetables and fruits
• Most dairy and legumes
• All fried and packaged foods
• Artificial sweeteners and sugar
• Fillers and artificial coloring
• Some fish, meat and fats
The happy healthy food to focus on includes those rich in prebiotics and probiotics. This include fermented foods. The diet also recommends the following supplements:
• Vitamin D
• Oregano oil
• Grapefruit seed extract
During the second phase, people can start eating some of the foods prohibited in phase one. However, the focus is on eating only happy healthy whole foods. Sugars and packaged foods should still be avoided. This phase goes on for 28 days.
After completing these two phases, people enter the maintenance phase. At this point, they have reestablished a healthy gut environment and want to ensure that they maintain it. Approximately 80 percent of their diet should be whole, healthy foods with a focus on prebiotics and probiotics. The other 20 percent can be the occasional treat.
With this information, people can identify the signs probiotics are working, how to heal leaky gut, they know what happy healthy food is and they understand the link between gut health and mental health. Use this knowledge to ensure a healthy gut for optimal mood and mind wellness.