Can the gut influence your feelings and mood, even prevent depression?
Can plant-based diet help?
The gut can influence your feelings and mood. Just a few years ago, anything that had anything to do with the gut or digestion was taboo. But that has changed.
The interest in the digestive organ, the gut, is not entirely new. It has a length of about seven to eight meters and has a surface area of 400 to 500 square meters. Already in very early cultures, People knew that a smooth function of the intestine has to do with our health. Even Hippocrates represented 300 BC. Chr. Thesis: «Death is in the gut.»
Today, more and more recent studies indicate that the gut is not only crucial to our immune system but also has an impact on our mental health. The gut can influence your feelings. However, the research is still in its infancy. It is only a few years that science has been interested in communication between the brain and the gut.
Your gut can influence your feelings and produces happy hormones
The belly brain is a vast network of nerves and sits in the walls of our digestive organs between the muscles. It forms a thin layer there, consisting of 100 million nerve cells, four to five times more than the brain or the spinal cord. Scientists are now sure that the abdominal brain is a kind of copy of our brain. Above all, this indicates that the same hormones, messengers, and receptors act in both organs. The nerve cells are identical, as well.
However, there is still no certainty as to how the communication between the intestine and the brain proceeds: “I suspect that a change in the intestinal flora is reflected in the activity of the immune system,” says Aletta Kraneveld. In any case, human studies indicate that an increase in inflammatory agents accompanies depressive moods.
The connection between our mood and happiness hormones, such as serotonin and dopamine, is undisputed. The intestinal mucosa in our gut produces 95 percent of serotonin. If the intestinal flora is disturbed by certain bacteria, it may have a negative effect on our moods.
You can contribute to the intestinal health
It is therefore conceivable that depression is not first associated with brain activity, but that the gut is the causative agent. “Above all, an unhealthy diet promotes harmful intestinal bacteria,” says Aletta Kraneveld. “Healthy diet can reduce the symptoms, but the patient in the long term must sustain these”
Food that makes your bowels happy and you too!
What does it need to have a healthy gut? Food that makes your intestine happy!
For a while, scientists have been exploring an association between emotions and gut flora. The research is not that far, but there are already some indications that a wrong diet also affects the psyche. Even in psychotherapy, nutrition is now being looked at more closely to increase therapeutic success. This means, if your gut is not happy, you are not either. Probiotic and high-fiber foods are the key. Find out in which foods as much as possible of this is.
Humans are herbivores; that’s why it is best to eat vegetables, fruits, and grains. Your intestine can also process meat well, but it needs the vegetable foods to do this. Eat, which is right for you, but the main thing is to eat these three favorite substances of your intestine as well: fiber, resistant starch, and lactic acid bacteria.
Not just vegetarians and vegans need to eat Fiber
Beans are good sources of fiber. Fiber is found mainly in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and cereals. It’s the fibers of the plants that your gut likes. Already in the stomach, they thicken the food to a pulp. It will satisfy you longer. Some fiber binds water and then swells in the intestine. As a result, the food puree is more, and so it is tight in the gut, the mush must go out faster. And that means no constipation.
Other fibers mixed into a delicious puree for your intestinal bacteria. For example, they keep the mucosa in the intestine fit. Drink porridge and a glass of orange juice; this way, the body can absorb the nutrients better. These fibers will rebuild your intestinal mucosa.
Dietary fiber, above all, feeds the good bacteria in the intestine. The more you have, the better, because the good keep the bad ones in check. Harmful intestinal bacteria spread if, for example, you overeat meat or packaged products with lots of fat and sugar. The Hamburger is, therefore, not for the good intestinal bacteria. Maybe if you would combine it with a large salad, it could be enough to keep your intestinal flora in balance.
A good rule: Eat five hands full of fruit and vegetables every day, your gut will get plenty of fiber and will thank you.
Foods that are high in fiber include:
Chia seeds and Millet.
Resistant Starch makes your gut strong
The resistant starch is one of the dietary fibers. It arises when starchy plant fibers are cooked or baked and then cooled again. Potatoes, peas, beans, wholemeal bread, and rice are sources of resistant starch and provide a good source of nutrition for your intestinal bacteria.
Some of the bacteria break down the starch in the colon, producing butyric acid. The intestinal mucosa and the blood vessels in the intestinal wall urgently need this butyric acid. It ensures that the mucous membrane remains stable and keeps away toxins and pathogens.
At the same time, butyric acid ensures that the ph value in the intestine is low. Hence, it counteracts inflammation and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
Lactic acid – acidifies your health
Our intestinal bacteria love it sour. For a sufficiently acidic intestinal flora, you need a lot of lactobacilli – and they are in yogurt, sauerkraut, and pickled vegetables, which is why it is one of the so-called probiotic foods.
Lactobacteria and bifidobacteria are the names of the little guys, and they are called lactic acid bacteria because they produce lactic acid while they bathe in your food. It will predigest your food, which is a sophisticated process.
Because you eat both bacteria and your lactic acid. They get into your gut, multiply, and the lactic acid provides them with a perfect environment for their work. Their most important task is to fight putrefactive bacteria. But they can only do that if they are in the majority.
That’s why good food also brings many lactic acid bacteria. They ensure a balanced intestinal flora, and this, in turn, ensures a strong immune system. Besides, the lactic acid bacteria produce essential vitamins and the enzyme lactase. With lactase, the lactose is broken down.
People who suffer from lactose intolerance can specifically alleviate the symptoms with lactic acid bacteria.
However, you destroy lactic acids when you heat them. In natural yogurt, you can still find the living lactic acid bacteria. Sauerkraut from the supermarket is usually made with heat and preserved. That kills the lactic acid.
If you want to do your bowel a favor, take fresh sauerkraut from the health food store or the farmers market. It is not cooked, but fermented. In this process, vegetables are placed in salt varnishes and sealed airtight. It is fascinating because the lactic acid bacteria multiply by themselves.
There are many famous dishes made according to this principle, such as the traditional Korean dish kimchi, Japanese miso paste, sour cucumbers, and the fermented kombucha tea.
Lactic acid bacteria are in:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Kimchi and miso.
Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts, fermented food, yogurt, cheese, kefir, sauerkraut, and pickled vegetables. Your gut will thank you and you will be happy, in a good mood and prevent depression.
The gut and psyche are closely connected.
The way to a man’s heart goes through his stomach. But does the gut also influence your feelings?
When I repress my emotion my stomach keeps score.– Enoch Powell
What a nice feeling to be in love! Then we have butterflies in our stomach, and love passes through our stomach. Somewhat funny as some proverbs suggest that emotions like love and our gut are related. Fear also makes something to our digestion when we literally shit our pants, or when the stomach turns, when something feels disgusting.
Read > New Insights on Gut Permeability and Depression
Does your gut influence your feelings?
Scientists have been asking this question for many years There is an intestinal brain axis. Certain bacteria, for example, produce neurotransmitters, hormones such as serotonin, and other substances that affect the brain and nerves.
Good food makes you happy
Although science has so far only vague explanations for this phenomenon, it is clear: our diet influences our mood. The purpose of having the gut to influence mood is more or less unresolved for scientists. But some explanations sound logical.
When something goes wrong in the gut, the brain makes alarm.
There is no separate area for digestion in the brain. It seems that the gut works on its own and does not depend on the brain, giving it orders.
Nevertheless, research assumes that it watches over the work in the gut like a kind of central computer. If there is an imbalance in the intestinal flora or inflammation in the body. the brain sounds the alarm, and that can also affect our good mood. But if there are enough nutrients and everything goes smoothly, then the brain does not interfere.
Reason enough to provide your intestines with the right nutrients to keep the intestinal flora in balance and to feel well not only physically, but also psychologically. The right food is good for the body and soul and keeps you and your gut happy and away from depression. Because the gut influences your feelings.
See also > Are You Acidic? Symptoms That Show And What Can Help
MICROBIOME – HOW TO TAKE CARE OF A HEALTHY INTESTINAL FLORA
And > Does sunlight change our gut microbiome?
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