This week is Brain Awareness week. A week dedicated to increasing public awareness of the benefits of brain research. I wanted to take a bit of a holistic approach to 2 common issues I see in my practice often. Perhaps you can relate:
Do you ever experience a foggy mind around 3pm? The kind where all you can think of is laying down for a nap. It’s really too bad you’re at your office desk!
Erratic behaviour, mood swings and mental health may not be stand alone health issues. Current research confirms that the health of your mind is strongly tied to the integrity of your digestive system. You may have thought that your brain was in charge but in fact it may be your gut that’s calling the shots.
How you ask?
Your ENS, Enteric Nervous System is one of the main divisions of the nervous system which governs the function of your gastrointestinal system. It’s embedded in the wall of your gut and works in conjunction with your brain.
This communication line explain how food can deeply affect our mood. As an example when we eat a fatty meal, we feel good because the cell receptors located in our gut lining detects this fat and sends comforting nerve signals to our brain. This is also why healthy fats are so brain nourishing.
So in order to calm irritability, short temperedness and an inability to focus, make sure you get sufficient healthy fats in your diet. We can derive these from both plant and animal sources.
So if you suffer from anxiety, depression or erratic moods, make sure to address your digestive health. This is one aspect of keeping your moods and mental health in stable condition.
Here are 3 ways to ensure this:
1. Avoid Constipation: Don’t allow your colon get backed up. Keep your bowels moving- you should be having 1-2 healthy bowel movements per day. Less than that can signal constipation which should never go unaddressed.
2. Consume enough fiber of both sorts: Include plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet from various sources. Soluble fiber dissolves with water in the gut, while insoluble fiber adds weight to the stool and is excreted to remove waste and toxins.
3. Give your colon a workout: Exercise regularly with the goal of making sure you flex that large muscle which is your colon.
This health quickie should help keep your digestive system and moods in check!
If you do suffer from depression, anxiety or mood issues, make sure you check your gut for dysbiosis or other dysfunction. You may just find many answers hidden in your bowel.
All my best,