You may have heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Now researchers are finding that your mental health is, in fact, connected to the health of your gut. A healthy gut contains billions of microorganisms that continuously influence interactions between your gut and your brain. Experts say this two-way communication affects not only the gastrointestinal system, but also affects your emotions and other cognitive functions as well. In fact, some important brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) are even produced in the gut.
Not surprisingly, the food we eat plays an important role in maintaining a healthy gut “biome.” A varied and balanced diet is essential. Foods containing healthy fats (e.g., olive oil, oily fish), fermented foods (e.g., yogurt that contains live active cultures), and foods that are high in fiber all contribute to maintaining not only a healthy gut, but brain health as well.
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Mental Health-Gut Health
By Tara Ford, LCSW