Did you know that hidden in the walls of our digestive system, we have a second brain called the gut-brain-axis and it is transforming our understanding of the links between good gut health and mood?
The gut-brain-axis (GBA) consists of a two-way communication between our brain and our enteric nervous system, (neurons in our gut that control the function of our gastrointestinal tract).
This system of nerves in our gastrointestinal system has over 100 million neurons!!! This system has so many nerves our gut has earned the nickname “the gut brain” or “the second brain”.
Stress, anxiety and depression can have a direct impact on our “gut brain” and how well our gut works, and vice versa.
Our “gut brain” is influenced by our sympathetic (“fight or flight”) and parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) modes and sends signals along the vagus nerve (an information highway) to our brain, relaying important messages about what’s going on.
This can influence how well our gut functions and helps explain why during times of worry, anxiety and stress (fight or flight) we may experience:
This two-way communication between our brain and our gut brain influences how we feel and think on a daily basis. A prime example of this in action is the feeling of butterflies in our stomach when we feel nervous or anxious before an important meeting or exam.
Probiotics and good gut bacteria support anxiety, mood and mental health
The balance of our gut bacteria matter when it comes to mental health. Recent advances in gut health research has highlighted the importance of certain gut bacteria in this bi-directional communication.
The health of our gut and the variety of our gut microbes influence how we think and how we feel.
Addressing leaky gut or any other gut imbalances is an essential step when it comes to supporting mental wellbeing, such as:
How does the gut brain and our actual brain communicate?
Our gut bacteria chat with our brain and vice versa and use different modes of communication, including:
The health of our gut has an effect on our brain and how we feel from day to day. Inflammation, a lack of microbial diversity and even specific species of gut bacteria have been linked with poor mental health including anxiety, low mood and depression. Research shows that altering bacteria in the gut through specific dietary changes may help to treat stress-related mood disorders and anxiety.
Contact me now to find out more about my 90-day personalised 1:1 support package to nail your nutrition and solve your anxiety and gut symptoms for good.
As you're probably aware by now, I really love healthy eating; it makes me really happy. Whilst eating nutritious food is a big part of health and wellness, there are lots of other aspects at play too, such as: exercise, sleep, stress management and a positive outlook. These all contribute to you becoming your happiest, healthiest, glowiest self this winter!
Your immune system is your first line of defence against cold and flu so a great place to focus on. You can easily support your immune system naturally this winter with the help of Vitamin C, D, Zinc and Beta Glucans. The whole family can benefit, so I've included some child friendly tips too, just scroll to the end.
Beta Glucans 1,3/1,6 are derived from mushrooms such as shiitake and reishi and scientific studies show they increase the ability of white blood cells to fight infection when you come into contact with bacteria or viruses. Clinical studies consistently show that 250mg per day lowers infection rates significantly.
Probably most people associate Vitamin C rich foods with citrus fruit like oranges and lemons. However many vegetables and non-citrus fruits contain high doses of vitamin C as well. Eat more kiwis, peppers, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. However, the best way to get a therapeutic dose is to supplement daily. Studies show that Vitamin C taken at 1000-2000mg per day shortens the duration of colds.
Zinc plays critical roles in the proper functioning of your immune system. Elderly people are especially prone to developing reduced immunity related to poor zinc nutrition. Eat more pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, lentils and spinach and supplement 15mg per day.
A recent review of eleven studies including over 5500 people concluded that Vitamin D has a protective effect against respiratory tract infections. Add 800-2000IU per day for adults and at least 400IU for kids. To get a daily dose of 1000IU from diet alone you would need to eat 2-4 servings of salmon every day!! More on Vitamin D here>>
Caring for your kids, naturally.
Make sure your kids are taking 400IU Vitamin D daily over winter. They come in handy drops so easy to add to water or directly onto their tongue.
A good quality kiddies Probiotic supplement can also help support immunity. Capsules can be opened and mixed into foods like yoghurt and fresh juice.
Anti-viral Elderberry is a really yummy tasting bug and germ fighter. Take at the first sign of symptoms to help shorten the duration of cold or flu. Make sure you buy a sugar free elderberry liquid such as Pukka or Sambucol Sugar Free.
Get in touch with me if you would like more help selecting the right supplements, as not all products stand up to scientific scrutiny.
Don’t let heat rash spoil your (responsible) sun holiday this year!
Prickly heat, heat rash or 'sweat rash' as it might be known - those itchy, sore little red spots that start to appear on wrists and the folds of forearms and creep up on you is a an allergic reaction to heat or sun exposure.
The 'prickles' are due to raised levels of histamine in the skin.
Natural antihistamine supplements include:
Discover how to maintain your Stellar Health when travelling especially if you have food intolerances here>>
Don't let tummy troubles and sunburn get in the way of your fun this summer. Here are a few summer essentials I always have in my beach bag.
Hello! Welcome to Stellar Health.