Gut health has quickly become one of the most talked-about subjects in the health and wellness scene. And, while there has been an increase in awareness as to just how important proper digestive function is, the research behind the gut-brain connection is still emerging.
In this post, we’re talking all about what we do know about this powerful connection, and how supporting digestive health may be a missing link in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The 101 on the Gut-brain Connection
So, what is this gut-brain connection we’re talking about anyway? It’s often referred to as the gut-brain axis, and it’s a bidirectional communication system where the brain communicates with the gut, and the gut communicates with the brain. This is thanks to the vagus nerve, which connects to the two.
And, while the brain is home to 100 million neurons, the gut contains 500 million, which are directly connected to the brain! Yes, that means that we have more neurons in our gut than we do our brain, giving us reason to reevaluate how we think about mental health conditions.
Understanding this gut-brain connection makes a ton of sense when we think about how the body may respond during times of stress. Do you notice those butterflies in your stomach or a loss of appetite while under pressure? This is all linked back to this bidirectional communication system.
On the flip side, poor digestive health can also lead to mental health symptoms or trigger feelings of chronic stress and fear. One reason for this is that gut microbes are responsible for producing GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps produce a calming effect on the body, and ease anxiety. If you don’t have enough beneficial bacteria in the gut, you may not be producing enough of this important neurotransmitter. The result—you may experience heightened symptoms of fear and anxiety.
With all this being said, there are plenty of natural ways to give your digestive health the boost it needs to help support this gut-brain connection.
Natural Remedies to Support Gut Health
#1 Supplement with a Probiotic
Probiotics are one of the most buzzed-about supplements when it comes to supporting a healthy gut. They are super important for establishing a healthy microbiome, and studies have shown that Lactobacillus may even help boost the production of that important neurotransmitter, GABA, helping ease symptoms of anxiety.
The good news is that you can find this beneficial bacteria in our Earth Echo Probiotic, that contains 12 power strains to kick those beneficial bacteria into high gear.
#2 Enjoy Foods That Support The Gut-brain Connection
Nutrition goes a long way in supporting proper gut health and thus supporting the health of our brain. The following foods have been shown to hold some impressive benefits for boosting digestive health.
#3 Reduce Stress
Since the gut communicates with the brain, and the brain sends signals to the gut, doing what we can on both a physical and mental health level is key to creating balance between the two.
Reducing stress is huge. Try incorporating some form of stress reduction into your day, even if it’s just a ten-minute walk, five minutes of meditation, or reading to wind down before bed. Your gut and your brain will benefit from it.
#4 Try Anti-inflammatory Spices
Anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric and ginger also hold powerful benefits for boosting the health of our gut. Not only are they both potent anti-inflammatory superfoods, but molecules found in ginger have been linked to positive changes in the gut microbiome. Similar results have been shown for turmeric as well!
An easy way to get the most bioavailable turmeric and ginger combo you can get your hands on is to supplement with our Turmeric + Ginger capsules. You can be sure that you’re getting the turmeric and ginger your body needs with a high absorption rate and superior bioavailability, giving you the most bang for your buck!
Support Your Gut, Support Your Brain
As you can see, the gut-brain connection is one we cannot ignore. With an imbalanced gut, comes an imbalanced brain. Knowing this gives us the information we need to feel empowered to take the necessary steps to support this powerful communication system.
From cleaner eating to reducing stress, and proper supplementation, we can help give both our gut and our brain a boost.