World Mental Health Day - The Gut-Brain Connection

Today is World Mental Health Day, and with the effects of coronavirus (both physically and mentally) still very much present, we thought we’d share a little bit about the gut-brain connection and how you can support the health of both!

Have you ever felt “butterflies” in your stomach? Have you ever felt nauseous in certain situations? These symptoms are no coincidence, the gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion.

Think about the times when you have felt these symptoms; were you angry, stressed, anxious, sad? If you were, these were likely in fact symptoms of the emotions you were feeling at that time. As your gut and brain are so closely linked, we believe it’s equally important to look after your mental AND gut health!

So, what can you do to look after your gut?
Making healthy decisions when it comes to nutrition is so important for gut health, bone broth contains amino acids, such as glutamine, which studies suggest may help support digestion and heal the intestinal barrier. Bone broth is also high in Gelatin and Glycine, which have been known to reduce the inflammation LPS (what is this?) causes and Glycine may also protect against gastric ulcers.

In addition, other foods such as; ginger, garlic, yoghurt, bananas, peas, olive oil and almonds have all been linked to good gut health function. So next time you are cooking, try to think how these ingredients can be combined to make a nourishing gut-loving meal - Why not try out our recipe for overnight oats, soaked in bone broth, and then garnish with yoghurt, bananas and almonds... Perfect!

We believe that practising mindful techniques and exercises can help to improve your mental wellbeing, these are simple techniques such as yoga, breathing exercises and spending time reflecting and working on your five senses.

Firstly, yoga is a great way to relax the mind and body, it gives you time to relax, think and incorporates gentle exercise into your day.

Breathing exercises can happen at any time of the day, as it is a simple practice which involves focusing solely on your breathing, and can be very useful if you feel anxious, sad, angry, or if your mood just feels a little low, it’s a great exercise to allow you to pause and clear the mind.

Five senses activity involves consciously focusing individually on all five senses and appreciating each one. It allows for clarity, reflection and appreciation, you don’t need to be physically holding anything to focus on touch, it might simply be the feel of your clothes on your body! It’s a great exercise to help connect or reconnect to reality and is found to be very calming in stressful situations.

With the strong link between your gut and your brain, we believe that by supporting one you are in turn supporting the other! So, why not try to improve your gut and mental health by trying some of our techniques above, and let us know how if you found this blog helpful.