Research from the last ten years has shown that your gut health and nutritional habits impact your mental and emotional health. Gut health can be an important factor in anxiety, depression, stress, and sleeplessness. If your gut health is off-balance, you might not be able to produce enough serotonin to regulate your mood, for example, since gut bacteria produce 95% of the serotonin in your body.
Your gut microbiome also communicates directly with the enteric nervous system — the neurons in your gut — which some have called the “second brain” because of the important way that it participates in mood regulation and communicates with your primary brain.
The full role of these gut neurons is still being understood, but we know they are influential in the connection between digestive issues and mental health. In this month’s article on Austin Fit Magazine, we take a look at five ways to leverage nutritional habits to optimize your mental health.