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Mental health and gut health go hand in hand

Ask someone who is anxious or depressed – what are you eating and drinking?  Feeling anxious or low in mood can greatly affect food and drink choices.  It is a double-edged sword, we cannot eat well if we feel terrible and we need quality nutrition.  The studies around micronutrients show it does not matter what state people are in and that they benefit from taking micronutrients until they feel better and then a maintenance dose is beneficial at this point. I am trained to provide micronutrients. 

Our brain needs food and good quality food at that.  Why do we need good quality food?  Our digestive system needs a variety of foods to produce friendly prebiotics to populate the bowel. This is important for many reason’s - one being how we process vitamin b12. Our small intestine relies heavily on the production of essential enzymes to do this.  What happens if we are stressed, depressed or anxious – our blood supply moves away from our digestive system to fight the good fight and be alert to problems and potential danger.  This is what used to occur in the past and today what do we see?  We see that this is a constant - being on duty, on-call, worried, tired, annoyed, angry, over-comitted, depressed, anxious and busy.  Vitamin b12 deficiency appears to be more widespread and is linked to poor mental health.  Micronutrients contain good levels of vitamin b12.

In my work in mental health my colleagues know I like to talk about bowel health – and I make no apology for this.  I try to encourage people to drink water not fizzy, offer a banana you never know one day they might say yes.  Simple foods are very good for us. I know if I am tired that having even a small amount of good quality fruit and yoghurt with nuts and seeds is going to be good for me.  A few tips brown foods have very little if any nutrition.   Eat a rainbow of healthy foods your mental health and gut will be so pleased if you do.  We need to protect our blood-brain barrier and in my view healthy bowel motions help this as we need to eliminate not encourage waste to circulate!

A great question Naturopath’s ask is ‘what is normal for you’ or ‘is this normal for you’ how often do you have a bowel motion, look for changes. See your doctor if changes are sudden.   Look after your bowels.  Mental health and gut health just go together.

 

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