Firstly, how is gut health and anxiety connected?
The gut and brain are VERY much connected and in more ways than one.
Anxiety and gut health almost come hand in hand, as there are many overlapping ways in which our digestive health and moods affect one another.
If you experience psychological issues, such as anxiety and stress then this can lead to GI discomfort, conversely, the gut works as a second brain that produces its own set of chemical messengers. It sends off a signal in the nervous system causing anxiety.
So how can we combat both?
EAT HEALTHY FATS
Your brain loves fat. It wants and craves it after all the brain is made up of 50% fat. The nervous system, however, needs a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids from animal foods.
Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fat that is essential for the proper function of the body, including inflammation modulators. Humans require ample amounts for the nervous system to function.
Where can you get omega-3? Eat wild-caught salmon, eat pasture-raised/grass-fed meat, limit omega-6.
SUPPLEMENT WITH VITAMIN B12
B12 is known for its physical health benefits. It’s also responsible for promoting immune system function, red blood cell formulation, healthy circulation, and proper digestion.
It’s also extremely essential for maintaining a healthy brain function and promoting positive moods. It assists in normal nerve growth and development, it improves communication between nerve cells, it helps with memory functions and calms and balances moods.
PRACTICE MIND-BODY RELAXATION
Relaxation tools can help rewire the nervous system. When anxiety and chronic worry overwhelm the body, it kicks into a chronic stress response. This is an activation of the sympathetic nervous system/fight or flight mode.
When stimulated for days on end, the changes to your body are significant, creating a racing heart, low immunity appetite changes.
How to fix it? Practice deep breathing, try progressive muscle relaxation, stand outside, download mindful meditation, practice gratitude, use essential oils.
SUPPLEMENT WITH GLUTAMINE
L-glutamine is used directly by the brain as fuel, as well as to build and balance GABA. It has been shown to enhance both mental performance and memory.
Glutamine is quickly absorbed and can provide an uplifting mood, similar to longed-for stimulants. It’s the most common amino acid in muscle tissues and improves mental energy while promoting relaxation and memory.
Most interestingly, it elevates levels of growth hormones in your body, making your cells multiply faster.
STABILIZE YOUR CHOLESTEROL
Approximately, 23% of the total cholesterol in the human body is found in the central nervous system. This means that when cholesterol levels are too low, neurological problems abound.
The link between neurological issues and low cholesterol has been studied over the past three decades, and outcomes vary between depression, bipolar disorder, violence, and suicide.
Cholesterol impacts the cell membrane integrity, myelin synthesis, hormone balance, and vitamin D connection.
What stabilizes low cholesterol? Pastured eggs, healthy fats, bone broth, and high vitamin fish oil.