Have you ever had days when you’re moody and you don’t know why? It certainly happens and many times it’s your gut bacteria sending you a message. Microorganisms in your belly not only digest food, but they also secrete chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid, which are mood regulators.
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What many people don’t realize is that there is a connection between your gut bacteria and your brain. Gastrointestinal problems have been linked to anxiety and depression. Many times our diet and lifestyle can affect our mood and there’s a reason why people who eat healthier are often happier.
- Sleep: This is probably the easiest thing you could do for your overall health. Many people take sleep for granted, but if you don’t get enough rest, you’re not allowing your body to recharge overnight. In fact feeling sleepy and getting insomnia is something that could be linked to your gut bacteria.
- Exercise: Many people get a high from exercise, they get their heart rate up and feel energized. Exercise induces changes in gut microbiota, there are several physiological changes that we get from exercise, such as increasing intestinal transit time through the gut, impacting your metabolism, changing immune function which are known to affect the microbiota.
- Probiotics: This is also known as the good bacteria. Many people start their day off with yogurt, which has probiotics. Yet, many yogurts have too much sugar, but there are other ways to take probiotics, such as in the form of a pill. You can find probiotics that include these: Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus brevis, Bifidobacterium lactis (B. animalis), and Bifidobacterium longum.
- Cut down on sugar: Keeping a diet that is low in sugar is the best thing you could do for your overall health. Sugar feeds the bad bacteria and fungus that grows in your gut and attacks the intestine wall. This is what also causes inflammation in your stomach. Eliminating processed foods is the easiest way to keep your sugar intake down.
- Eat more fiber: By eating more plants or vegetables and grains that are high in fiber you achieve microbiota diversity. Eating 39 grams of dietary fiber helps keep your intestinal lining clean, as well as maintain a variety of bacteria, which is good for your health.
By taking these steps in eliminating bad gut bacteria, you are not only pushing away depression and anxiety, but leading a healthier life. By keeping well rested, exercising, and eating right you are also keeping your weight down. There have been several studies that prove that keeping an eye on your gut bacteria can also promote weight loss. When you eat better and exercise you not only feel better, but you’re also taking care of your health, avoiding diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes.