The food you fuel your body with not only changes the makeup of your microbiome, but it also affects your brain chemistry. The microbiome wall is imbedded with over 100 million neurons which send signals to the brain. These signals are sent when your gut processes the food you eat. Think of it as converting your food to a fuel source for your brain. Your gut turns the food you eat into chemical and hormone signals that use the neurons in the microbiome wall to send signals to the brain. The more good bacteria you have, the easier it is for this fuel to reach the brain. Good bacteria from whole food is used to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter. Your body uses serotonin to regulate sleep and appetite, balance your mood and ease pain. Good bacteria also line the gut and intestine wall, creating a barrier to prevent toxins from entering. Bad bacteria, on the other hand, create inflammation in the body. When your body is inflamed, it becomes harder for neurons to transmit signals. Inflammation interferes with your body's signaling pathways, reducing the amount of fuel your brain (and the rest of your body) receives. The less fuel the brain has, the slower it functions. Research has shown that even when the balance of the microbiome is tweaked slightly, it alters brain chemistry. This means that your thoughts, feelings, and mood are all affected.
Our body functions as a connected whole. Therefore, to address the health of a particular area, we have to address our health as a whole. If you are not feeling yourself or have been struggling with your mental wellbeing, it's time to take a look at what you are eating. The healthier you eat, the healthier your brain will be.
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Reflect: Is your Mind-Emotions Serving You Well?