Happy Gut, Happy Life!

Our gut is the home or integral part of many systems and functions of our body. To start 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut. Serotonin is known as the “happy chemical” because it helps promote a good mood. Our gut bacteria is also the site of production for many neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid, all of which are key role players in helping us to feel happy, a sense of reward and anxiety.

The gut even has its own nervous system known as the enteric nervous system which controls digestion and nutrient absorption. It also communicates with the brain, which means when their are big changes in gut function it may send signals to the brain which trigger mood changes. Scientists have even found a connection between the vagus nerve and the central nervous system.

This is important because the vagus nerve is a key component of the parasympathetic nervous system which controls the body’s ability to relax. Research has even shown proper diet can help decrease symptoms of depression. While an unbalanced diet higher in sugar, processed foods and saturated fats are tied to worse gut health and higher risk of depression.

Good gut health is also shown to help lower perceived stress and a stress response, helping to decrease overall stress and anxiety markers. The benefits of taking care of your gut are endless! Even if you do not realize all of these great side effects at first, they make a massive impact on your mood and further overall health. It takes time and being consistent with diet, but this will lead to other aspects of your journey to improve more easily.

You will find it is easier to stick to a routine, get better sleep, and go workout when you are in a good mood!

February 20, 2023 — Bianca Shah