Original image from @coookwithchris

Do You Know: Gut health plays a huge role in your mental health. There is a communication system between your gut and brain called the gut-brain axis (GBA). They’re connected both physically and biochemically in a number of different ways and may even influence each other’s health.

Not surprisingly 40-60% of patients with gastrointestinal issues have psychiatric issues, while 50% of psychiatric patients have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Cooking with Chris).

“Lots of things that people don’t think about, like depression or anxiety, are very clearly modified by your gut microbes,” says Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at King’s College London, and author of 2 books on dietary and gut health (Guardian).

Animal studies show that changes in the gut affect brain health, including increasing the risks of Alzheimer’s disease and depression.

For good mental health, it would be wise to address the gut. The gut microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms living in our gastrointestinal tract that interact with the nutrients we digest.

Diet can cause an imbalance of bacteria in the gut, which is associated with inflammation. Studies show that inflammation can negatively affect mood and lead to anxiety-related mental health problems. (Fortune)

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, maintaining a diet in 8 main food groups, including vegetables, fruits, seafood, and nuts among others, benefited a person’s overall microbiome and gut health.

“Ultra-processed foods are bad for your gut microbes and we should avoid eating them regularly,” says Prof Spector.