What is the Link Between your Brain, Gut and Mood?
There is so much communication going on between your gut and brain. Your gut plays a huge role in telling your brain how to feel eg happy, sad, foggy, anxious. And the food you eat impacts what your gut is going to tell your brain. Let us break it down for you.
Firstly, let’s look at your brain. It is responsible for sending orders throughout your body that tell you what to do, like breathing and moving your muscles. Your brain also receives messages from the rest of your body which tell you what you hear, see, smell, taste and feel both physically and emotionally.
Your brain sends and receives all this information through connections called neurons. There are 100 billion neurons in the human brain which are telling your body how to behave and how to feel.
Your Gut and Brain Talk to Each Other
The gut is often referred to as your second brain as it has a whopping 100 million neurons which connect to your brain. This means there is some serious communicating going between your gut and brain!
You know how you get butterflies when you’re nervous, or when your gut gets that sickening stomach pain when you receive bad news…. well this is an example of how your gut and brain are so connected!
Communication before you eat
Think about when your mouth starts to salivate if you think of biting into a delicious piece of cake. This is because when you look at or think about food, your brain immediately sends signals to your stomach to start releasing digestive juices to prepare your body for incoming food.
But it’s not just your brain sending information to your gut, this communication goes both ways – and it’s the food you eat actually responsible for what messages will be sent from your gut to your brain, impacting how you feel. Healthy food keeps a happy mind. Unhealthy food can lead to an unhappy mind.
Communication when you eat
You have trillions of bacteria taking residence in your gut and these little guys are responsible for the information that is sent to your brain which can influence your mood and emotions. Did you know that your gut bacteria are responsible for producing 90% of your bodies serotonin – this is the hormone that makes you happy!
Your gut bacteria rely on the food you eat, to flourish and thrive. How can you expect to be happy, if your gut bacteria aren’t happy?
A diet with lots of processed foods high in sugar, refined carbs, unhealthy fats, preservatives and additives will not keep these little guys happy. This can have negative impacts on your mood and feelings. Keep your bacteria friends happy by eating a wide range of fruits, veggies and wholegrains, and in return they will help to keep you happy,
Find out how to look after your gut bacteria here.
Check out this week’s healthy snack which is jam-packed with fibre to keep your gut bacteria happy!
Serves: 4 snack size Time:10mins Cost: $8.10 ($2/serve)
- 1 Wholemeal pita bread
- 3/4 cup hummus
- handful of Olives
- ½ punnet cherry tomatoes
- ½ cucumber
- 1 small Capsicum
- ¼ block feta
- handful Parsley
- pinch of Paprika
- drizzle of olive oil
- Preheat oven to 1800C (fan forced)
- Slice pita bread into triangles
- Bake for 8mins
- Slice tomatoes, cucumber, capsicums and olives into small pieces
- Smother a dish in hummus and sprinkle over paprika
- Layer sliced vege over top
- Drizzle in olive oil, season with salt and pepper
- Crumble over feta
- Chop parsley and sprinkle over
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