How many of you feel stressed? Is that perhaps why you clicked on this article? I bet so…
It’s estimated that 75-90% of all doctors’ visits are for conditions that are related to stress (stress.org). With numerous surveys confirming that adults perceive they are under much more stress than a decade or two ago, it gets one thinking about the changes we can make to help calm that nervous system and avoid any long term problems.
Chronic or long term stress can lead to a plethora of problems, such as:
- Increased belly fat
- Food intolerance and food allergies
- Leaky Gut
- Elevated blood sugar
- Increased inflammation
- An altered microbiome
- Increased risk for gastroesophageal reflux disease, indigestion, and ulcers
- Aggravated irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, symptoms
- Increased risk for small-bowel intestinal overgrowth
- lowered immunity
- mood swings
Stress is an unavoidable occurrence in everybody’s life, but there are actionable steps you can take today that can help avoid these issues.
The brain has a direct effect on the stomach and intestines and vice versa.
Have you ever had a gut-wrenching experience? Maybe before a nervous speech, you found yourself running to the loo more frequently? That’s because the gut-brain connection is incredibly strong.
Our guts are home to over 100 million neurons, that’s as many as our spinal column. They’re also home to 40 different neurotransmitters, which is as many as our brain. Our gut microbes also produce a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps control feelings of fear and anxiety which are often the emotions felt when one is stressed.
There has been plenty of studies emphasizing the importance that what we eat can affect how we think and how we act.
These studies have shown that when patients focus on sticking to an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, which includes getting enough sleep, getting a good quality probiotics, focusing on staying hydrated, as well as making the shift to a plant-focused diet that is rich in nutrient dense and colorful foods, they found that their cortisol levels lowered and they felt less tension and aches in their bodies.
This is why when working with clients that are struggling with anxiety, depression, and stress I start by taking a look at their plates.
Another study was published in the U.S National Institute of Health that tested this theory on men and women by giving them vegan and omnivore diets. The study found that in both men and women, that a vegan diet which included a diet rich in fruits and vegetable, legumes, whole grains, and healthy fats, had reduced stress. The study concluded; “a strict plant-based diet does not appear to negatively impact mood, in fact, reduction of animal food intake may have mood benefits.” (vegan herald).
Eating a plant-based diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes which are full of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals, free of cholesterol, and low in calories and saturated fat can be a safe and effective way to help lessen the effects of chronic stress. That, paired with making lifestyle shifts can profoundly have an impact on someone’s health and well-being.
- You can read more about how healing the gut helps to heal the brain here: Click Here
- For more guidance and tips on Gut and Brain, check out Healing To Happy
- For Consultation, Click Here
Laura is trained in holistic nutrition and specializes in gut health, specifically in the gut-brain connection and is a mental health advocate. After battling her way through depression, disordered eating, and hormonal imbalances that left her with crippling digestive issues, Laura healed herself through food, lifestyle, radical shifts in consciousness, and mindfulness practices + tools. She now guides others through their own healing journey with 8-week programs and one-on-one sessions done online from anywhere in the world. Currently she is running her 30-Day Gut recharge with her clients to enhance their lifestyle.
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