Gut-Brain Harmony: Cultivating Mental Well-Being Through Gut Health

Do you remember that during school time when you forgot to finish the homework, or any teacher caught you red-handed during any activity, how nervous you felt? The stomach-in-knots you felt because of the fear have a shred of scientific evidence. Also, the same when you see your crush, the butterflies you feel in your stomach during that time. All of these are because of our mind and its thinking. We always thought that our brain is directly connected to our stomach, and that’s why we are feeling so. But, the reverse is true. As all our brain activities are directly getting influenced by our gut health. So, a healthy gut will result in optimum cognitive functions.

What is gut health?

Gut health refers to the state and optimal functioning of the gut-intestinal tract. The GI tract comprises the digestive organs like the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. The gut is comprised of a colony of bacteria. Out of these, there are good as well as bad bacteria. A healthy gut is one that always outnumbers the good bacteria over the bad bacteria. A healthy gut lining consists of probiotics as the beneficial bacteria strains. So, effective gut health means the proper digestion of food, proper absorption of all nutrients, and effective waste elimination. Probiotic gummies for gut health enable the gut to perform efficiently and harmoniously.

What is gut-brain harmony?

The interlinking of the gut and brain is one of the important functions of our human health. Our digestive tract holds a nervous system of its own. It consists of more nerve cells than our spinal cord. It is quite shocking to know that almost 95% of our body’s serotonin forms in our gut (Serotonin is a feel-good hormone). The moment we eat a meal, all these nerve cells start performing their function. Also, the colony of bacteria living in our gut plays an important role in the gut-brain axis. As we feed the healthy gut bacteria good food, they, in turn, send signals to the brain releasing all the feel-good hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. So, we can say that what we eat will decide our mood respectively.

Significance of a healthy gut-microbiome:

A healthy gut microbiome means the number of microorganisms (yeast or bacteria) residing in the gut is way more than the harmful bacteria. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the most beneficial bacterial strains found. There are several reasons which prove the significance of a healthy gut microbiome:

  • Effective digestion: A healthy gut facilitates the effective breakdown of foods and fats and provides energy to perform tasks in a better way. As these beneficial bacteria in the gut produce enzymes that are beneficial to aid the digestion process. Probiotic gummies for digestive health can improve this process and can result in efficient digestive health.
  • Healthy immune system: It is one of the major functions of the gut microbiome to support a healthy immune system. The healthy bacteria ward off the evil bacteria and protects human health and thus affecting the immune health.
  • Alleviates mood: Many pieces of research have shown that a healthy gut has a profound impact on brain functioning. The gut-brain bidirectional communication pathway results in the neurotransmitters allow impacting the mood of the individual. Therefore, a healthy gut microbiome concludes optimal mental health with low risks of depression and anxiety.
  • Prevents inflammation: A healthy gut microbiota results in low inflammation and thus prevents inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, a healthy gut prevents vaginal infections in women. It helps in maintaining a healthy pH down there and reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.

Factors responsible for gut health disruption:

Nowadays, several factors have emerged to cause harm to the gut flora. The balance of the good and bad bacteria in the gut can be influenced by several external as well as internal reasons. This balance can be altered due to factors like age, physical activities, stress, and other ones. Let us list down some of the factors here:

  • Not eating a balanced diet can hamper the growth of the beneficial strains of bacteria. Eating a varied diet comprising of all fruits, vegetables, and all the required cereals and grains. Altogether these food items can help maintain diverse gut flora.
  • Antibiotic intake can alter the balance of the gut microbiota. Due to the antibiotics usage, it can feed the harmful bacteria residing in the gut and thereby raising their count.
  • Lack of proper sleep and taking too much stress can also affect the health of the gut microbiome. Moreover, smoking cigarettes, and consuming alcohol can hamper the health of the individual, thereby affecting the gut flora.

Hence, the above reasons can indicate the importance of maintaining a healthy gut ecosystem. A healthy gut ecosystem can balance healthier overall well-being. As aforementioned, a healthy gut can infer several health benefits.

Impact of the gut-brain axis in mental health disorders:

The bidirectional communication pathway between gut and mental health plays a role in this gut-brain axis. The troubles in your head causing the same trouble to your stomach is real and vice-versa. All our emotions of happiness, sadness, worries, excitement, etc. will trigger the health of our gut. This connection works both ways. In the same way, a troubled gut can lead to stress, depression, and anxiety issues. So, psychological factors can affect the physiology of the human GI tract.

However, there are certain factors responsible for this gut-brain mental disorder:

  • Firstly, short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, propionate, and acetate are formed by the fermentation of fibers in the gut. These molecules, in turn, can directly affect brain functions and neurological signaling. As these molecules have the power to cross the blood-brain barrier.
  • Secondly, inflammation caused by dysbiosis (imbalance in the gut) can result in a ‘leaky gut’. Consequently, this can cause harmful or toxic bacterial strains to pass on to the blood. These bacteria can affect mental health in turn.
  • Moreover, the production of serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine in the gut is directly linked with brain functioning. All these neurological hormones help in emotional balance, mood regulation, and cognitive functioning. A disbalance in these hormones can potentially contribute to mental health disorders.

Strategies for improving gut health:

Balancing a healthy gut microbiota is very necessary to improve the overall well-being of an individual. As we have seen so far, the role of the gut in most of the physiological functions of our body, lets us know which habits and foods will lead to a healthy gut.

When comes to food, probiotics are the most sought food items for a happy gut. They help keep the balance of the healthy bacteria living in the gut. Moreover, Probiotics are those healthy microorganisms required for the optimal function of the gut. For maintaining a balance of the gut, the diet should contain the required levels of probiotics and prebiotics. Here, prebiotics is the food items on which probiotics are fed. Therefore, the diet should consist of a balanced pre and pro-nutrition.

Dietary recommendations:

Probiotics are available through fermented food items like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, kanji, kombucha, etc. Whereas prebiotics are fiber-rich food items. Some food items containing prebiotics are pears, kiwis, chia seeds, blueberries, lentils, walnuts, etc. Although sometimes it becomes difficult to consume the food according to the nutritional needs of the body. So here comes the role of supplements, i.e., probiotic supplements. These supplements enable the person to intake the required nutritional needs accordingly.

Vitagoli’s pre and probiotic gummies are an effective yet convenient go-to solution for combating all the above-said needs. These gummies assist in healthy digestive functions, a stronger immune system, and prevent mood disorders and anxiety, and depression-related issues. These delectable candy-like gummies are a show-stopper in the field of pre and probiotics supplements. Providing many such benefits, these gummies have to offer many more. Surprisingly, these gummies are vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, and trans-fat-free also. Therefore, these gummies are a required dose of nutrition for persons facing any issue related to pre-and probiotic deficiency. These gummies will show effective and visible results for gut health which in turn will elevate a person’s mental health.

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