How your stress levels affect your gut health

How your stress levels affect your gut health

You know the term gut feeling that something isn’t right? Well there is a scientific explanation behind this theory as the gut brain connection is stronger than you think.

The vagus nerve for example is the biggest nerve connecting the gut to the brain and studies have shown that stress inhibits these signals causing problems in the gut.

Another study found that people suffering from IBS or Crohn’s disease, also had reduced vagus signals and discovered that rats who were given a probiotic reduced the amount of stress in their blood.

The connection essentially lies in the fact that your gut and brain are connected through neurotransmitters which control feelings and emotions.

Gut microbes also produce a neurotransmitter known as GABA, which helps reduce feelings of fear and anxiety.

Studies show that probiotics can help produce the production of GABA, reducing anxiety and depression.

Gut bacteria also affects your brain health, and in one study with participants taking a prebiotic called galactooligosaccharides significantly reduced the amount of stress hormone cortisol.

If your body produces too much cortisol, then this can affect your sleep and weight cycles and ultimately push your body out of balance.

So apart from taking probiotics, what else can you do to ensure your gut bacteria is in order?

Fermented foods such as yoghurt, kefir and sauerkraut are good foods to consume to help the production of healthy gut bacteria.

Foods with prebiotic fibre are also a good source of gut-friendly prebiotics. Prebiotics help reduce the stress hormone and can be found in whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Prebiotic fibre is also one of the key ingredients of Eimele’s shakes, so adding these to your diet can also help.

Polyphenol-rich foods such as green tea, olive oil and coffee are also recommended to help increase healthy gut bacteria.

Other than that, it’s important to alleviate your stress levels. Regular exercise, meditation and good sleep are all tools that can help manage your overall mindset.

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