This summer while selling fermented food at the farmers market a gentleman so proudly let me know that he didn’t need to eat ferments nor take probiotics because he was already “regular”. As much as I always love any topic which involves TMI, I decided to let this one go. I could tell by the look on his face that his mind was made up so I just smiled and said “that’s a start!”. Not too long afterwards his wife who had also been enjoying the market came back to my booth and asked me what I had meant by my response. This opened a great conversation about the many other benefits of eating probiotic rich foods which included maintaining a healthy Gut-Brain connection. (Once again, another female impresses me and I’m proud of my kind).
The role of the Gut-Brain connection and our emotions is not a topic which I would consider to be mainstream, but should be which is why we talk about it as often as we do. Yes, pooping and proud regularity like my friend at the market is important, but are you happy? Like optimal digestive health, there are many factors which will contribute to your emotional well-being and maintaining a symbiotic eco system in your gut is one way to help get you there.
We have all heard of the neurotransmitter: Serotonin. Astoundingly, 95% of our serotonin stores in the body are found IN OUR GUT and “good bacteria” play a role in the production of peripheral serotonin. Anti-depressants for example are designed to enhance our serotonin levels, but only 5% of our stores are found in the brain. Hmmmm I would say right there that’s reason enough to create a hospitable living environment in our gut, don’t you? Furthermore, diseases such as IBS have also been linked to depleted serotonin levels in the body.
Once again as we have mentioned in past posts, this logic goes for the little people in our lives too. Preggo mommies, a healthy gut is important for both you and your baby as well.
So how do we create a hospitable living environment in our guts? Well, with all things in life and nature there are many factors which will contribute to a healthy gut flora. However, a diet rich in probiotic foods is one way to start. Daily intake of your favourite ferment will help to keep you regular like my dear friend at the market, but smiling too.
"Just Shut Up and Try It."