Better Mental Health with the Belly-Brain Bond

Feeling down in the dumps lately?

Well, guess what? It might not be all in your head—it could be in your gut!

That’s right… It turns out “having a gut feeling” might be far more than just a figure of speech.

According to new research, it’s time to pay more attention to what’s going on in our digestive system because it could affect our mental health more than we ever realized.

And that’s ESPECIALLY true in our golden years.

In fact, researchers even pinpointed a specific bacterial strain that’s linked to a rosier outlook.

A groundbreaking study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry confirms what many of us have long suspected: there’s a direct link between gut and brain health.

And this relationship can affect everything from cognitive function to depression risk.

The researchers discovered that the composition of the gut microbiome—the trillions of tiny organisms that call your digestive system home—can have a significant impact on your mood, memory, and overall mental well-being.

They also found that folks with more of the specific bacterial strain Bifidobacterium were measurably less depressed.

So, better gut health means better brain health. And that means it’s time to focus on balancing your microbiome with simple diet and lifestyle changes.

  • Eat your veggies: Load up on fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to feed the good bacteria in your gut. These little guys thrive on fiber, so give them plenty to munch on!
  • Fermented foods are your friends: Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are packed with probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that help keep your gut in tip-top shape. Adding more of these tangy treats to your diet can help boost your microbiome and keep your gut happy.
  • Cut back on the junk: Processed foods, sugar, and artificial sweeteners can wreak havoc on your gut health. These foods feed the harmful bacteria in your gut, throwing off the delicate balance of your microbiome. Instead, give them the boot and opt for whole, unprocessed foods.
  • Manage stress: Chronic stress can mess with your gut bacteria, leading to inflammation and other digestive issues. Find ways to relax, like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. Your gut (and your mind) will thank you!
  • Get moving: Exercise isn’t just good for your waistline. It’s great for your gut health, too! Regular physical activity can help reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and boost the diversity of your gut bacteria. So, lace up those sneakers and get moving!

And, of course, you can supplement with Bifidobacterium and other healthy probiotics.

By taking care of your microbiome, you’re improving your digestion and giving your brain a boost. The link between gut health and mental health is undeniable, and we must take action.

P.S. The tiny, tart secret to a HEALTHIER gut!

Source:

Kolobaric A et al., Gut microbiome predicts cognitive function and depressive symptoms in late life. Mol Psychiatry. 2024 Apr 25. doi: 10.1038/s41380-024-02551-3. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38664490.

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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