A healthier gut for a happier mind

Perfect Balance Kit

“An overall feeling of wellness” for Claire

Having a healthy gut plays a key role in maintaining an exceptional quality of life, including optimal fitness and a happy mood. The gut’s effects on wellness are profound – your gut and brain are more closely linked than you might think. If you have experienced having a queasy stomach before an important event or a presentation, or if you’ve felt depressed after a night of binge drinking, then you have a general idea on how the two are connected. A distressed brain can send signals to the gut and vice versa, which is why you may feel intestinal pain when you’re feeling anxious. It’s also the reason why those who regularly experience digestive problems end up feeling restless or depressed.

According to the World Health Organization, 450 million people are currently coping with mental health problems ranging from anxiety to schizophrenia. Medication and therapy can help to manage most mental health issues; however, for an easier and more natural approach, you may want to start taking care of your gut. Recent scientific evidence has shown that a healthy gut can translate to better mental health.

Evidence is growing that our own gut microbes may exert a powerful influence on our brains

One study found that taking a probiotic was associated with a reduction in negative mood. Another found that administering Bifidobacterium longum to patients with irritable bowel syndrome reduced depression, while 2022 research found that gut microbes are associated with levels of depressive symptoms.

Research has also found that the gut can generate many of the same chemicals, or neurotransmitters, as the brain. One example is serotonin. Well-known for stabilising mood and promoting feelings of happiness, about 95% of this important neurotransmitter is produced in the gut.

By addressing her gut health, Claire not only noticed the positive physical benefits, but also an improvement in her mental health.

Because the gut-brain connection is a two-way street, it stands to reason that when Claire’s gut symptoms improved, her mood and energy levels also got a boost.

The supplements in the Perfect Balance Kit include Live Bacteria probiotic capsules, natural Digestive Enzymes, high-strength Omega 3 fish oil capsules and high-strength ‘aged’ Garlic tablets, specifically put together by me to help to support the communication between the gut and the brain, as well as ensuring that the gut is kept in tip top condition. An inflamed, dysbiotic, infected, sluggish gut has the capacity to have a direct impact on our brain health and not just our mood, but contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) too. There’s emerging evidence from several preclinical and clinical studies that indicate a role for gut dysbiosis and AD. As more and more research emerges on the impact the gut has on our health, we see time and time again, the importance of taking care of this most vital organ.

A healthy gut microbiome is generally one that contains a diverse mix of bacteria as well as some key beneficial species, such as Bifidobacteria. We also know that an imbalance in the gut microbiome, which can be brought on by a variety of modern day ‘assaults’ including antibiotics, stress, illness, alcohol, etc., can negatively impact overall health – and so, potentially, mental health.

When someone gets in touch seeking advice for their digestive and gut symptoms, I always ask if they are eating a healthy, well-balanced diet as this plays a vital role in nurturing a healthy gut. A healthy, well-balanced diet can help us think clearly and feel more alert. It can also improve concentration and attention span.

Conversely, an inadequate diet can lead to fatigue, impaired decision-making, and can slow down reaction time. In fact, a poor diet can actually aggravate, and may even lead to, stress and depression.

A few groups of foods are specifically beneficial for the gut-brain axis.

  • Omega-3 fats – these fats are found in oily fish and also in high quantities in the human brain. Studies in humans and animals show that omega 3s can increase good bacteria in the gut and reduce risk of brain disorders.
  • Fermented foods – yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut and cheese all contain healthy microbes such as lactic acid bacteria.
  • High-fibre foods – whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables all contain prebiotic fibres that are good for your gut bacteria.
  • Polyphenol-rich foods – cocoa, green tea, olive oil and coffee all contain polyphenols, which are plant chemicals that are digested by your gut bacteria. Polyphenols increase healthy gut bacteria and may improve cognition.
  • Tryptophan-rich foods – tryptophan is an amino acid that is converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin. Foods that are high in tryptophan include turkey, eggs and cheese.

If you have a question about a digestive and gut health issue or would like to know more about a tailored supplement protocol, please get in touch.