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Column: NOURISHING YOUR MIND, BODY & SPIRIT – The Mind-Gut Connection

By: Cheryl Garza – Bryan, Ohio

Our mental state impacts our GI health. Life can be a roller coaster of emotions, and sometimes the ups and downs can take a toll on our digestive system.

Stress and anxiety are common culprits behind gastrointestinal issues in both adults and children. Check out the digestive-aid section in any drugstore— it is immense!!

There are so many products for nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach and diarrhea. Many of these symptoms can be attributed to stress, diet, or medications.

It’s important to explore the connection between stress, anxiety, and GI problems; identify trigger foods that worsen these issues during times of stress and know what nutritious foods to choose; and look at supplements that promote a healthy gut when you’re under stress.

Modern day stressors like traffic, jobs, coworkers, technology, media, family and relationships are just some of the concerns bombarding us daily. Is there anyone who is truly stress-free?

I highly doubt it, but how we choose to manage stress plays a huge part in how you are affected. Stress doesn’t just affect our mental well-being it also takes a toll on our physical health—–particularly the gut.

Most of us have had the butterflies in our stomach feeling when we are stressed, nervous or upset. This is just one expression we use in reference to the gut brain connection.

Our gut is often referred to as our second brain, thanks to its close connection with the nervous system. When we experience stress or anxiety, our body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which can disrupt the delicate balance of bacteria in our gut and contribute to inflammation.

This disruption can lead to various GI symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation. Diet is the key. Anxiety and stress can make us less likely to want to choose healthy foods.

Typically, during stressful times, many of us reach for comfort foods like fast food, salty snacks, and foods and beverages packed with sugar and caffeine.

Caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, high fat foods, artificial sweeteners in colors, and dairy products can exacerbate GI symptoms when we’re stressed. Well balanced eating is critical, and choosing the right foods during stressful times can help maintain a healthy gut.

Fiber rich foods can help regulate digestion. Lean proteins support overall good health. Probiotic rich foods such as yogurt, kimchi, kombucha and other fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria that support a healthy gut Microbiome.

Anti-inflammatory foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fruits and vegetables can help ease inflammation in the gut. In addition to wholesome foods, certain supplements may help alleviate stress related symptoms.

Several studies point to fish oil, flax oil for relief of depression and anxiety, and omega threes have been shown to help produce dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation.

Our brain is made up of around 60% fat therefore, it is highly reliant on healthy fats like omega3s to function optimally. Magnesium regulates more than 325 enzymes in the body.

This mineral is an integral part of the activity of the enzymes involved in energy production. It’s necessary for the synthesis of a protein, helps transmit nerve signals, and helps relax muscles.

It also helps to keep our adrenaline stress hormones under control. A busy lifestyle, bad night’s sleep, extra activities, or an unfortunate event can throw off our mind and body balance.

By understanding the connection between stress and good health, identifying trigger foods, and incorporating nutritious options we could all be well on our way to tame the tension in our tummy.

We shouldn’t forget to practice self-care and find ways to reduce stress in our daily life; our gut will thank us!  Supporting and maintaining our gut health is very rewarding Mind, Body and yes, your Spirit.

My greatest hopes and prayers are that we can all share and encourage each other to live a happier and healthier more vibrant life.

Also, Holistic Wholesome Living is seeking everyone and anyone who offers products, services, education, consultants, and etc. I am putting together a community resource guide. Power, strength, unity, and connection. Please contact me if interested and as always be well and stay nourished.


 Cheryl L Garza A Lady With Alot Of Zeal and yearning to empower, guide, encourage and share all HOLISTIC Wholesome Living with youth-adults. Highly educated, extremely passionate, determined and driven with no doubts… I choose to make the rest of my life the BEST of my Life, I wish that for all as well… Sharing Love & Kindness… 567-239-1960


The post Column: NOURISHING YOUR MIND, BODY & SPIRIT – The Mind-Gut Connection first appeared on The Village Reporter.

Source: The Village Reporter

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