How Gut Health Affects Mental Health
Staying at home will keep us physically healthy. This is the current norm that we are following as per the COVID-19 lockdown.
Now the next most important part. What about mental health?
Let’s take a look at what mental health is all about.
According to the World Health Organization, mental health is “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can make a contribution to her or his community. Research shows that high levels of mental health are associated with increased learning, creativity and productivity, more prosocial behaviour and positive social relationships.
With our social behaviour taking a hit today, we have all the more reason to ensure that our mental state of mind is taken care of.
It is important to note that mental health is complex. A lot of factors are directly linked to our mental health. Things we don’t think even matter have a surprisingly strong relationship with our mental health. It is time to figure out what gets us ticking and what we need to work on to make sure that our mental health is at a top-notch state.
Things that affect our mental health
Serious injuries, diseases and other physical issues are linked to poor mental health. Serious problems such as brain injury, brain trauma, etc. can also have a life-long impact on physical health. Unable to take care of yourself due to physical limitations can bring severe negative thoughts, thus affecting mental health.
In such cases, one needs to take proper treatment for mental health by solving the issues related to your physical state. Accept who you are and be at your best.
The emotional state of mind
It is normal to confuse mental and emotional health, and they can be interchanged. But the truth of the matter is that they are distinctly different. While mental health can refer to the ability to understand information and process the thoughts, emotional health is the ability to express your feelings that are formed based on the thought process.
When you are unhappy or unsatisfied, the mental health is affected, bringing out signs in the form of mood swings, hallucinations, insomnia and antisocial behaviour. Bringing inner peace to your body is critical to your mental health.
This is the value that we tend to place on ourselves. It comes from our positive self-image and sense of self-worth. People with higher self-esteem generally bring a positive outlook and are satisfied with themselves most of the time. Negativity is absolutely detrimental to mental health and should be avoided at all times.
If you think you can do it, you can do it. These are some powerful words that can bring both higher self-esteem as well as a healthy mental state to you. Positivity and mental health go hand in hand. Confidence enhances your positive outlook, thereby increasing mental health.
Last but not least, gut health. Research confirms that gut microbes are critical in mental health. Tests have found that the absence of gut bacteria in mice altered the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) in regions of the brain that play a role in anxiety and depression. This very much applies to humans as well.
The brain-gut connection
One of the essential things checked out by the doctor is the state of the stomach - the gut to be more specific.
This is why.
Doctors say that controlling the bacterial population of the gastrointestinal tract may help improve not only symptoms of mental disorders but also promote good health. And this includes the health of the brain and the neurological systems.
It might be the case of the egg-or-chicken scenario. While nervousness or anxiety can cause constipation, an upset tummy can also affect your mental health. But having said that, it is recommended by the doctors to keep an eye on your digestive system at all times.
The many goods and harmful bacteria that exist in the gut need to live in the right balance. And the ratio should be in favour of the beneficial bacteria. This prevents the overdose of the bad that brings harm to your health. Again, it is a two-way street. The overgrowth of the harmful bacteria brings about a mental disorder and vice versa.
All the more reason to keep both in check.
How to keep the gut in check
Keeping in mind theCOVID-19 lockdown, let’s take a look at what harms your gut
Not eating a wide range of foods
Over the past fifty years, much of the variety in the Western diet has been forgotten. Today, most of the world's food supply comes from only 12 plants. A healthy diet consists of different types of proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fats along with fibre and liquids. All these elements play a crucial role in your digestive system.
The logic is simple. The food you eat provides nutrients that help bacteria grow. Improve your balanced diet by bringing in variety.
Too many antibiotics
Antibiotics are, by far, one of the most popular ways to treat infection caused by bacteria. It comes with a downside. They kill all bacteria - good and bad. A single course can bring a change to the entire composition of the gut flora along with its diversity. The side effects last as long as a year or two.
Many doctors, therefore, do not suggest antibiotics as the very first resort. A healthy diet, complete rest and natural health supplements are the preferred recommendations by experts.
Lack of regular physical activity
Physical activity and regular exercises improve gut health. A higher fitness level is associated with a greater abundance of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that's important for overall health, and butyrate-producing bacteria.
Regular physical activity promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, including Bifidobacterium and Akkermansia. These positive effects are not seen in inactive individuals.
Not enough sleep
Sleep is critical to overall health. Both the rest and the gut follow the circadian rhythm. The lack of sleep thus affects the gut flora. For example, two days of less sleep increases the bacteria associated with fat metabolism, weight gain and thereby mental health.
Sleep deprivation's effects on gut bacteria is a new area of research, and the preliminary results suggest that one needs sufficient sleep to ensure improved gut health as well as mental health.
High stress increases sensitivity, reduces the blood flow and alters the gut bacteria. The high pressure associated causes a reduction in good bacteria, including Lactobacilli.
Foods to improve digestion
- Yoghurt: Promotes healthy bacteria in the digestive tract
- Lassi or Buttermilk is also a good source of prebiotics
- Apples: Rich source of pectin (a soluble fibre)
- Fennel: Prevents constipation, improve regularity in thegastrointestinal tract
- Chia seeds: Excellent source of fibre, promotes bowel regularity
- Papaya: Contains a digestive enzyme (papain)
- Whole grains: Improves digestion by adding bulk to stool and reduce constipation
- Ginger: Improves digestion and prevents nausea
What more can one do to improve Gut health-
Gut health is critical to mental health, and we need to do everything we can to ensure that we have a strong digestive system. Apart from certain foods that promote digestion, there are certain time-tested formulae that help you enhance your gut health. Maharishi Ayurveda brings to you healthy ayurvedic combinations of various natural ingredients. These concoctions strengthen your gut and enable you to absorb the nutrients in your diet.
Triphala offers you one of the best ways to maintain a healthy digestive system. Triphala works as a non-habit forming herbal laxative that detoxifies the body and maintains a healthy digestive system. Maharishi Ayurveda’s experts confirm that regular consumption of Triphala helps create a healthy environment for beneficial bacteria to grow.
Dizomap is a combination of six proven herbal digestives that helps maintain a healthy digestive system. By stimulating secretion of digestive juices and bile, Dizomap promotes higher absorption of nutrients by the body. It improves the function of the liver and protects intestinal flora. Dizomap corrects imbalance of Samana Vata, Pachak Pitta and Kledaka Kapha (Ayurvedic factors related with Digestion) to restore perfect digestion.
Amlant - Solution Trusted By Many
Maharishi Ayurveda has formulated100% ayurvedic remedies that help balance stomach acid and digestion naturally. The shift to Amlant is not just about instant relief but ensuring overall well-being. It is an ayurvedic supplement that Improves the quality of metabolism and cures related issues.
This provides a long-term remedy that strengthens your stomach and enhances your gut health at the same time. Amlant is a contemporary brand that blends ancient tradition with modern science to create the perfect ayurvedic solution. It offers a multi-pronged approach in the treatment of hyperacidity, acid peptic disorders. Enjoy your food, and at the same time, take care of your health.
Take care of your gut health naturally by bringing in Amlant in your diet. Strengthen your digestive system to bring physical, mental and emotional health. You need a long-term remedy with natural ingredients and no side-effects.
That is whatAmlant can do for you.
Restore mental health with gut health.
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18 February, 2022
Md Nisar Ahmad
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