Gut-Brain Connection

Have you ever had an anxious feeling in your gut? Or felt angry, sad, happy, nervous or any other strong emotion and had a reaction in your tummy?

We often use phrases like ‘gut feeling’ and ‘butterflies in my tummy’ when referring to emotions - our gastrointestinal (GI) tract is sensitive to the emotions we feel and our brain has a direct effect on our GI tract. For example, the thought of eating releases saliva and GI juices before the food actually arrives in the mouth or stomach.

Gut Brain Connection with Probiotics where good bacteria affects mental health - ProVen

And this connection works both ways, with problems in the GI tract sending signals to the brain and potentially leading to emotional symptoms, such as poor concentration, depression, irritability and poor memory. For example, those with irritable bowel syndrome are also likely to have mood-related issues.

The gut-brain axis is the name given to the communication network that connects your brain both physically and biochemically. This network of nerves contains the vagus nerve which sends signals from the gut to the brain (and vice versa) and the various neurotransmitters (natural chemicals, such as serotonin), which have an effect on the nervous system.

Thus, supporting your gut through a healthy diet that keeps your gut bacteria happy, can also help to balance your mood and emotions.