Bipolar Health: Bipolar Disorder + Gut Health: The Importance of Gut Health And The Role It Plays In Your Mood + What To Eat To Nurture It & What To Avoid
Let’s Talk About Why A Happy Gut Microbiome Helps You With Your Mood, And Feel Good Every Day.
The human gut contains a large number of bacteria, fungi, and yeast – which is what we know as our sexy friend microbiome.
Understanding the brain-gut connection has really made a difference in my relationship with my mind and body and how I live and manage my manic-depressive illness.
I made the fun discovery that managing my manic-depressive disorder and keeping my mood more balanced along with my hormones had a lot to do with having a healthy gut microbiome.
When I was first diagnosed at 18, I had no clue about the brain-gut relationship. Fast forward to now, I spend much of my blog time on recipes like Gut Healing Healthy Watermelon Lime Cups. There is growing evidence that there is an influence on how our gut microbiome and diet affect our overall mental health, and more specifically, impact mood (and mood disorders).
Remember – your diet influences your gut bacteria and your gut bacteria influence your brain. To protect your mood, you must have a close relationship between them!
The makeup of gut bacteria is called your microbiome, which influences directly how the brain is wired, starting in your childhood years, and lasting through your lifetime, impacting everything from your mood, ability to learn, memory and how you deal with stress. If your gut microbiome feels good, then it sends a sexy text to the brain, letting it know it can be happy. When your gut is out of balance, it neglects your brain, causing anxiety.
Who knew talking about gut and mood would be sexy? I know. I have my ways of making everything fun and entertaining, I think it’s one of my extra gifts.
McSteamy (BAD BACTERIA) VS McDreamy (GOOD BACTERIA)
I’m sure you guys have all heard about “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut-but do you really, honestly know why bacteria is good and why it is bad? And how that plays a role in your overall health and mental health?
The bacteria in your gut-plays an important role in gastrointestinal tract functioning, from facilitating food digestion, to keeping inflammation in check. These same bacteria are also believed to play a crucial role in mood disorders and other disorders of the brain.
Gut bacteria are basically a group of microorganisms that live in our intestines and provide us with the essential nutrients and also help us in protecting the body from infections. A person can have anywhere from 300 to 1000 different species of bacteria in their digestive tract. Having a wide variety of bacteria in your gut can enhance your immune system function, help alleviate symptoms of depression and a bunch of other health benefits.
Which is crazy if you think about it but also makes total sense.
Some microorganisms can be harmful to our health and some can be helpful and even necessary to a healthy mind and body. It is essential though, to keep a proper balance between McSteamy ‘bad bacteria’ and McDreamy ‘good bacteria’.
GUT & INFLAMMATION
So, remember your ex-boyfriend inflammation, the one we don’t want near us but happens because hey, life is life and sometimes stress is inevitable. Research shows that gelatin-rich foods can correct diseases and illnesses caused and affected by inflammation. Keeping your girl -gut bacteria healthy is crucial to keep you feeling like the sexy snack you are. This means eating foods that are high in gelatin like bone broth, grass-fed gelatin is crucial for your mood.
HOW DO I KNOW THAT MY GUT ISN’T FEELING SEXY & THEREFORE UNHEALTHY?
+Stomach disturbances like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut.
+ A diet high in added sugars and processed foods can decrease the number of good bacteria in your gut. Sugar also feeds bad bacteria.
+ Sleep disturbances like insomnia and chronic fatigue are linked to a damaged gut.
+ Skin conditions like eczema are linked to a damaged gut. Inflammation in the gut caused by a poor diet or food allergies may cause increased leaking of certain proteins out into the body.
These can all be signs of an unhealthy gut.
You want to nurture the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut if you want to feel good, every day
As I mentioned above, abnormalities in your gut microbiome have been associated with anxiety, depression and other mood disorders. When the gut bacteria are deprived of the fermented fibers that they feast on, they switch the food source to the mucus lining of your gut. Which if you think about it, sounds pretty nasty.
Babes, it is- the mucus lining keeps our gut wall intact and protects from infections, so if they lining is being snacked on and starts to wear down it starts a whole chain of health problems like depression, type 2 diabetes and more.
Nature your gut microbiome back
Feast on probiotic-rich foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, probiotic-rich yogurt and more.
Ditch refined sugars, remember they feed the ‘bad’ bacteria that can emerge different health issues
Adventure into the prebiotic food realm, they’re rich in the yummy fiber your gut microbiome needs to eat. Try garlic, onion, artichoke, jicama and dandelion greens.
Enjoy all the fiber-rich foods that are important to feed our ‘good’ gut bacteria and keep our digestion regular. Sprinkle some ground flaxseed into your oatmeal, smoothies or try my Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Chunk Muffins.
I’ll admit- I am a gut health junkie and geek out over all of the emerging research about how our gut microbiome affects our mental health and how it plays a role in those of us with bipolar disorder. Did you enjoy learning about gut health and bipolar disorder, too? Share this with others and if you have any questions or thoughts on bipolar disorder and gut microbiome, in general, leave a comment and continue the convo with the entire FOP Squad. As always, you can also connect with me via Instagram @followourpassionstyle or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org