Did you know your mood is greatly determined by the health of your gut?
Your gut, specifically your small intestine, has been proven to be your bodies literal “second brain”.
For years, the medical world has been trying to figure out what causes our moods to change and what causes common problems that most of us face like stress, anxiety, and even depression. These problems are actually pretty common, and we know they are linked to serotonin, but did you know that 95% of serotonin isn't even produced in the brain? Serotonin is actually produced in the gut. Yes, it is produced in your small intestine and definitely makes you feel good! In fact, studies have shown that when someone has “leaky gut” (a condition that allows food particles and toxins to slip through your gut wall and out into your blood stream) they are more likely to feel depressed, anxious and have mood swings.
So how do you get a better mood by loving you gut?
Start watching what you put in your mouth. Notice how you feel after you eat certain foods. In our crazy, gotta go I’m late, world, people often don’t take the time to slow down and listen to their body. But…
What we put inside of our bellies is directly related to our emotional health. Our gut consists of bacteria and we need that bacteria to have a healthy balance or the rest of us will not be balanced, including our mood. Your gut and your brain work together, so if one is out of balance the other will be also. Have you ever had an upset stomach because your mind was stressed? Well, think about it, if it works one way it works both ways.
Is your gut balanced with 85% good bacteria and 15% bad bacteria? That is the recipe for a healthy gut and a healthy mood. The best way to make sure your body has healthy bacteria for your gut is to feed your gut healthy bacteria. Some symptoms of an unhealthy gut include gas, bloating, nausea, sugar cravings, and more. The best way to make sure that your gut is getting the healthy nourishment it needs is through probiotics. Probiotics can be in pill form, or you can get them right through your diet. Excellent sources of probiotics include kefir and fermented or cultured foods and beverages.
Keeping a healthy gut in check will help you to digest food properly, absorb vital nutrients, and maintain a healthy state of mind aka your mood.
Try this recipe below for optimal gut bacteria!
Coconut Water Kefir
The natural goodness of coconut water is further enhanced with the addition of probiotics from the water kefir culture.
1 quart coconut water
3 tablespoons water kefir grains
Optional flavoring: 1 cup fresh fruit (mixtures of berries, lemon, etc. work best)
Activate dehydrated grains first using sugar water. Once the grains are making good water kefir using sugar water, they are ready to use with coconut water. Place the water kefir grains in the coconut water. Cover the jar loosely with a
tight-weave towel or coffee filter, secured with a rubber band. Culture the coconut water 24-48 hours. Once the culturing process is complete, remove the kefir grains. To add fruit flavoring, puree together the coconut water kefir and the fruit.
Note: Ideally, water kefir grains should be cultured in sugar water (¼ cup sugar and 1-quart water) for 24-48 hours, in between making coconut water kefir. The sugar water will feed and refresh the kefir grains and keep them healthy.
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