Next time you’re feeling down examine your diet. In addition to stress, family drama, and everything else you have going on, your diet plays a much larger role on your gut health and your mental health then you may think.
Have you heard of the gut-brain connection? If not, think of it simply as “good food, good mood”. The food you put into your body is what helps to feed your gut microbiome, which plays a direct role in your day-to-day sense of clarity. Your brain and gut are directly connected through gut bacteria and the health of this bacteria is crucial for your overall wellbeing.
We are all born with microscopic hair on the inside of our intestinal tract. These hairs help keep beneficial bacteria protected. Frequent antibiotic use and poor diet choices quickly wipe out this important hairy lining, and the bare intestinal tract and colon become highly susceptible to bad bacteria. The loss of this sensitive internal terrain is the beginning of digestive issues and low absorbtion all the nutrients you are consuming from your diet. This can have serious repercussions for overall health and well-being. One study published in the Journal of Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry, found that gut health can be directly related to your psychiatric wellbeing. Poor gut health has been linked to “abnormal neural connections, brain atrophy, hormonal imbalances, and brain inflammation” (Bindemann et al, 2018). While there are many modes of treatment for this, one of my favorites is L-glutamine.
Maybe you’ve heard of L-glutamine but you’re not exactly sure what is does or why you should take it. Glutamine is an amino acid used in the synthesis of proteins in the body. We need glutamine for basic daily functioning, and because it is conditionally essential, we need higher quantities in times of stress. In these times of stress, the body utilizes our glutamine stores, increasing our overall daily need.
Some dietary sources of glutamine include:
- Brussel sprouts
- Fermented foods
*You can also supplement with L-glutamine, however, I recommend being your own advocate and doing the research when it comes to quality supplements. I recommend this one.
The way in which the gut utilizes L-glutamine is demonstrated in L-glutamine’s powerful effects for restoring the microflora within the gut. L-glutamine helps to strengthen the gut barrier, decrease inflammation, and create a stronger defense against everyday toxins. When gut issues occurs, the glutamine within the gut is used to try to restore the microflora and attain homeostasis. This is when supplementation may be beneficial, as it can help us recover in times of stress.
Here are some examples of situations that may warrant L-glutamine supplementation:
- Chronic disease
- Low immunity
- Inflammatory bowel disorders
- Adrenal fatigue
- Digestive issues
Healing and restoring our gut
While there are many causes of gut demise, there are some general recommendations I like to provide to strengthen and restore the gut microbiome, no matter where you are on the path to healing.
- Eat real foods- this one seems straightforward, but it is crucial for the gut. The foods we put into our body can help or hinder the restoration of the microbiota.
- Probiotics- probiotics can aid in restoring our gut through beneficial effects such as: increasing immunity, detoxification, increased energy and more! Read all about which probiotic brands I recommend and why I recommend them here. Fermented foods are also an amazing dietary source of probiotics.
- L-glutamine- As mentioned above, L-glutamine’s powerful detoxification mechanisms combined with its ability to restore the gut’s intestinal lining makes it one of my top choices of supplements for restoring the gut.
- I want more!– If you are looking for additional recommendations for healing your gut, please read my post that covers superpower supplements for the gut.
If you have been diagnosed with gut health issues, or are just looking to improve to your overall health and well-being, I would be honored to work with you!