The human body is wildly complex and interconnected. Every day, new science surprises us with facts about how we think, live, and interact with others.
In school, we learned about the body as a combination of different parts and systems. This was done mostly for convenience’s sake. For example, you might learn about the nervous system one week and then study the digestive system the next week. But this approach to anatomy has meant that many of us don’t fully grasp the full complexity of the body.
In this article, we’re going to look at the relationship between nutrition and emotions. Did you know that the gut is called the body’s second brain? There are millions of neural transmitters that line your digestive tract and influence everything from brain function to hormone production.
Too many people suffer unnecessary discomfort, depression, and mood swings because they fail to understand the connection between the gut, nutrition, and emotions. But if we promote healthy nutrition, we can oftentimes improve the body’s function, heal the gut, and resolve emotional issues.
Nutrition and Brain Fog
The brain needs energy in order to function. That’s why, after a few hours without eating, you might feel tired and unfocused. This state can often lead to irritability and depressive feelings, so it’s important to eat enough food so that your brain can function at its best.
But we also need to consider the type of food we eat. Certain foods are better for the brain than others. Foods rich in healthy fats and Omega 3s often make the list for best brain foods. These include fish and specific dietary supplements. Broccoli and blueberries are also great for beating brain fog.
Unhealthy foods can also impact gut health. For example, eating mostly highly processed foods and foods packed with sugar can cause an imbalance in the gut bacteria. Yes, the gut is home to millions of bacteria and organisms that help your body process food. If “bad” bacteria overrun your gut, they may adversely affect the neurotransmitters. If you feel as though consistent brain fog is impacting your emotional quality of life, try incorporating more brain nourishing foods into your diet.
Nutrition and Hormones
Emotions don’t just occur in the brain. Emotions are also influenced by hormones, and the gut helps produce key hormones in the body. Dopamine and serotonin are the two major hormones most often associated with the gut. Both are “feel-good” chemicals that play a major role in our perception of happiness.
Moreover, dopamine and serotonin help regulate other core cycles like sleep and appetite. Therefore, poor nutrition can lead to an unhealthy gut, which leads to a vicious cycle of emotional discomfort. Not only is your body not regulating its hormonal output, it’s also not getting the sleep and regular meals it needs.
By giving your gut the fuel, attention, and possibly supplements it needs, you can improve the production of important hormones. When we learn about how the gut impacts our hormones, it’s clear that nutrition and emotions go hand-in-hand.
Nutrition and Self-Image
Finally, the way we think about food can directly impact our emotions. Unfortunately, American society promotes unhealthy ideas around nutrition. Often, achieving a specific body type takes precedence over true nutritional health. This can lead to eating disorders and low self-esteem.
At Integrative Health and Wellness, we know that nutrition can’t fit inside a one-size-fits-all box. We take the relationship between nutrition and emotions into account. When we work with you to create a nutritious diet, heal your gut, and balance your emotions, we look for foods and supplements that work for your body. Health is the goal, not a cultural standard. Therefore, while the food we eat might not be making us anxious or depressed, the thoughts and associations we have with food can negatively impact our emotions. They can also lead to increased stress levels, which impact our gut health and hormones as well.
Learn More About The Relationship Between Your Nutrition And Emotions With Integrative Health and Wellness
Did the article spark questions about the relationship between your nutrition and emotions? Have you tried prescription medications and different therapies, yet nothing seems to be pulling you out of your depression, fatigue, or anxiety? It may be time to focus on your gut health.
Improved gut health has a wide variety of benefits far beyond nutrition and emotional health. By improving your gut, you’ll have more physical energy. You may notice that increased focus and energy lead to better relationships with friends and family. And, of course, a healthy gut can alleviate many digestive symptoms like gas and bloating. While we can’t make any definite promises about your unique situation without a consultation, we can point to other people just like you who have found relief through better nutrition, emotional, and gut health.
Integrative Health and Wellness is Fresno’s trusted gut health clinic. We’ve helped hundreds of patients rebalance their gut microbiomes and rediscover a new level of vitality and vigor. You deserve to feel your best, and uncomfortable emotions shouldn’t be taken for granted. You have options. You have hope.