The Gut - Brain Connection
Your brain is always “on.” It takes care of your thoughts and movements, your breathing and heartbeat, your senses — it works hard 24/7, even while you’re asleep. This means your brain requires a constant supply of fuel.
That “fuel” comes from the foods you eat — and the nutritional value of that fuel makes all the difference.
Put simply, If you want to keep your brain healthy you need to keep your gut healthy by feeding it well.
What you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood.
Contact us if you would like some more information about our Nutrition & Mental Health talks!
The 4 Pillars for good mental health!
Good health is composed of multiple components, or pillars for good physical and mental health. These pillars comprise
nutrition, movement, sleep and relaxation.
The lifestyle choices we make around what, when and how we eat, taking regular exercise, trying to get quality sleep and being able to wind down at the end of the day are all lifestyle choices and health decisions that most individuals can make on a daily basis.
Ideally, these four pillars for good health work in tandem to keep the mind and body healthy. The good thing is that we can start at any point in making small positive changes around these four pillars for good health, which over time will improve our health and the quality of our lives.
Food and mood - what’s the link?
Put simply: Everything in the brain that isn’t made by the brain itself is ‘imported’ from the food we eat.”
“As a society, we are comfortable with the idea that we feed our bodies, and much less aware that we’re feeding our brains too,”. “Parts of the foods we eat will end up being the very fabric of our brains. ”Brain-focused nourishment has been on the rise in the wide world of wellness. Nutritional psychiatry has invited the foods we eat to be part of the larger conversation around mental health. What we eat directly affects our cognition.
Neuroscientist Lisa Mosconi, PhD
Stress and mental health - What’s the link?
Our body is well equipped to deal with a stressful situation but when stress is constant and left unmanaged it can cause disease in the body and mind.
Stress also suppresses the immune and digestive systems. Many vitamins and minerals are needed to support the body and brain during a stressful episode, particularly B vitamins. If we are constantly depleting our body of these vitamins and minerals because of un-managed stress and we don't replace them with a nutrient rich diet we can be left feeling physically and mentally depleted.
Sleep and mental health – What’s the link?
Sleep ranks with diet and regular exercise as an essential component of a healthy life. Sleep and mental health are closely connected. Sleep deprivation affects your psychological state and mental health. And those with mental health problems are more likely to have insomnia or other sleep disorders.
Although scientists are still trying to tease apart all the mechanisms, they've discovered that sleep disruption — which affects levels of neurotransmitters and stress hormones, among other things — wreaks havoc in the brain, impairing thinking and emotional regulation. In this way, insomnia may amplify the effects of psychiatric disorders, and vice versa.
Movement and Mental Health - What's the link?
We need exercise to keep our body and brain healthy, strengthen the heart, keep circulation going, tune up our immune function manage weight and to aid quality sleep and boost our mood. High-intensity exercise releases the body's feel-good chemicals called endorphins, resulting in the "runner's high" that joggers report.
But research shows that for most of us, the real value is in low-intensity exercise sustained over time. That kind of activity spurs the release of proteins called neurotrophic or growth factors, which cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections. The improvement in brain function makes you feel better.
The content of this page is for information purpose only and should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.