Let’s talk gut health-it’s one of the most important topics when it comes to supporting the overall health of your body. Why? Well, we could go on and on about that, but in a nutshell, the gut is home to our “second brain,” nearly 70% of the immune system resides in the gut, and let’s not forget about all of the digestion and absorption that goes on every single time we take a bite of food. So basically, gut health is a big deal, and without optimal digestive health, our entire body is going to suffer.
So, back to the gut and the second brain for a sec. This is where gut health and mental health really go hand and hand. More and more studies are coming out linking digestive illness to things like anxiety, and yes, even depression.
Let’s dive in and look at leaky gut, something that so many people suffer from and may not even know about, and then how exactly leaky gut and anxiety are connected.
The Leaky Gut & Anxiety Connection
Let’s break this down. First, we need to get a very basic understanding of what leaky gut even is.
Put simply, leaky gut is exactly as it sounds-it’s basically when the tight junctions in your gut become “leaky” which means pathogens, outside toxins, and undigested foods can get into the intestinal wall. This can lead to a whole host of unwanted symptoms-read on to learn more about those.
So, where does the leaky gut and anxiety connection come into play? Studies have found that an imbalance in the bacteria in the gut, as well as inflammation, can lead to things like anxiety and depression. In the case of leaky gut, when toxins leak into the intestinal wall, it may trigger an inflammatory reaction, and your gut bacteria may become imbalanced.
Another thing to keep in mind here is that leaky gut has a tendency to impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients properly which can lead to nutrient deficiencies. A B vitamin deficiency may be a big trigger of anxiety as these vitamins are needed to produce neurotransmitters and for overall mood support.
Symptoms of Leaky Gut
Ok, so we get what leaky gut is and how it may be an underlying cause of anxiety, but how the heck would you know that your gut is indeed “leaky?” Here are some classic symptoms to keep an eye out for.
- Chronic fatigue
- Brain fog
- Poor immune health
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Sugar cravings
- Joint pain
- Skin health issues
- Autoimmune disease
5 Ways to Give Your Gut Health a Boost
They key way to supporting your health and treating leaky gut is to obviously support the gut as best as you can. Here are five tips on how to help promote better digestive health.
- Enjoy Probiotic-Rich Foods: Sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, unsweetened full-fat coconut milk yogurt.
- Reduce Stress
- Exercise Often: Try our FitOn app for workouts you can do for free right from the comfort of your own home.
- Reduce Sugar Intake
- Enjoy bone broth on the reg
The bottom line is that any disruption in your gut is bound to lead to serious health issues and this often includes anxiety. If you are scratching your head wondering why you are all of a sudden feel more anxious than usual, take a look at your diet and stress levels. Think about how your gut health has been lately, have you been experiencing any leaky gut symptoms? And, even if you don’t think leaky gut is the culprit of any anxiety you may be having, boosting your diet and adding more stress reduction to your life is always a good idea. So, here’s your invitation to take better care of you through boosting your gut and reducing stress. We promise you will not regret making these essential health changes.