Recent scientific research has shown that certain dietary supplements and our diet are directly connected to our mental health. The health of our gut (good bacteria versus bad bacteria) plays a central role in the quality of our mental health. Science is showing that inflammation in the body is directly connected to brain disorders like depression, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, ADHD, autism and many other conditions. Having an abundance of good gut bacteria helps reduce inflammation in the body. For more information about this, read the book Brain Maker by Dr. David Perlmutter. It is an excellent book and goes into great detail explaining the gut/brain connection and its role in mental health.
Dr. Perlmutter recommends doing the following to dramatically improve the health of your gut and your brain:
- Eat fermented foods daily, such as: yogurt, keifer, kimchi, sour kraut, kombucha and other fermented foods.
- Take a high quality probiotic for gut health
- Take an Omega 3 fish oil supplement containing DHA
- Take up to 5000 IU’s of vitamin D daily
- Take a multi vitamin containing all the B vitamins, like B6 and B12
- Take Tumeric ( also sold as curcumin) 1000 mg per day to fight inflammation
- Eat coconut oil frequently
- Eat foods that are prebiotic to help feed good bacteria in the gut such as: onions, garlic, raw asparagus, jicama, garbanzo beans
- Eat healthy oils and fats found in nuts, fish, olives, avocados and coconuts
- Limit or eliminate sugar, gluten, processed foods and simple carbohydrates all of which cause inflammation in the body
Creating a thriving environment in your gut will reduce inflammation in your body, thus improving your overall mental health. Your gut health is also responsible for up to 80% of your immunity, so your physical health will benefit as well. By improving your gut health you will notice a decrease in illnesses like colds and flus. What we put into our body does make a dramatic difference in how we feel both physically and mentally. If you want to feel better, eat better!