6 Ways to Heal The Gut-Brain Connection

Put your hand up if you struggle with anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Well, if your hand is up, that’s because 13% of the world’s population (+-970 million people) have mental health disorders, and the numbers seem to be rising exponentially. 
Did you know?
Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the world, affecting 284 million people. (Our World in Data, 2018)
Globally, mental illness affects more females (11.9%) than males (9.3%). (Our World in Data, 2018)
Sufferers experience changes in mood, thinking and behavior, resulting in life being a lot more difficult to navigate than those without any mental health conditions. As professionals research the cause and effect of mental illness, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the answers seem to be closer to home than we expected…

What do Mental Health Disorders look like?

Anxiety: Anxiety disorders are characterized by persistent worry, fear, and stress that interferes with one’s everyday life.
Depression: Persistent low mood, fatigue, and profound sadness are prominent symptoms of major depression.
Substance use disorders: The frequent use of alcohol and/or drugs that interferes with a person’s behavior in day-to-day life.
Bipolar disorder: Bipolar disorder consists of radical shifts in depressive or “low” moods and manic “high” moods that can last weeks long.
Schizophrenia: Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
Eating disorders: Eating disorders are illnesses that affect a person’s relationship with food and body image. 
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): OCD is a chronic, long-lasting anxiety disorder where a person experiences unreasonable, uncontrollable, recurring thoughts followed by a behavioral response.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a disorder that develops in some who have experienced a shocking or dangerous event and have difficulty recovering from the trauma the event caused.

Your Gut & Mental Health

The brain has a direct effect on the stomach and intestines. The gastrointestinal tract is super sensitive to emotion. Anger, anxiety, sadness and euphoria can all trigger symptoms in the gut (butterflies, nausea, gut-wrenching feelings)! Wondering how strong the connection really is? Well,  think about this; you’re flipping through the menu at your favorite restaurant and your mouth starts watering and your stomach grumbles, signaling that acids are ready to receive and digest! That’s your brain sending instant and direct signals to your gut.
This connection goes both ways. The brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected!
An unbalanced intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person's intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of mental disorders.
Of course, we cannot forget that inherent traits, brain chemistry and environmental exposures are all  major players in what causes mental health disorders but there are ways to combat the symptoms that cause sufferers to struggle with daily life. And one of the most profound ways to do this is through your gut health! 
Gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. There are trillions of these bacteria, yeasts, and viruses that can be harmful, especially when they multiply, but are also beneficial - even essential - for human health.
Here are 6 Ways you can heal your Gut-Brain connection and restore your mental well being:

Eat Fermented Foods

Most fermented foods contribute bacteria that have a potential probiotic effect. This means that these bacteria may help restore the balance of bacteria in your gut, support digestive health and alleviate any digestive issues. These include: 

- kefir
- kimchi
- kombucha
- miso
- sauerkraut
- Tempeh

Ingest Good Prebiotic Fiber

Probiotics feed on non digestible carbohydrates called prebiotics. This process encourages beneficial bacteria to multiply in the gut. These can be found in Chicory Root and Jerusalem Artichoke. If you cannot find these things,  Klean has you covered with their Prebiotic Gut Powder which you can find here.
Recent research suggests that prebiotics may help probiotics become more tolerant to certain environmental conditions, including pH and temperature changes.

Throw Out Your Sweeteners

Eating a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners may cause gut dysbiosis, which is an imbalance of gut microbes. A recent study reported that the artificial sweetener aspartame increases the number of some bacterial strains that are linked with metabolic disease.

Reduce stress

Easier said than done, right? Well, without sounding like a broken record, remember to prioritise yourself! 

Change The Cleaning Products You Use

Harsh, chemical based disinfectants throw off the gut microbiome, according to the results of one recent study. They found that infants living in homes where people used harsh disinfectant cleaning products at least weekly were twice as likely to have higher levels of Lachnospiraceae gut microbes, a type associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity. A more effective and natural alternative is SanOT500 Hypochlorous Acid Solution. Hypochlorous acid (HOCl), the active component in all of our products, is a powerful Oxychloro compound that exists in electrolysed water with a pH range between 5-7. This compound is recognized as “Natures Disinfectant” since it is naturally produced in all mammalian neutrophils (White blood cells within your innate immune system).
 It is 100% natural, biodegradable and eco-friendly, safe for humans, animals and plants, completely non-toxic, hypoallergenic and non-irritant and free from from dangerous chemicals such as alcohol, ammonia, bleach, sulphates, fragrances and pesticides. Find out more here.

Take A Good Probiotic

As previously stated, your gut microbiome is your second brain and plays an important role in your overall physical and mental well-being. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you, especially your digestive system. Klean produces Nourish Capsules, a proprietary blend of 20 billion beneficial probiotic species combined in perfect synchronicity for reconditioning your gut, boosting immunity, stimulating a healthy metabolism, and promoting homeostasis (balance) throughout your body and mind., through providing you with essential nutrients, neurotransmitters, and digestive enzymes which your body is not equipped to naturally produce.
Start the road to mental and physical wellness today. Every little change, routine and ritual helps, especially when it comes to taking your probiotics!