Go with your gut!
Sam Mustafa, CEO of Charleston Hospitality Group shares his advice on how to be your best self whilst living a busy lifestyle and following your dream career path.”
Living Life Fast-Paced
However, within the last few years, I was made aware of an important issue affecting my health and my overall mental wellbeing. My gut.
I had always considered myself to be fit, physically – I worked out and exercised on a regular basis. I tended to eat healthier, even when eating out, but I had trouble connecting this great physical consciousness with my emotional needs. Later down the road a few visits to the doctor revealed that all may not be well with my diet.
That stress, coupled with my lack of getting enough sleep and having more processed sugars in my diet than I realized, were all affecting my gut and in turn affecting my mental health.
Science Is Starting To Learn More About Our Gut Health
One recent study, by the Harvard Gazette shows that environment and not your genetics plays a major role in your gut biomes. It discusses that we are what we eat and as we experience shifts in the way food is produced and sourced, we are seeing serious implications on humans, such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other health factors.
So how does this all affect mental health?
Interestingly enough, an article posted by California Institute of Technology states that almost 90% of the Serotonin produced by the body is produced in the gut. Serotonin is the key hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. This hormone impacts your entire body. It enables brain cells and other nervous system cells to communicate with each other. Serotonin also helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion.(3)
So there it was the whole time. Bad sleep & poor eating habits were causing my gut problems and in turn my moods to fluctuate more.
What Is One To Do? Go With Your Gut
After speaking with my doctor and identifying my problem areas as it comes to my health, I was advised to take the following actions to lower my stress levels, cortisol and increase gut health.
- Get enough sleep *8 hours is the recommended
- Eat slowly and consciously
- Take prebiotics and probiotics to build and maintain a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria
- Check annually for any food intolerances or allergies- a tell-tale sign of an intolerance is constant inflammation and bloated.
- Change your diet-reduce processed, high-sugar and high-fat foods
- Exercise and keep your body moving!
Superfoods That Improve Your Gut
- High fiber foods such as fruits and oats
- Probiotic foods such as yogurt
- Prebiotic foods such as garlic and bananas
- Anti-inflammatory foods such as fatty fish, vegetables and walnuts
- Dix, Megan. “7 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut and 7 Ways to Improve Gut Health.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 25 Aug. 2020, www.healthline.com/health/gut-health#treatment.
- Kelly, Alice Lesch. “Best Foods For Gut Health.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 8 July 2021, www.forbes.com/health/body/best-foods-for-gut-health/.
- “Serotonin.” Edited by Irina Bancos, Serotonin | Hormone Health Network, Hormone, 6 Aug. 2020, www.hormone.org/your-health-and-hormones/glands-and-hormones-a-to-z/hormones/serotonin.
- Simon, Clea. “New Study Shows That Diet Has Major Impact on Gut Biomes.” Harvard Gazette, Harvard Gazette, 23 Mar. 2021, news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/03/new-study-shows-that-diet-has-major-impact-on-gut-biomes/.
- Stoller-Conrad, Jessica. “Microbes Help Produce Serotonin in Gut.” California Institute of Technology, www.caltech.edu/about/news/microbes-help-produce-serotonin-gut-46495.