April 25, 2013
So far we have focused on all the physical ways to heal your gut, glutamine, bone broth, probiotics, fermented foods and drinks and herbs.
Now, in our last 2 weeks, we will talk about the mind - gut connection. Remember from our very first post, I talked about our gut being known as the second brain? Let me refresh your memory, this is taken from the very first post 'Gut Health - The facts'.
“Most people fail to realize that your gut is literally your second brain, and can significantly influence your mind, mood, and behaviour. But mounting evidence clearly indicates that ignoring your gut may have far-reaching psychological consequences, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that nourishing your gut flora through proper diet, from cradle to grave, is extremely important for proper brain function, and that includes psychological well-being and mood control. Our brain and your gut are actually biologically identical, as they’re created out of the same type of tissue.
The greatest concentration of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression and aggression, is found in your intestines, not your brain!
Ok, so with that in mind, lets talk about this 'similar tissue', what we can do to help repair it and how stress and the emotions impact the health of our gut.
This is a very important substance, it is a fatty acid and it is a composition of the brain and gut lining. Therefore, it makes sense that consuming foods rich in this substance helps both of these areas! Or both our guts as I like to say 😉
You've no doubt heard of Omega 3? We also have Omega's 6 and 9 but they tend to be too plentiful in our diet (vegetable oils) and sadly omega 3 is the most lacking. Omega 3 is made up of DHA and EPA or Eicosapentaenoic Acid. In fish, the omega 3 is made up directly of these acids and in plants based seeds like flaxseed, it is made up of another acid ALA or alpha linoleic acid. This ALA is then converted into EPA and DHA by our bodies (we are so clever aren't we?).
The EPA is the acid that helps with inflammation in the body which is why people take omega 3 supplements for arthritic conditions and joint pains. The DHA is what helps the brain, the heart and the eyes. The DHA is by far the most important component as it helps with the health of the tissue these organs and body parts are made of! That is why DHA supplementation is so important for mood, depression, anxiety, learning difficulties, behavioural disorders, heart health and eye health.
I want to mention here that this is important for kids and adults alike. Cutting back omega 6 foods (mainly found in seed and vegetable oils) which competes with the omega 3 getting converted into DHA and EPA and increasing omega 3 rich foods or supplements can drastically improve mood cognitive learning, behaviour, memory and emotional stability. Symptoms of ADHD and dyslexia have been known to disappear in some children by doing this.
You can also buy it in supplement form which I recommend if there are the imbalances I mentioned earlier and a good quality fish oil that has been molecularly distilled and contains no artificial colours, flavours or additives. Ask your instore naturopath for a practitioner brand or book a consult to get the right one for you or your child.
So all our physical issues are manifestations of emotions. Yes, even in little ones. This is sometimes from our experiences and environment and sometimes from inherited emotions. Yes, they are passed on as much as physical traits are.
So we can also help the gut by dealing with the emotions that are suppressed and buried. To release some of these emotional blocks, I use the Australian Bush Flower Essences. There are so many to use but today, I will just quickly summarise which ones I always include in my clients blends that have digestive and gut issues. They often match the emotional symptoms that person is currently experiencing that accompany these physical gut symptoms...funny that! 😉
This is THE gut essence in my opinion. It helps with emotions associated with so many gut issues. The emotion states Paw Paw helps with is overwhelm, unable to resolve problems and burdened by decision. Taking this essence helps with assimilation of new ideas, calmness and clarity.
Crowea can help with emotions associated with poor digestion. The emotion states Crowea helps address is continual worrying, a sense of 'not being quite right'. Taking this essence helps with feelings of peace and calm, balances and centres the individual and give's clarity of one's feelings.
The emotion states Black Eyed Susan helps with is impatience, 'on the go', over committed and constant striving. Taking this essence allows the person to turn inward and be still, slowing down and brings about more inner peace.
The emotion states Bottlebrush helps with is being overwhelmed by major life changes for example adolescence, parenthood, pregnancy or transitioning to and from houses, relationships, careers etc. Taking this essence allows more serenity and calm and the ability to cope and move on.
The emotion states Dog Rose helps with is feelings of fear, shyness, insecurity, apprehensive with other people and niggling fears. Taking this essence brings about confidence, belief in self, courage and the ability to embrace life more fully.
The emotion states Peach Flowered Tea Tree helps with is mood swings, lack of commitment to follow through projects, easily bored. Taking this essence gives ability to complete projects, personal stability and helps the individual take responsibility for their own health.
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