Did you know that your current mood is your body’s way of telling you something is up? So if you're feeling moody, there could be something else bigger at play going on with your gut health.
This is because your gut is thought of as your second brain. It is one of the largest producers of neurotransmitters. Scientists explain that neurotransmitters are often referred to as the body’s chemical messengers. They are the molecules used by the nervous system to transmit messages between neurons, or from neurons to muscles.
Your gut produces key neurotransmitters such as:
50% is created in our gut. This is known as your “happy” or “feel-good” hormone which the brain releases we eat the food we crave or while we have sex. It contributes to our feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. According to WebMd, "Dopamine plays a big part of our unique human ability to think and plan. It helps us strive, focus, and find things interesting.
Your body spreads it along four major pathways in the brain. Like most other systems in the body, you don’t notice it (or maybe even know about it) until there’s a problem. Too much or too little of it can lead to a vast range of health issues. Some are serious, like Parkinson’s disease. Others are much less dire."
90% is created in our gut. This neurotransmitter is known as our mood stabilizing hormone, it regulates our anxiety, happiness and mood. Serotonin impacts every part of your body, from your emotions to your motor skills. Serotonin is considered a natural mood stabilizer. It’s the chemical is responsible for stimulating the parts of the brain helping us sleep, eat, and digest. Serotonin can also heal wound, stimulate nausea, and maintain bone health.
3. Short-chain Fatty Acids
Produced when fiber is fermented in the colon and acts as a source of energy for the cells lining the colon. In fact, they are the main source of nutrition for the cells in your colon. According to Healthline, "short-chain fatty acids may also play an important role in health and disease.They may reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other conditions.
Excess short-chain fatty acids are used for other functions in the body. For example, they may provide roughly 10% of your daily calorie needs. Short-chain fatty acids are also involved in the metabolism of important nutrients like carbs and fat."
Digestion is Key
What does this all mean? Digestion is at the root— ensuring these neurotransmitters are able to do their job as intended. When you can properly digest your food, and absorb essential nourishment, your mood will become more regulated. Making some lifestyle changes, and focusing on your overall health, can help to naturally increase the production of these neurotransmitters.
5 Ways to Naturally Increase Dopamine and Serotonin
1. Take a Digestive Enzyme Complex
Find an all-natural supplement that helps to support your digestion to break down carbs, fat, fiber, and reducing bloating or constipation.
2. Eat Less Saturated Fat
Healthline informs that "some animal research has found that saturated fats, such as those found in animal fat, butter, full-fat dairy, palm oil and coconut oil, may disrupt dopamine signaling in the brain when consumed in very large quantities."
3. Reduce Your Stress
Take steps to decrease the stress in. your life by trying yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. You can also use lavender aromatherapy or set a bouquet of fresh lavender on your desk or around your home to soothe yourself.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Keep your bedroom dark so you’ll produce lots of melatonin during the night, which will help you get enough shut eye. Set all your electronic devices such as cell phones or computers to nighttime mode so they won’t produce blue light, which can keep you awake.
5. Listen to Music
Healthline tell us that "listening to music can be a fun way to stimulate dopamine release in the brain. Several brain imaging studies have found that listening to music increases activity in the reward and pleasure areas of the brain, which are rich with dopamine receptors."
One of the best ways to stabilize your mood is by regulating your digestion. Make sure to take your Confidence when you eat to ensure you're breaking down and absorbing your food to the best of your ability.