Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind. ~Thomas Jefferson
Emotions are my best friends. They help me not only understand my present state but also how my body is doing. Researchers are discovering, that an imbalance in your gut can cause mental symptoms. They call the gut the second brain, and boy are they right. I have witnessed first hand those with ADD, anxiety, depression, and despair turn completely around when they fixed the microbes in their gut.
90% of the body’s total serotonin is produced in the digestive tract. Only 5% of serotonin is produced in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which influences many aspects of your behavior, such as mood, appetite, and pain sensation. The right amount of serotonin in the brain produces a calm and happy feeling.
Researchers have established a compelling link between gut bacteria and mental health. They’re still trying to figure out the extent to which the human micro population that is established in early childhood can be transformed. In a study led by John Cryan, a neuroscientist in Ireland, anxious mice dosed with the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus rhamnosus showed lower levels of anxiety, decreased stress hormones, and even an increase in brain receptors for a neurotransmitter that’s vital in curbing worry, anxiety, and fear. I have witnessed this for myself in others, and I know this to be true.
My life feels dramatically different than it did a few years ago, and I cannot wait for each and every day; but I did not always feel that way. Twelve years ago I was living in despair and I started chasing hope like there was no tomorrow. Desperate to find help for my body and help for my family, I was a woman on a mission to find hope any way possible; and then life turned around dramatically. I trained myself to find the things that would make me feel good physically and this website is the result of that journey. I don’t just feel good, I feel fantastic most of the time and I am loving it. I never felt like this in my twenties or thirties and I think it is the only way to live. The best way I can describe it is passion, joy, and wellness. It makes every day magical. I have a lot of energy and feel like I have enough to carry out my mission on this earth, and that includes helping each and every one of you. It feels like I am dating my husband all over again and we have been married for thirty years. Its feels like being in love for the first time – only the feeling lasts. I can’t think about him too much or I can’t get my work done!
It is not just the food I am eating that makes me feel this way, but this is where it all started. I started to feel better physically, and then I connected to my mind and soul in a way I had never connected before. My life’s purpose started unfolding before my eyes, and if you could see me writing this blog you would see the emotion that I feel and how very grateful I am to have found the answers that changed my life.
Let me explain to you some of the things that I believe changed my inner world, and as a consequence changed my mental state, my body, and my spirit.
One of the first things I reach for when I need a mood changer is kombucha.
Look at what 8 ounces of Kombucha has in it.
Daily Minimum Allowance
- Folic Acid 25%
- Vitamin B2 20%
- Vitamin B6 20%
- Vitamin B1 20%
- Vitamin B3 20%
- Vitamin B12 20%
- Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086: 1 billion organisms
- S. Boulardii: 1 billion organisms
Antioxidants and Organic Acids
- EGCG 100mg
- Glucuronic Acid 10mg
- L(+) Lactic Acid 25mg
- Acetic Acid 30 mg
Do you know what all of this means? Do you see the billions of probiotics?
Let me tell you about one of the probiotics found in kombucha called Saccharomyces Boulardii (S. Boulardii) which is actually a good yeast. It is used as the number one probiotic in hospitals, called Florastor. S. boulardii has digestive benefits that support the immune system. When you support the immune system, your body is in a calm and relaxed state. These probiotics help nourish the cells that support the intestinal epithelium, and repair the gut, which is a first-line defense against invaders to the body. Drinking kombucha can make you feel great. I have noticed I always feel better about 20 to 30 minutes after drinking my kombucha.
Kombucha, as well as all the cultured foods, has a ton of B vitamins. These B vitamins help nourish your adrenals, which control your moods and start you on the road to feeling better.
B and C Vitamins and Adrenal Function
I call B vitamins the happy vitamins. They make you feel great when you have enough of them. And guess what helps you absorb them? You got it, good gut flora. You can’t absorb what you need without lots of the right microbes in your gut. When you lack the right microbes, the results are emotions that run amuck and an overall feeling of despair or anxiety. Your adrenal glands manufacture a number of hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, aldosterone, estrogen, and testosterone that regulate body fluid balance, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other central metabolic functions and help your body cope with stress. Each of the B vitamins is essential when you have any kind of stress, be it physical or emotional. It helps with everything from mood to DNA synthesis to energy production. Strong emotions cause the adrenals to release extra reserves of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. And, because the production of these hormones requires a lot of nutrients, including B vitamins and magnesium, excessive emotional demands will exhaust the adrenals. A “nervous breakdown” is actually adrenal fatigue, or when the adrenal glands can’t deal with the amount of stress they’re experiencing. Adrenaline is closely connected with the sympathetic nervous system. Perhaps the very reason you are having these strong emotions is because of things going on in the gut as well?
In this article from The Verge, (see article here) UCLA researchers showed in one 2013 proof-of-concept study that healthy women who consumed (twice daily for four weeks) a drink with four added probiotic strains showed significantly altered brain functioning on an MRI brain scan. The women’s brains were scanned while they looked at photos of angry or sad faces, and then asked to match those with other faces showing similar emotions.
Those who had consumed the probiotic drink showed significantly lower brain activity in the neural networks that help drive responses to sensory and emotional behavior. The research is “groundbreaking,” says Cryan the researcher, because it’s the first trial to show that probiotics could affect the functioning of the human brain.
Most B vitamins act as co-enzymes, which means that they help form enzymes to become catalysts in biochemical transformations throughout your body. When you have enough, you can feel it. Your mood will shift and I believe it is one of the big reasons I feel happy most of the time. All the cultured foods have B vitamins in them and having good flora in your gut helps you absorb and use these critical vitamins.
Another key vitamin that is abundant in cultured foods is vitamin C, which is also key in helping support your adrenals and a myriad of other process in the body as well. Vitamin C is absolutely essential for adrenal function. Vitamin C will allow you to respond properly to life`s stressors and recover more quickly from them. Cultured foods not only supply you with a ton of Vitamin C, but they also allow you to better absorb it throughout the body. Good microbes heal the the gut and allow better absorption and digestion from all your foods. Cultured vegetables and kefir are abundant in vitamins C and B. Vitamin C has many, many functions in the body and since it is water-soluble, and not stored by the body and is eliminated in urine, we require a continuous daily supply in our diet.
Change the bacteria in your gut by adding probiotic foods. Heal and nourish your adrenals and watch your mood lift and your body heal. I could write page after page about this, but I need to make dinner for my family. Such is my life, little bursts of writing, then it is time to eat again. One of the greatest pleasures of being a human – eating wonderful food and sharing it with others. Especially cultured foods.
To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. ~Buddha