Your gut is like an emcee for your overall health, setting the tone for many of your bodily functions. A happy gut means an effective digestion system, healthy heart, supported immune system, and clear complexion. A happy gut also means a happy you. Thanks to its production of neurochemicals, your gut is highly influential on your mood. Since what you eat impacts your gut health, it affects your mood as well.
Here’s a quick guide to improving your mood through your diet.
How is the gut connected to your mood?
Housed in your gut are trillions of healthy bacteria, known collectively as the gut microbiome. They produce neurochemicals that can influence our mood, in addition to facilitating the absorption of nutrients from food and elimination of toxins.
So, what are “happy hormones”?
Included among the neurochemicals that our gut produces are hormones referred to as “happy hormones.” These are dopamine, GABA, and serotonin, which are influential in maintaining a positive mood, and helping against depression and anxiety. Your gut is actually responsible for 95 percent of our body’s serotonin! That said, a healthy gut means more efficient production of serotonin to keep us feeling good.
What can I eat to improve my “happy hormone” levels?
By nourishing your gut microbiome and ensuring its efficiency in producing neurochemicals, fiber can improve your happy hormone levels. You can get fiber from fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains.
You can also take a daily supplement to help ensure that you get enough fiber every day. Consider an all-natural option like Bellway Super Fiber, which is made with organic ingredients and flavored with real fruit.
Foods containing tryptophan.
Tryptophan is an amino acid from which serotonin is created. It occurs naturally in some common foods, such as eggs, tofu, cheese, salmon, turkey, and most nuts and seeds.
Foods containing serotonin.
You can get serotonin directly from some foods, too. For example, tomatoes and pineapples are noted for their serotonin content. Just note that some foods increase in serotonin as they ripen but others don’t, so be mindful of whether a food’s freshness impacts its effectiveness in improving your mood.