The gut and the brain are in constant two-way communication, a phenomenon that is known as the gut-brain axis - and when signals between the two are out of whack, it can trigger gut and other health issues.
While it’s relatively early days in the research, the ‘gut feeling’ phenomenon is something we’ve all experienced. Long before science connected the two, we were using the gut to describe our feelings and emotions, such as “getting butterflies” when we’re nervous and saying we “can’t stomach” certain activities or behaviour.
It’s due to this gut-brain communication that feeling stressed plays a big role in our gut health and can affect our gut bacteria. Trials have shown not only that our gut microbiota (that’s the trillions of microbes, including bacteria - living within us) is implicated in our mental health, but that by modifying our gut microbiota (GM) with simple diet and lifestyle strategies, we can help manage mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. A few small changes can make a big difference to enhance brain performance.