We’ve all had that “gut feeling” before.
It could be when something just doesn’t feel right, or when you know you’re about to embark on something truly epic.
But, have you ever stopped to think about why we feel things in our gut?
It’s not a happy accident or coincidence.
There is a definite link between the gut and brain. In fact, this connection is bi-directional, meaning what happens in your stomach affects your brain, and what’s going on in your brain likewise impacts the health of your gut microbiome.
Today, we take a closer look at the link between stress, anxiety, and gut health.
Stress & Gut Health
Stress is a part of daily life, and it can manifest itself in a number of ways -- emotional, psychological, and physical.
Some stress is beneficial (resistance training or HIIT cardio, for instance). However, not all stress is helpful. Being chronically stressed can cause sleep disturbances, feelings of anxiety, poor mood, metabolic disruption, and a host of other unwanted side effects.
Most of us have likely experienced the effects of stress on the gut. Additionally, digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome are commonly associated with mood disorders.
The reason for this is that stress, both acute and chronic, can alter the bacteria in our gut. This is due to the fact that the nervous system carries distress signals to the gut.
Additionally, stress and depression can increase gut barrier permeability (aka leaky gut), which allows bacteria to seep into circulation, generating an inflammatory response.
For instance, a troubled marriage, unfortunately, is a rather common source of chronic stress. Research shows that couples at odds with each other have greater gut permeability than their less hostile counterparts.
Stress and anxiety can also impact our food choices, which provides yet another adverse effect on the health of the gut.
Research shows that stress deactivates executive function in the brain in response to food cues and fosters a preference towards comfort food. When you consider that what you eat has a direct and tangible impact on which bacteria will thrive in the gut (and thus, those which will perish), you start to realize just how important a nutritious diet is.
Not only does the composition of your gut microbiome impact how you digest, absorb, and metabolize the nutrient you consume, but it also impacts how you think, feel, and perform. In fact, upwards of 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut.
Serotonin is one of the major neurotransmitters involved in mood, feelings of well-being, and appetite control.
Furthermore, data indicates that nutritious diets, (e.g. theMediterranean diet) are associated with a lower risk of depressive symptoms over time. The Mediterranean diet has also been shown to offer anti-inflammatory benefits, and inflammation has been found to increase the risk for depression.[5,6]
The gut can significantly impact the brain, and similarly, the brain can also exert a powerful influence on the gut. Stress can alter the microbial balance in the gut, making an individual more vulnerable to sickness as well as initiate a sequence of reactions in the body that lead to poor mood and feelings of anxiety.
Further affecting the situation are the foods that an individual eats. Remember, that stress and anxiety can lower inhibitions and make it easier to eat hyper-processed, less nutritious food. This has a downstream effect of further disrupting the composition of the gut, further exacerbating the situation.
With that in mind, it’s imperative that you focus on stress management techniques as well as the quality of your diet -- lean protein, healthy fats, fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc.
For added nutritional support, consider a greens & reds supplement and/or
a fiber supplement.
1UP Organic Vegan Greens & Reds Superfoods Plus is formula supplies 19 organic greens and reds fruits and veggies in every serving. To further provide 360 degree gut health support, mood and well-being, we’ve also included trademarked probiotics in LactoSpore® as well as trademarked digestive enzymes DigeZyme®
The "pro-" prefix dictates good microorganisms that provide a health benefits. Supports a healthy digestive system by promoting the production of good gut bacteria. Not only does the health & diversity of our gut microbiome affect our digestive health, but it can also impact numerous other aspects of daily life, including immune function, cognition, and mood as well as the quality and appearance of your hair, skin, & nails. We use are trademarked probiotics Lactospore®
Organic Prebiotic Fiber
Serves a highly important role for the GI tract - it serves as “food” for the trillions of bacteria that reside in our bodies. Helps improve gut health by feeding gut bacteria
Digestive Enzymes - DigeZyme®
Play a key role in breaking down the food you eat. These proteins speed up chemical reactions that turn nutrients into substances that your digestive tract can absorb. We use are trademarked digestive Enzymes DigeZyme®
1UP Fiber Plus includes three different forms of natural fiber in psyllium husk, inulin, and golden flaxseed to nourish the good bacteria in your gut, thereby supporting proper digestion, healthy appetite, and mood.
- Madison A, Kiecolt-Glaser JK. Stress, depression, diet, and the gut microbiota: human-bacteria interactions at the core of psychoneuroimmunology and nutrition. Curr Opin Behav Sci. 2019 Aug;28:105-110. doi: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2019.01.011. Epub 2019 Mar 25. PMID: 32395568; PMCID: PMC7213601.
- Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Wilson SJ, Bailey ML, Andridge R, Peng J, Jaremka LM, Fagundes CP, Malarkey WB, Laskowski B, Belury MA: Marital distress, depression, and a leaky gut: translocation of bacterial endotoxin as a pathway to inflammation. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2018, 98:52–60.
- Tryon MS, Carter CS, DeCant R, Laugero KD: Chronic stress exposure may affect the brain’s response to high calorie food cues and predispose to obesogenic eating habits. Physiol Behav 2013, 120:233–242.
- Bailey MA, Holscher HD: Microbiome-mediated effects of the Mediterranean diet on inflammation. Adv Nutr 2018, 9:193–206
- Khandaker, GM et al. Shared mechanisms between coronary heart disease and depression: findings from a large UK general population-based cohort. Molecular Psychiatry; 19 Marc 2019; DOI: 10.1038/s41380-019-0395-3