In today’s world, there are a rising number of cases of gut issues, autoimmune diseases as well as mental health problems.
When someone seeks counseling therapy for their stress, anxiety, or depression, they often have some kind of physical condition as well. Either they have autoimmune conditions, gut issues, allergies, or some kind of inflammatory condition.
There is strong evidence that there is a link between gut and brain. Let’s take the example of alcohol. When we fill our gut with alcohol then it’s the brain that is most affected.
Similarly, if we have particular types of microbes in our gut that produce alcoholic toxic substances to our brain that cause anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. These are neurotoxins that can make anyone mentally ill.
One group of these microbes are yeasts, including Candida species and they have a great relationship with sugar and carbohydrates.
When a person with a healthy gut eats carbohydrates – that dietary glucose is converted into lactic acid, water and energy through a biochemical process called glycolysis
But when someone with Yeast overgrowth Candida eats carbohydrates – then these microbes convert glucose into alcohol (ethanol) called acetaldehyde. So these people with overgrown candida are permanently ‘drunk’, particularly after a carbohydrate meal.
These alcohol substances are very damaging for our brain and gut and this is the cause of autoimmune diseases because the immune system makes antibodies against these altered proteins and then it may also attack normal proteins in the brain like Myelin.
It damages myelin in our brain which is a cause of multiple sclerosis, autism, and dyspraxia.
It also led to functional deficiency of vitamin B6 and thyroid dysfunction. As a result, the person develops depression, lethargy, fatigue, weight gain, poor immunity, memory problems, etc
Also, when we have an overgrowth of these microbes, we produce low levels of serotonin which is another neurotransmitter and these cells live in our gut. It makes us happier and keeps us in a good mood. When we have low levels of serotonin, we have sugar cravings and our mood is generally low, irritable, or feeling of anger, sadness, anxiety, emptiness, or hopelessness.
Sugar cravings lead us to eat more cakes, chocolates, and processed carbohydrates that make these microbes even stronger thus making symptoms worse.
Support your gut health to heal mental health with 3 main ways :
- Clean up YOUR diet – First we need to clean up our diet by avoiding foods which make these microbes even stronger. Avoid all these foods –
- All grains: wheat, rye, rice, oats, corn, maize, sorghum, barley, buckwheat, millet, spelt, bulgar, tapioca, quinoa, cous-cous. All the grains make the diet truly gluten free.
- All starchy vegetables: Potato, yams, sweet potato, parsnip, Jerusalem artichoke, cassava, arrowroot, taro.
- Sugar and anything that contains it
- Starchy beans and peas : soybeans, mung beans, garbanzo beans, bean sprouts, chickpeas, faba beans
- Lactose and anything made with it: fluid or dried milk of any type, Commercial yoghurt, buttermilk, sour cream, processed food with added lactose.
2. Heal your Gut lining – To heal your gut lining, you need large amounts of nourishing substances: amino acids, gelatine, glucosamines, fats, vitamins, minerals, etc. all the substances which gut lining is made from. All these substances you will find in homemade meat stock or bone broth, eggs (raw eggs or yolks), non-starchy vegetables (eating as soups), omega 3 fats, etc
- Adding probiotics and probiotics rich foods – You need beneficial bacteria to keep your gut healthy, nourish gut lining, digesting food and absorbing nutrients. You need good quality, therapeutic-strength probiotics and eat fermented foods such as homemade live yoghurt, sauerkraut, beetroot kvass, probiotic tomato juice, fermented fish etc.
Support your mental health to heal gut health
One reason when you experience sugar cravings frequently could be the indication that you miss sweetness in your life. If that is so, how could you find more joy in your life?
Simple ways you can feel more joyful mentally
- Noticing what good you have in your life and feeling grateful for that.
- Take break from social media and experience activities that you truly enjoys
- Spend your money on experiences than on things
- Connect to yourself with restful activities like meditation, reading, colouring etc
- Do something nice for someone without expecting them to know.
- Go for a walk and sit in nature – soak sun and green!
- Try a movement class – restorative yoga, African dance etc