I have been reading a book by Emeron Mayer about the connection between gut health and your mind. This topic absolutely fascinates me and this line of work was the catalyst for me studying my Masters in Health Psychology.
This research should be a part of the school curriculum in teaching children how to optimize their gut health and in turn, their mental health. We are so reactive in approach to our health it’s like the rest of the world has progressed with the times but our education and teachings of how to care for ourselves have stayed frozen in the 70’s.
90% of your body’s serotonin is stored in your digestive tract. 90% of the drivers of our happiness and our defense against depression and anxiety live where we process food.
That means, that only 10% of our body’s overall serotonin, our feel good hormones are in our brains. Where was this during psyc101? ON the whole, we are taught that our brains are the engine that keeps the car running, that all of our hormones and neurotransmitters are stored in our brains which effects our affect, the way our body’s function, emotions and mental health.
But what if this was a two way street? And what if we taught people that the food we eat has a direct impact on how we feel. Would that change our dietary habits or would the large majority of the population still eat highly processed foods that cause our body’s harm?
To me, that fact is absolutely outstanding that 90% of our body’s happiness hormones are stored in the same place where we store, process, break down and distribute our food. Why is that that doctors prescribe medications for diagnoses like depression that target our neurotransmitters and hormones in our brains? Why is it that medications are often the answer that doctors fall back on because actually fixing our bodies from the inside out takes too long, or is too hard or doesn’t have immediate effect?
If we were taught about the importance of our gut health, not only for our emotions but for our overall well-being, would we as a society still be dependent on medications?
I am such a big believer in trying to heal your body from the foods you eat and the environment you live in. We literally are what we eat and if we aren’t fuelling our body’s with enough of the right foods, then how can we expect our brains and body’s to function without experiencing dis-ease?
There is a time and place for medication in serious cases that require immediate attention or in exceptional circumstances however, I think our medical and education system is letting us down by withholding information or misinforming us on the importance of our diet as a dictator of our mental health.
Perhaps they don’t want us to know, so we continue to need doctors and prescriptions?
We need to be more proactive with our health. We are such a reactive society especially when it comes to our health. We medicate when we experience symptoms, we only get checked up when we are unwell and we often don’t take responsibility for our actions for our wellness.
Food is such an imperative part of our lives. We need to it live, we need it to have energy and we need it to repair, grow and thrive. Our food is digested by the home of our happiness hormones and if they aren’t happy, then we won’t be either.