But it’s not sexy to eat celery…
By Esteal Streaker /December 2, 2019
Last week, I was inspired to look up the studies that have been done on mental health and gut health. By
now, just about everyone has heard of the second brain in our gut, and the fact that our guts produce more
than 70% of the serotonin in our bodies. I went on PubMed, and found 1000’s of studies, saving nine in my
records on this topic, after reading for approximately three hours. I could have gone on and on, but, I had to
stop. Email me if you would like copies of these studies.
Turns out that there is no mental health issue that is not influenced by gut health. I mean, I was truly
astonished by how much gut health influences everything…
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- panic attacks
- bipolar disorder
Our gut microbiota affects our mental health.
One article published in 2018 mentioned seven different things affected by microbiota. Yes, the little buggers in our gut, affect pain regulation, cognitive ability, mood & emotion, temperament & character, stress management, dietary behavior, social interaction & reproductive behavior.
In fact, people who have high neuroticism and low conscientiousness traits often have an overabundance of gammaproteobacteria and proteobacteria in their guts. An abundance of butyrate producing bacteria such as
Lachnospiraceae, can help this, causing high conscientiousness. Everyone knows people who don’t do what they say they’re going to do, or who behave in ways that are not necessarily right, or thoughtful, or organized.
Eek! It just might be their gut microbes running the show.
Frontiers in Genetics published a 2013 study that suggests that mental health is dictated by an interplay between genetics, environment and mutations of certain biochemical pathways, namely, potassium, sodium, and calcium channels. Still, the study approaches the whole thing from a pharmacological perspective.
Where do we get potassium, sodium, calcium? Hmmm, could it be we get it from the foods we eat, particularly the plants, and only indirectly from the animals that eat those same plants? I mean, we don’t do so well at digesting rocks and dirt, you know? So, perhaps what we eat plays a big role in our mental health? Well, what about how we digest what we eat? Couldn’t that be pivotal in the making of these minerals that contribute to our brain health?
So…why don’t we eat better?
Perhaps it’s because it’s just not that sexy to eat celery…that is, unless, you
are surrounded by very sexy people eating celery.
I’m going to flesh that question out a little at a time, thanks to psychologist Dr.
Douglas Lisle, who discusses four traps that plague those of us who want to
eat better and feel healthy. Stay tuned for my next blog where I discuss the Pleasure trap.