We’re used to thinking of the mind as the ultimate source of emotional health but it turns out that our bodies are more complex than that. Your gut health is critical, too. Researchers have shown that there is a significant link between emotional health and our digestive systems, making the saying “I have a gut feeling” more accurate than ever. Certain types of gut bacteria are associated with positive moods. Unfortunately, others are associated depression, anxiety, and other mood disturbances. In some studies, scientists could even induce depression by transferring gut bacteria from depressed rodents into happy rodents. That’s how powerful those little bacteria suckers can be!
As part of improving your mood and emotional health, consider improving your gut health. Talk with your doctor about adding a probiotic that is specially formulated to have mood-enhancing effects. This article also includes helpful information about psychobiotics. You don’t have to get your probiotics from a pill, however; you can start by adding certain foods high in probiotics to your diet, including yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and buttermilk.
Not so into yogurt or pickled foods? You can expand your approach to mood-enhancing eating beyond probiotics, too. Nutritionists suggest that a diet that consists of enough omega-3-rich foods, green, leafy vegetables, whole grains, and vitamin D-rich foods may help improve your mood, too.
At Nova Terra Therapy, we believe in using all of the natural tools at your disposal to enhance well-being. Whether it’s exercise, probiotics, improving your diet overall, or taking up meditation, there are a lot of ways to enhance your work in counseling and improve your mood. We love to coordinate care with other health professionals if that works for you. If you would like for us to consult with your nutritionist, primary care provider, ob-gyn, or naturopath, our therapists would be more than happy to do that. Please contact our Washington DC area mental health clinic to learn more about the many ways we can support you or your loved one.