Regardless of whether we have butterflies in our stomachs or something is upsetting our stomachs: each of us knows situations in which the gut feeling, or better said our gut brain, determines where to go. The connection between our brain and our gastrointestinal tract - the so-called gut-brain axis - has also been intensively scientifically examined for several years. It is becoming increasingly clear what influence our digestive system has on our thinking, feeling and acting. Because the gastrointestinal tract and our brain communicate with each other and even very intensively and, above all, mutually! This means that the intestine not only receives instructions from the brain, but also sends signals there itself. Therefore, the intestine is also referred to as our second brain.
In this blog post we explain how stress affects the body, what exactly this gut-brain axis is and how you can support your mental health through your diet.
Stress - what exactly is that?
Stress is part of everyday life for most people in our fast-paced world. It is interesting that the individual, personal assessment makes a key contribution to whether a situation is experienced as stressful or not. Early stress research already distinguished between eustress, i.e. positive stress, and distress, the negative form. Eustress is associated with a predominantly pleasant feeling of being able to master certain challenges, to achieve something. This form of stress can even have an inspiring effect and increase performance! Distress, on the other hand, damages people over the long term through permanent excessive demands - in psychological and physical terms.
It is often your own personal thought patterns and attitudes that act as stress accelerators, e.g. B their own demands, which can only be satisfied with the best results, or even the striving for freedom from errors. In the social context, the desire for widespread popularity and recognition can develop into a stress accelerator. Likewise, the attitude of having to do everything yourself and not “being allowed” to delegate anything can increase the stress experience immensely.
The gut-brain axis - listen to your gut feeling:
"Butterflies in your stomach", "listen to your gut", or "hit your stomach" - all these phrases are commonly used to describe the physical feeling of emotions when they are manifesting in our bodies and they are perfect examples of the power of the gut-brain axis. The gut-brain axis, also known as GBA, is the connection between your brain and the gut microorganisms. Their job is to ensure that both the gut and the brain are kept informed of what's going on inside each of us, from emotions to digestive issues.
The gut-brain communication takes place via the gut-brain axis, which runs in both directions via nerve tracts, hormones or also via metabolic products of our intestinal bacteria. In particular via the so-called Nervus Vagus, a kind of nerve highway that stretches from the brainstem to the large intestine and sends signals back and forth between the central nervous system and the microorganisms in the intestine. Amazingly, 90% of the communication comes from the gut and only 10% of the signals from our brain. Due to the high number of nerve cells and the lively exchange between the intestine and the brain, the intestine is also called the "gut brain" or "2nd called the brain.
You can manipulate your gut-brain axis this easily:
While the topic may sound very complicated, there are simple ways to improve gut health as well as brain health. To do this, you need to target your microbiome and keep your cortisol levels balanced. You can now find out exactly how this works:
The unique formulation of our Dailybacs brings the 60 billion probiotic bacteria directly there, where they are needed. The use of acid-resistant probiotic bacterial strains ensures that the bacteria make the journey through the gastrointestinal tract superior and arrive in the small intestine unscathed. The Dailybacs also contain prebiotic inulin from natural chicory root, which acts as a "fertilizer" for the probiotics, allowing them to grow and thrive when activated in the gut. In combination with vitamins, minerals and the superfood pomegranate, they help to keep your microbiome in balance.
Happy Gut, Happy You - What to do?
It is important to pay attention to a healthy and balanced diet, because not only does your intestinal flora benefit from it! When the intestines are doing well, they send a positive signal to the brain, which benefits the psyche and general well-being. You can also do something good for your gut and your psyche by avoiding or reducing excessive stress through meditation or physical exercise, for example. Since it can often be difficult to integrate these measures into everyday life, probiotics, with which we can support our microbiome, are also excellent supplements.
Nerve for your body:
In this blog post we have already explained to you that there is an important connection between our intestinal function and our perception of stress. There are some foods that can support your body, especially in stressful situations. Here are our top 7 foods that will protect you against everyday stress:
- Nuts, kernels and seeds: Put a bowl of walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios on your desk. Nuts are real stress killers and balance your blood pressure in particular. This is made possible by many components from vitamin E and B.
- Green vegetables: Spinach, kale, broccoli and chard not only provide a lot of magnesium, but also numerous B vitamins, as well as calcium, potassium, vitamin C and iron. Iron supports memory performance, which allows you to work more concentrated, for example, without showing signs of fatigue.
- Bananas: This is a real happy food because they not only contain nerve-strengthening nutrients such as vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium, but also tryptophan. This amino acid is essential for the formation of the happiness hormone serotonin.
- Cocoa or dark chocolate: Cocoa = chocolate? Not quite. Because only dark chocolate with a high cocoa content or cocoa nibs are considered healthy food for the nerves. Why? Cocoa also contains a certain amount of tryptophan, which is required for the formation of serotonin.
- Oatmeal: With a portion of oatmeal for breakfast you are perfectly prepared for a stressful day. The reason: The healthy flakes contain lots of vitamins B1 and B3, as well as tryptophan, which is required for the formation of serotonin. In addition, the long-chain carbs keep you full for a long time, so you don't get stressed out by hunger.
- Salmon: Almost half of your brain and nervous system are made up of fat. Accordingly, (healthy) fats are important for strong nerves. Types of fish such as salmon, tuna or herring are known to contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. These dampen the hormone adrenaline released during stress and thus have a calming effect.
- Pulses: A meal with plenty of pulses makes you resistant to stress. Because lentils, chickpeas or peas not only contain a large amount of potassium, but also have a high content of magnesium, iron and zinc.
These 7 foods not only taste super delicious, they are also good for your intestines and your mood! So, enjoy them!
Happy Gut, Happy You!