The Mind-Gut Connection
At Sakara, we believe that health—and radiant happiness—begins in the gut. But what does that mean, exactly? There’s a critical link between nutrition and our microbiome, the ecosystem of bacteria that lives in our digestive system, and that influences everything from mood and cognition to sex drive and hormones. The microbiome in your gut speaks to your brain by regulating the production of signaling molecules, hormones, and neurotransmitters; in fact, your gut creates 95% of your serotonin (a.k.a. the happiness neurotransmitter).
Read on to learn how what you eat helps create an optimal gut microbiome.
THE ALL-POWERFUL MICROBIOME
Think of the gut as your body’s second brain: there are actually over 100 million brain cells residing in your gut. It also contains the vagus nerve, which is like the skyway carrying information from the gut to the brain. Your brain interprets these signals as emotions —“gut feelings” isn't just an expression. How you nourish daily will help you cultivate a diverse and thriving gut microbiome, thereby improving your overall physical and mental health.
To tend to your gut, start by examining your diet. If you’re eating a lot of refined, processed foods, drinking often, not getting enough sleep, and highly stressed, you may be doing damage to your gut microbiome and gut lining. A damaged gut lining can lead to a leaky gut, a condition in which pathogens permeate the intestinal walls, enter the bloodstream, and cause systemic inflammation. The brain is very similar to the gut in that the quality of cognition is dependent on what we eat, and its lining is also strengthened when we consume whole, nourishing foods.
TEND TO THE GUT FOR EMOTIONAL AND SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING
When your gut isn’t optimized, your emotional and mental health aren’t either, so it’s important to give your gut the nourishment it needs for you to thrive. Eat plenty of plant fiber, especially insoluble fiber like leafy greens found in our Signature Nutrition Program; take a powerful probiotic (like our Complete Probiotic); and eat something fermented everyday, such as apple cider vinegar to tend to your gut flora.
One of our favorite ways to nourish the gut is by making digestion-supporting Metabolism Super Powder a morning ritual. By adding a scoop of our star super powder into your coffee each morning you'll be starting the day with a dose of L-Glutamine, an amino acid crucial to protect the gut lining, and black pepper piperine, which stimulates digestive enzymes and enhances the absorption of nutrients in the GI tract. Leverage these powerful ingredients to ignite your inner fire and promote a healthy digestive system, all the while enhancing the body’s immunity and elevating mood.
While nutrition is essential to the mind-gut connection, lifestyle habits also contribute to a healthy gut lining. Easing stress and embracing self-care plays a critical role in healing the gut, too. In addition to nourishing your body with a plant-rich diet, try practicing daily rituals—including meditation, breathwork, and yoga—that support your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), also known as the rest-and-digest system. Stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system through meditation or deep belly breathwork is an essential ingredient to inner peace and well-being.
TIME TO REAP THE BENEFITS
When you unlock the secrets of your gut, you are empowered with happiness from within. The rewards you’ll reap are a thriving mind, a well-functioning body, and a joyful spirit—putting you in the driver’s seat of your own health and setting you up for long-lasting transformation.
The journey begins now. Get ready for your best year yet.