I recently had the pleasure to interview nutritionist Angela Fryer for the Wolf Cast about nutrition and gut health – and one thing that particularly fascinated me was the link between gut and mind.
“For me, these two things are always intrinsically linked mentally and physically. So when one is out of balance so is the other!”
How do we restore balance to the gut and mind?
“Well there is actually something called the Gut-Brain Axis and there is evidence that both these areas communicate with each other continuously so the health of our gut influences the state of our mind. This means that what we put (or don’t put) in our bellies can affect how we feel! It can affect our focus, moods, concentration, clarity of thought and a whole host of other things. This was the single biggest realisation I had when changing my diet 3 years ago, just by reducing alcohol, cutting out refined carbohydrates and replacing them with whole foods I noticed a huge change in my mental clarity. I was less irritable, had better focus, better energy and most of all my brain fog was gone! I didn’t even know I had it until it was gone!!
OK so what next? Let’s say you do have the perfect diet but you still have a gut issues, then what?
“For me, there was a certain point I couldn’t get past. I had found the right diet for me but any emotional upheaval sent my guts into turmoil – spams, frequent trips to the toilet etc etc. So I began to explore my emotional well-being and realised there was another level to gut health.
I now know that there is a psychological aspect to many chronic conditions and that by unconsciously suppressing thoughts and feelings (sometimes for very good reasons) long term, it can contribute to a whole host of physical symptoms manifesting such as bad skin, gut problems, poor resilience, anxiety, depression to name a few. By exploring this deeper level, it helped to improve my energy levels and stress resilience and stabilise my gut health further.
Self care is the key to nourish the mind and body. The more I allow my mind to rest, the more my gut relaxes. That makes sense doesn’t it? Returning from retreat last month, I realised how valuable rest is and how little quality rest our minds receive on a day to day basis.”
You can read the full post on the link between the gut and mind on Angela’s blog and you can find Episode 5 of the Wolf Cast with Angela on the community page, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.