Gut health is one of the most important parts of your body to begin healing when coming from a place of depression. Your gut and your brain are closely connected and I’ve spoken about this a lot. You can check out a previous blog post I wrote all about the Gut-Depression Connection.
But how do you actually go about healing your gut? Read on for 4 steps to healing your gut and in turn beginning to heal your brain.
— How To Heal Your Gut
Step One – Remove Foods
For the following steps to have more of an effect begin to eliminate all the foods that are wreaking havoc on your gut health. This includes processed foods, dairy products, sugar laden foods, gluten and most vegetable oils.
This first step can feel overwhelming, so start by adding more vegetables in, cook a few more meals at home and become aware of some of these gut-harming foods that you may be consuming.
Take it slow and do one step at a time. Remove one unhealthy item and replace it with something nourishing. Then tackle another.
Step Two – Repair Gut Wall
Now that you’ve removed foods that are causing damage, it’s time to begin the repair process. Eat more healthy fats such as coconut oil and avocado. Take a fish oil supplement (find my favourite here).
L-Glutamine is an amino acid you can purchase at a health food store that will help repair your intestinal wall as well. It can be easily found in powder form and added to smoothies.
— Now to rebuild…
Step Three – Rebuild Microbiome
The elimination of harmful foods has taken place and the repair has begun. Now it’s time to rebuild your microbiome. Microbiome is a fancy term for all the healthy bacteria living in your gastrointestinal tract. These are responsible for many functions, one of which is the production of several neurotransmitters that balance mood.
Take a probiotic supplement (here’s my fav – I take it every day), eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and miso paste as these all help rebuild your beneficial gut bacteria.
Step Four – Reduce Stress
Healing your gut will actually help you reduce feelings of anxiety and stress but it’s important to do your part as well. Stress will negatively impact your gut and slow the healing process.
Begin a meditation practice, implement morning and evening routines, take a daily nature walk. All these activities help reduce your stress levels when practiced consistently.
Remember that healing your body and your mental health takes time. Don’t rush, don’t get overwhelmed and just take things one step, one day at a time.
Invest in seeing a naturopath, a coach or talk about things with your doctor when you feel unsure about your journey.