Simple Ways to Nourish Your Gut for Better Brain Health

The Beauty Chef Simple Ways to Nourish Your Gut for Better Brain Health

Our much-loved #30DAYSTOGLOW Challenge is back for another year! For the month of September, join us on a journey to luminous skin and a healthy, happy belly by taking a teaspoon of GLOW™ every day. Below, even more reason to take care of your gut…

Battling brain fog? Memory like a sieve? While it’s tempting to reach for another coffee, the key to a sharp mind actually starts in your belly…

At this very moment, there’s a delicate dance taking place between your gut and your brain. An incredible network of neurons, chemicals and hormones, known as the “Gut-Brain Axis”, is sending feedback up and down a complex information highway that operates between your belly and your brain. Given that our brain health—and consequently, our mood—is so strongly influenced by the bugs in our gut, eating in a way that nourishes this community of microbes is essential for a healthy mind-body connection. 

Read on for three simple ways to help boost your brain health.

Get Gluten-Savvy

Eating foods that contain gluten—think most breads, cereals, packaged foods and even some sauces—has been linked to increased intestinal permeability and leaky gut. Leaky gut has been shown to prompt an inflammatory response in the body, which can become chronic if the immune system is constantly triggered. This is because the junctions in the gut lining become permeable, allowing endotoxins and food antigens to pass through.

If you decide to go gluten-free, be sure not to skimp on fibre. Enjoy plenty of fibrous veggies and include some gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat in your diet too. Your gut bugs feed on fibre and use it to make short-chain fatty acids, anti-inflammatory compounds are great for skin, metabolic, brain and gut health. 

Limit Your Sugar Intake

Too much sweet stuff not only creates an imbalance in gut bacteria but can also lead to gut permeability and inflammation. Again, this is bad news for our brain. The brain is the most energy-demanding of all organs in the body and needs a certain type of sugar—known as glucose—to function at its best. But more glucose doesn’t necessarily mean more brain power! In fact, high blood glucose levels have been associated with mood disorders, poor memory and impaired mental capacity in people with type 2 diabetes. Evidence also shows that dysbiosis or inflammation in the gut can be a contributing factor to some mental illnesses, including anxiety and depression. Limit your intake of added sugars (which you’ll mostly find in processed, packaged food) and instead focus on enjoying the natural sweetness of fruits and veggies—your brain gets plenty of glucose from these sources alone.

Nosh On Healthy Fats

Fat is a highly efficient fuel source for the brain. In fact, your brain is approximately 60% fat and needs dietary fat, specifically omega-3s, to build brain cells. What’s more, fats are the vehicles that transport fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) to the brain. Some of our favourite sources of dietary fat include wild-caught salmon, small oily fish, avocado, nuts and seeds, grass fed butter, extra virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil and free-range organic eggs. Healthy fats also benefit the skin, so eat up! 

Want to discover more ways to boost your brain health and improve your mood? Check out these 6 healthy happiness hacks

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