Depending on how long you’ve been hanging around with me, you may know that there are 3 major pillars to natural anxiety banishment : gut health, neurotransmitter production and hormones.
Did you know that your body *technically* has more than one brain?!
Three to be exact.
And one of them lives in your gut – the “gut brain.”
It has just as many neurotransmitters as your brain does (crazy, right?!) and houses over 70% of the immune system.
And what’s even cooler (at least to me 🙃) is that your gut even has its own nervous system – the enteric nervous system. aka the ENS.
If your gut is inflamed it’s going to affect nearly every aspect of your body, especially anxiety and mood.
And there’s A LOT nutritionists can do for inflammation.
Basically reducing inflammation is my bread and butter.
When you think about inflammation, what do you think of?
A cut, bruise, broken bone, swollen and red skin, maybe even seasonal allergies….
You’re not wrong.
Inflammation quite literally means fire - fire in the body.
There are two kinds of inflammation. There’s the kind we know and recognize: the sore throat, the sprained ankle, an infection from a bad cut …
There’s a specific branch of study called neuroimmunology. It’s the combination of neuroscience and the immune system, and is devoted to studying the interaction between the brain, nervous system, and the immune system.
And there’s something called C-reactive proteins (aka CRPs). CRPs are a common inflammatory marker and they’re high in patients with various mood disorders.
What’s this mean?
Basically the inflammation that goes along with injuries is generally “good” inflammation because it does its job then is gone, it’s working to heal the body.
Silent inflammation is when the natural balance of the immune system is disrupted.
This is no bueno.
The problem is no one knows how to recognize the signs and symptoms.
For example if you have anxiety PLUS any of the following 👇 you’ve likely got some silent inflammation going on:
Indigestion, bloating constipation
Dark circles under your eyes
Rashes, itchiness, psoriasis, eczema, acne
Nasal congestion, frequent colds/infections, frequent yeast infections
Muscle aches, joint pain
Inflammation in the gut is usually the result of one thing: DIET.
Low fibre (less than 25 grams per day) and eating highly inflammatory foods (sugar, dairy, gluten, corn, and soy) are the biggest culprits.
While you may “feel” fine *besides your anxiety* for the most part, these foods are slowly causing internal damage.
And what may that be? A little something we refer to as leaky gut.
Diets low in fibre and high in inflammatory foods cause inflammation in the gut and subsequent damage to the gut lining.
How does this happen?
When the tight junction—what holds the small intestine lining together—loosen due to inflammation, small food particles slide through and enter the bloodstream.
Food particles are supposed to stay INSIDE the gut, not escape the lining, running wild in the bloodstream, doing whatever the heck they like.
Food molecules in their simplest forms—think amino acids (proteins), glucose (carbohydrates), fatty acids (fats), vitamins, and minerals—are the ONLY things that should enter the bloodstream from food.
But when food escapes the gut and enters the bloodstream NOT in its simplest form, the body has no idea what the heck is going on.
So, the immune system mounts an attack on these innocent little food molecules, thinking they're invaders.
If we want to eliminate anxiety, we need to put out the fire (release the inflammation).
We do this in a few ways.
First, increase your essential fatty acid intake (Omega-3s). Think flax seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and wild-caught cold water fish - salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring & tuna.
This will go a long way to help counter the effects of inflammation BUT, and this is a big but, you still have to remove the culprits.
Second, this means greatly reducing gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and corn.
If this seems hella overwhelming, remember progress over perfection. I don’t expect you do be on top of your sh*t every waking moment, so instead, follow the 80/20 rule.
80% of the time avoid inflammatory foods, and 20% of the time, ENJOY LIFE! Live a little and eat whatevah you want.
TBH my clients usually follow a 70/30 rule and still get amazing results.