Serotonin: how a healthy intestinal flora can help with depressive feelings

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Serotonin: how a healthy intestinal flora can help with depressive feelings

What if gloomy feelings do not arise in your head, but in your stomach? In your gut to be precise? This article shows how essential our intestinal flora is in the production of ‘happy substances’ such as serotonin. “By loving your flora, you get sweet feelings and thoughts back.”

You can balance your intestinal flora with food. After all, it is responsible for the production of 90 percent of the serotonin in your body.

Gut feeling

It’s not in your head – well, a little. I’m talking about emotions and thoughts. We usually think that depression originates in the head. But did you know that there are many more nerve cells in your gut than in your head? This is also known as your abdominal brain. And that the abdominal brain can feel, think and remember. Cool huh! You suddenly have a whole new world of feelings and thoughts.

So the butterflies in your stomach when you are in love or the stomach ache when you are stressed are not just beautiful words or fabrications, they really exist. And those jitters when you swing really high? They are all activities of a huge nervous system. Your gut-brain. And how about gut feeling? Or intuition? Hello tummy brain, thank you for your intelligence!

Serotonin and a healthy intestinal flora

Healthy intestinal flora is responsible for the production of a large part of your ‘happy substances’. And what’s so handy: they are produced where they are used. Made in your gut and used by your gut-brain. Your body is so efficient.

An example: 90 percent of the serotonin in your body is made by your flora. Serotonin is a substance that transmits messages between your nerve cells. I call serotonin a ‘happy substance’, because it has a huge impact on how you feel. With enough serotonin in your body, you feel comfortable, safe, and happy. When there is too little serotonin, you experience feelings of stress, insecurity, and anxiety, as well as feelings of depression.

This is how you balance your intestinal flora

Serotonin: how a healthy intestinal flora can help with depressive feelings

Unfortunately, due to our Western lifestyle, many do not have healthy intestinal flora. A good dose of stress or the use of medication such as antibiotics is killing your flora. And there’s a lot more that affects its health.

So it’s high time to pay extra attention to your intestinal flora. It is absolutely not necessary to take expensive supplements for this. You can balance your intestinal flora with food. After all, it is responsible for the production of 90 percent of the serotonin in your body.

  1. Eat fermented products daily. This will bring new bacteria into your gut and make your flora stronger. For example, think of yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut.
  2. Drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day. Your flora thrives in a moist environment.
  3. Eat plenty of prebiotic foods such as whole grains and unpeeled fruits and vegetables. Pumpkin, Jerusalem artichoke, and sweet potato are high in prebiotic fiber.
  4. Avoid refined and processed foods. Only choose food as nature intended.
  5. Move! Your gut, and therefore your gut flora, thrives on exercise.

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