A Gut Feeling: The Link Between Your Gut Bacteria and Mental Health

The human brain is a complex organ composed of billions of neurons continuously firing electrical signals that control what we do, think, and feel. However, many people do not realize that the human body also has a “second brain!” This “second brain,” located in the gut, is often overlooked but equally important in regulating our behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. Read on to learn about the gut-brain connection and how taking care of your gut can improve your mental health. 

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Can Fermented Foods Improve Mental Health?

Food fermentation is an ancient culinary practice that improves the palatability and nutritional value of foods while also having preservative and medicinal functions. A growing body of research indicates that the gut microbiome plays a key role in mental health, and fermented foods contain beneficial microbes that beneficially influence the health of the microbiome. The consumption of fermented foods may, therefore, be a useful strategy for optimizing mental health. Read on to learn about how probiotics associated with fermented foods may influence brain function and optimize mental and emotional health.

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A Prescription for Nature: The Ways In Which Contact with Nature Promotes Health

For a growing number of people, contact with nature is a novelty that occurs sporadically, perhaps on a yearly vacation to the beach or a trip to the mountains. With increasing urbanization, we are spending more and more time indoors, and far less time in wild, natural places. An emerging body of research indicates that we should not treat nature exposure as a novelty; rather, it should be an integral part of our daily lives, especially considering the many health benefits nature has to offer.  

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Mycotoxins, Mood, and Mental Health

Chronic illnesses, such as Lyme disease and mold illness, often lead to concomitant struggles with mental health. A significant proportion of the mental health struggles chronic illness sufferers face is due to the fact that their lives have been turned upside-down by illness. The life changes induced by illness can be emotionally harrowing. However, chronic illness can also affect mental health in a physiological way. I believe that mold illness has an especially strong relationship with mental illness, due to the profound effects mycotoxins have on the brain. 

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