We’ve all heard old sayings like, “Do you have butterflies in your stomach?” when walking into an exciting or anxiety-inducing moment. It turns out that there’s more truth behind that statement than you may have expected.
A new study by Seed found that there’s a deep connection between your gut health and your mental health. This holistic approach to wellbeing can help shed light on how you can better support your mental and gut health, especially as you navigate your fertility journey.
Since, according to the MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health, many people who are trying to conceive can struggle with anxiety, depression, grief, and anger.
How does your gut impact your mental health?
Below are 4 facts about the mind-gut connection worth putting in your back pocket.
1. A single nerve connects your gut and brain.
The vagus nerve is the main and longest nerve in the body and just so happens to connect your gut to your brain and vice versa. Both major systems in your body can communicate with each other thanks to this nerve.
2. Your gut impacts your mental health and vice versa.
Studies that were first conducted on mice and later on humans have found that having a certain gut microbiome can affect a person’s level of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Dr. Mazmanian, co-founder of Axial Therapeutics, is one of the leading researchers in this area.
“With this in mind, it’s valuable to reframe how we think about the gut-brain axis—it does not have to be the be-all, end-all of neuropsychiatric outcomes,” explains Dr. Mazmanian to Seed. “While it is certainly a promising component to consider, we’ll still want to be conservative in our expectations of how (and when) this research may impact human health, and to what extent other factors (such as genetics, the environment, or personal experiences, perceived or actual stress) also influence mental well-being.”
3. Your daily habits hold power over your gut-mind connection.
Before we dive into what you can eat to help support your gut and mental health, other aspects of your everyday life can be adjusted in support of your gut-mind connection. For instance, Dr. Mazmanian recommends dialing in your sleep hygiene and exercise routines. Both of these daily habits can help rebalance your microbiome by keeping your circadian rhythm (your body’s 24-hour clock) aligned and your stress as low and manageable as possible.
4. You can eat to support both your gut and mental health.
“Diet and nutrition are one of the foremost ways we can support the gut microbiome, and in turn, the gut-brain pathway,” explains Dr. Mazmanian to Seed. “Just as there is no one universally healthy microbiome, there is no one-size-fits-all, ‘perfect’ diet.”
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Instead, you’ll want to audit your current diet and decide where to add more plant-rich meals and lessen processed foods, sugars, or saturated fats. You can turn to a plant-based diet to support your fertility journey, too.
While so much of the gut-mind connection is still being researched and explored, what we do know can help us better inform some of our daily habits.
For a healthier gut (and a happier mind), be sure to consistently stick to taking DS-01® to support healthy digestion, bloat ease, and your microbiome throughout the month. Visit Seed.com and use the code RESCRIPTED for 20% off your first month’s supply!
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