Two foods used to reduce me to tears when I was trying to cut them from my diet – bread and Diet Coke. I had such an emotional attachment to both that took me a LONG time to unravel myself from.
It’s easier for me to tackle something if I understand why it’s happening, so better understanding the gut-mind connection was CRUCIAL for me while going through this process.
Serotonin – which helps create feelings of contentment and well-being – is created in two places in the body, your brain and your gut.
It means that what you eat has an affect on the balance of serotonin in your body. Anything that affects the balance of your gut health – in this case gluten, which I learned through tests and experience my body cannot process, and sugar alcohols in the Diet Coke, which are horrible for any body to process – affects your emotional state.
Further research from Caltech also showed that the greater gut microbiome has an affect on all sorts of neurotransmitters, so when the gut flora is out of balance, altered behavior was exhibited.
It’s one of the reasons changing our diet can be so damn difficult, even when the changes are good for us. The things we’re eating directly affect how our brain can process emotions and stressors.
So when our body cannot process certain foods, it’s no wonder our whole system goes out of wack, not only physically but mentally. It’s why I keep stressing how kind we need to be to ourselves through these nutrition changes – they are harder (and far more important) than we recognize and give ourselves credit for.
Keep going, but pat yourself on the back for charging ahead. You got this.