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Microbiome and Mental Health

woman smiling drinking tea understanding microbiome and mental health

While many realize healthy eating can improve physical health, many fail to understand just how important nutrition affects mental health. Recently, researchers and scientists have discovered numerous benefits in managing one’s microbiome. Not only do the trillions of beneficial microorganisms living on our skin and in our body (specifically, our gut) affect our physical wellbeing, the microbiome and mental health are also linked.

Here at Integrative Life Center, we embrace new and cutting edge therapy. We understand healing from substance abuse or mental health disorders requires holistic treatment. This means treating the mind and the body together. Exploring and understand the relationship between our microbiome and mental health is a fruitful new path to explore.

How Your Microbiome Affects Your Body

When in balance, the prebiotic foods high in fiber and probiotic live bacteria feeding off them produce positive benefits for your body. Proper gut health increases an individual’s immunity and helps reduce the negative effects of obesity. Also, it can prevent or mitigate diabetes. The microbiota making up your microbiome can reduce inflammation, a condition that complicates illnesses.

Perhaps the most talked-about aspect of how the microbiome benefits your physical health is in the touted Mediterranean diet. This particular diet is useful because it is made up of a diverse array of foods. Thus, when you incorporate this diet into your life, the combination of fresh fruit, vegetables, beans and lentils, nuts, whole grains, and olive oil. Although loosely defined, the takeaway from this diet is how the variety of foods can jumpstart your gut microbiome.

Also, these positive bacteria influence brain chemistry. By helping the brain produce neurotransmitters, your microbiome helps maintain a healthy nervous system. This can directly affect mental health.

The Microbiome and Mental Health

For individuals struggling with a depressive disorder such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, or seasonal affective disorder, brain chemistry directly affects mood. While not a solution to depression, when coupled with treatment, eating with your microbiome in mind leaves individuals better poised to heal more completely.

While patients dealing with these issues, as well as schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder, have shown to have major differences in their microbiome. Currently, experts are creating treatments to address and adjust the gut microbiome to measure their influence on healing these conditions. It has proven to be a positive avenue.

Integrative Life Center

Located here in Nashville, TN, Integrative Life Center allows patients to heal from mental health issues and substance use disorders. We approach healing from physical, mental, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual angles to increase the chances of patients making a lasting recovery. Understanding the connection between microbiome and mental health is just one of many approaches we take. Some of our therapies include:

As we offer opportunities for self-reflection and self-awareness, patients grow physically, emotionally, and mentally stronger. In our picturesque setting, patients can heal and develop a sense of wellness in a safe, supportive real-world setting. So contact us today at 615.455.3903 to explore what we can offer you or a loved one.

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