Anxiety. Irritability. Worry. Fatigue. As a mental health counselor, I see many people who have fulfilling lives…yet still cycle through uncomfortable emotions. Stress management helps “clear our heads.” But how we feel is not all in our head. The feelings we experience often come (literally) from our gut.
Gut health, simply put, is the state of our gastrointestinal (GI) tract function…where about 70% of our immune system resides. Our GI function depends on many factors: how we eat, sleep, exercise, and relax; our ability to digest food, eliminate toxins, and metabolize medications; the supplements we take, and types of bacteria/viruses/fungi present in all of us. (Fun fact: they’re not all bad!)
The brain and gut (connected by the vagus nerve) constantly communicate—impacting our physical and mental well-being. Certain types of bacteria increase the risk of mental health disorders. Food sensitivities, blood sugar imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, and inflammation (all GI-related issues) are common anxiety triggers.
The mind-gut connection is real and powerful. How we feed it matters.
Food isn’t like medicine, it is medicine, and it’s our number one tool for creating the vibrant health we deserve. Mark Hyman M.D. New York Times best-selling author
Head of Strategy and Innovation at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine
Veggies, fruits, protein, fiber, healthy fats, and fermented foods all support GI health. A Table takes this into account, providing high-quality (organic, non-GMO, grass-fed, pastured) foods that meet customers’ dietary and nutritional needs.
Just don’t blindly rely on a specific food plan—Keto, Mediterranean, Paleo, Plant-Based, etc.—to do the job. People react to food differently.
Beans cause bloating for some. Others feel sluggish after consuming meat. Some get jittery from coffee. Gluten and dairy may have an inflammatory effect.
Finding the right food fix can take time. If your diet keeps you alert and energized, great! But if you don’t feel your best, or suspect certain foods don’t agree with you:
Take note of how you feel after eating. Are you tired or hungry an hour later? Do you feel sad or irritable? Does brain fog set in? Does your skin itch, joints ache, or stomach rumble? Tracking reactions may identify patterns.
Listen to your gut.