Could your mood and even mental state be a reflection of what you are eating? Chiva Som says yes.
The power that the mind and gut collectively holds is wildly underestimated.
Chiva Som is one of the world’s best luxury health resorts, based in Hua Hin, Thailand. Celebrity guests who are regular attendee’s pre-covid include Kate Moss, Elizabeth Hurley, Serena Williams and the Beckhams.
Guests travel from far and wide to attend the opulent retreats and holistic escapes hosted by Chiva Som, and for good reason.
Renae’s World Founder Renae has done a week long retreat there some years ago and loved it.
Renae’s World recently attended a webinar, hosted by Chiva Som on the ways to improve your gut health and mood. The online session was hosted to have an open conversation about the contributors to poor gut health, and what can be done to improve it with natural and holistic interventions.
Leader of the webinar, Renee Grandi is a resident nutritionist and naturopath at Chiva Som health resort with a wealth of knowledge.
Why is gut health important?
The brain and the gut are more connected than you might initially think. Sadly, mental health issues are on the rise, with 1 in 4 people suffering form some sort of disorder. The main culprit of which, is a combination of anxiety and depression.
Therefore, a holistic review of the severity of mental health is necessary. Interestingly, 90% of serotonin (your bodies happiness hormone) is made in the gut, which means that the gut is tightly linked to the brain. If you aren’t feeding your body with proper nutrition, how can your brain be expected to function properly?
Renee stressed that there needs to be a re-examination of what is being put into our bodies, in order to improve mental health, as the two go hand in hand.
What can be done?
If your mental health is being affected on a regular basis, it is worth having an anatomic intervention to assess any intolerances your body may have.
The thought of a total lifestyle overhaul can be quite daunting. As such, completely changing your diet in one day can be almost impossible.
Furthermore, with a plethora of nutritional information circulating the digital sphere, it can be difficult to know exactly what will apply to you, and your body.
Renee stated that it takes a 3-6 week period to clear out the body and blood. During this time, to properly cleanse your gut and get rid of any toxicities, a nutritional detox should be implemented.
Here are Renee’s gut healing tips.
- Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is very subjective and based on the individual. However, if it works for you, it can be a great way to detox the gut. This can be through restricting meals to be between eaten in 8 out of 24 hours of the day, or fasting for 24 hours in a week or month. By doing this, it gives the digestive system a break, and time to detoxify.
2. Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are a great way to cleanse the gut. They also work wonders for gas and bloating. Teas such as peppermint, ginger and camomile are recommended to facilitate this. Additionally, dandelion root is great for stimulating the stomach acidity and helps digestive secretion. Turmeric tea is great also as it is a potent antioxidant for the gut.
3. Slow cooked and easy to digest smoothies
If your gut is experiencing a lot of inflammation, then the food you feed it needs to be like a warm hug. When your digestive system is fatigued, eating foods that are easy to digest is recommended.
4. Fresh wholefoods
Eating fresh wholefoods should be a given. Processed foods are incredibly bad for your gut, no matter how good they might taste. If your diet consists of 50% wholefoods, Renee recommends that this should be increased to 90%.
5. Increase fresh herbs
Fresh herbs are packed full with vitamins and are really easy for your body to digest. Plus, they taste great. Garnish your meals with herbs like Mint, Parsley, Basil or Coriander.
6. Portion control
Eating large meals can overwhelm your gut. It will have to go into overdrive to digest the meal which can lead to fatigue and it being overworked. By eating smaller portions, you are giving your gut a break.
7. Organic bone broth
Organic bone broth is traditionally a healing medicine. It is excellent in helping gut permeability and collagen production. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthy gut, skin and immune system. Renee recommends making it yourself for the best results.
8. Avoid refined carbs
Carbs such as rice, potato, pumpkin and starch often feed the bad bacteria in the stomach. By reducing the intake for this, and swapping it for fresh vegetables can give time for the bacteria to rebalance.