Mind, Body, and Soul is sponsored content.
According to a mental health expert, science is proving more and more how connected our mental health is to what we eat.
"Our brain and body are very much connected when it comes to our emotional wellness. We say things like, “I had a gut feeling” or “I have butterflies in my stomach.” Really, what we are saying is that our bodies are telling us that we have an emotion," says Terry Warburton, the Director of Recovery of Hope in Winnipeg.
When we are overworked or overwhelmed emotionally, our bodies can show us in a physical way.
"Sometimes we will feel our emotion in our body before it occurs to us in our thoughts. We know that many people get an upset stomach when anxious, or a headache when stressed. There are very good reasons for this and really good reasons to listen to our bodies! We are starting to learn so many more things about how our brain and bodywork together."
For people looking to improve their mental health, Warburton recommends taking a wholistic view, including what people are eating.
"Science is exploding with information about how our brain and gut are connected to each other. You’ve probably heard the term “serotonin” when it comes to mental health. It is the neurotransmitter in the brain that helps to regulate sleep, appetite, mood and inhibit pain."
What many people may not know, according to the director, is that 95 per cent of a person's serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract.
"It makes sense that the inner workings of your digestive system don’t just help you digest your food, but also guide your emotions. Did you know that a diet high in vegetables, fruit, unprocessed grains, fish and seafood have been shown to reduce depression by 25-35 per cent? Bottom line is that if we eat foods that support our gut health, we are actually helping our mental health."