Many factors can affect your risks for addiction and other kinds of mental health issues. Some of these factors are widely known. However, others are little-known or just starting to enter broader awareness. One such emerging factor is what is known as the gut-brain connection. This term describes the links between your gut health and mental and physical well-being. These links shed light on the importance of a Nutrient guide for many people in addiction treatment.
Defining the Gut-Brain Connection
You are probably aware that the things you think and feel affect your overall mental health. You may also be aware that the foods you eat impact the function of your intestines and bowel. As it turns out, these seemingly unrelated areas of your health share some key connection points. Together, these points form the gut-brain connection, also known as the brain-gut connection.
How are your brain and gut linked? Inside your gastrointestinal tract, which runs from your esophagus to your rectum, is a crucial secondary nervous system. This system is called the enteric nervous system, or ENS. Your ENS forms a thin, double-layered lining on the walls of your gastrointestinal tract. Scientists estimate that it contains over 100 million individual nerve cells.
Your brain and your ENS constantly communicate back and forth. Signals from your brain affect your digestion and other related functions. In turn, signals from your ENS affect the function of your brain.
The Importance of Gut Health
Your gut health has a major impact on your brain health. Examples of the things that can be affected by your gut include:
- Your everyday mood
- The thoughts you think from day-to-day
- The ways you behave in response to your thoughts and your mood
All of these things are key factors in your chances of developing substance problems. They also factor into your risks for other mental health conditions.
Nutrients for Your Gut
Certain kinds of foods are known to support your brain’s healthy function. This is true because they provide essential nutrients for your gut health. The list of generally beneficial items includes:
- Whole, unprocessed foods
- Fresh or flash-frozen vegetables
- High-fiber foods
- Yogurt and other probiotic foods
As a rule, whole fruits are better for you than fruit juices. Avoid processed foods whenever possible. That includes foods that are high in processed sugar.
The Benefits of Nutrient Therapy
In an ideal world, everyone would have a healthy relationship with food and eating. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Many people have significant problems in this area of their lives. Such problems may be relatively minor. However, they can also take a mild or even severe form. These more serious issues can lead to diagnosable symptoms of an eating disorder. They can also increase your risks for drug or alcohol addiction.
A nutrient therapy program is designed to help you change your relationship with food and eating in positive ways. It does so, in part, by helping you understand how your eating habits affect your overall health. This kind of program also teaches you how to establish or re-establish a healthy diet that supplies all needed nutrients.
Turn to Women’s Recovery for High-Quality Nutrient Therapy
At Women’s Recovery, we include customized nutrient therapy among our many treatment options. When used in combination with other treatments, this therapy supports an effective recovery from substance problems. It also supports recovery from the combined effects of addiction and other mental health issues. We pay close attention to the issues most common to women at all times. For more information on our therapy options, call us today at 833.754.0554. You can also fill out our brief online form.