If you’re feeling anxious and stressed at the moment, you’re not alone! According to Mental Health UK, over 8 million people in the UK are experiencing an anxiety disorder at any one time 1https://mentalhealth-uk.org/help-and-information/conditions/anxiety-disorders/what-is-anxiety/– and only 36.2% of them are accessing any kind of treatment. 2https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/statistics/people-seeking-help-statistics
Symptoms of anxiety may include the following: 3https://mentalhealth-uk.org/help-and-information/conditions/anxiety-disorders/symptoms/
- Racing thoughts
- Uncontrollable over-thinking
- Trouble concentrating
- Feelings of dread, panic or ‘impending doom’
- Feeling irritable
- Heightened alertness
- Trouble sleeping
- Changes in appetite
- Wanting to escape from the situation you are in
- Dissociation (feeling like you aren’t connected to your own body, watching things happen around you without feeling it.)
What can you do about it?
Because of the gut-brain axis, improving gut health has been shown to be one of the most efficient ways to improve mental wellness.4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5641835/
Microbial imbalance and inflammation of the gut have been linked to causing several mental illnesses including anxiety and depression. Probiotics have the ability to restore normal microbial balance, and therefore may have a role in the treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression.5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5641835/
What’s the science?
The “Gut-Brain-Axis” refers to a communication system between the gut and central nervous system. Cutting edge neuroscience research confirms that the best way to cause a positive impact on mental wellbeing / brain health is to cultivate a balanced, diverse gut microbial ecosystem. 6https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29693607/ This means that bacteria in your gut are able to positively modulate brain functions.
Stress/anxiety, low mood / depression, and poor memory are widespread conditions in today’s hectic environment. These issues all have direct links with changes in the diversity and composition of your gut microbes. This can also cause overproduction of stress hormones, which negatively affects sleep quality and can trigger increases in body weight and blood pressure. Imbalances in your microbial ecosystem can also impair your immune function.
What’s the simple solution?
We call it the Gut-Brain Health Protocol, and it’s a combination of products that play a specific role in optimising the communication between the gut and the brain. These products work most effectively together in a coordinated program. As a result, you’re likely to experience a healthier, happier, more resilient version of yourself.
Made traditionally on our farm using goats milk, our kefir is a source of probiotic aka health-giving microbes. Laboratory analysis confirms the presence of at least 27 different microbes with beneficial properties that extend beyond the gut. Our kefir also contains a number of protective molecules that have been scientifically proven to support gut and brain health.
Prebiotics are the food on which probiotic bacteria feed. Apart from being a source of fibre, they also provide antioxidants known as polyphenols that help regulate the microbial ecosystem in the gut, promoting the growth of the good bugs, whilst suppressing disease-carrying microbes.
Fish collagen is one of the best sources of complete protein, and an excellent source of type 1 collagen, which is extensively documented for its ability to support tissue repair. Collagen helps support the integrity of the gut lining, or “the skin of the gut”. This is one of the pillars for the optimisation of gut-brain communication, resulting in improved mood and resilience.
Used for centuries in the Ayurvedic traditional medicine system, Ashwagandha regulates stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, helping us increase our emotional / psychological bandwidth so we are better able to bounce back after stressful events. A welcome side effect of Ashwagandha is an improvement in sleep quality.
Siberian ginseng is used in traditional medicine as an adaptogen, a natural aid that helps the body better handle and adapt to stress. It also acts as a stimulant, increasing nervous system function. Siberian ginseng helps us become more resilient, advancing through stressful events without getting bogged down by negative emotions.
You can easily combine all these items in a daily Gut-Brain Health Smoothie, which you can read about here.
Ready for more evidence-based, personalised data? Then you’re ready to add in:
The microbiome test is a key piece to the puzzle. This tool enables us to look into what is going on inside the gut, giving us a precise snapshot of the composition and diversity of our gut microbes. The test also provides metrics of inflammation, presence of biofilm-forming pathogens, and levels and composition of probiotic bacteria, amongst many other markers.
Based on the findings from the microbiome test, our gut-health expert Nutritional Therapists will be able to provide personalised recommendations that go beyond those shared in the workshops.
You can find out more about our Gut-Brain Health Protocol and how you can get started, by chatting with one of our Nutritional Therapists on live chat, 8 am to 8 pm weekdays.