Wise mind, wise gut: Supporting the gut-brain axis

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By Dr. Melissa Ming Foynes. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In this week's episode I discuss the gut-microbiome-brain axis and how it affects different aspects of our health and well-being. I begin by talking about the how the microbiome is one of the five natural defense systems in the body and ways that it is impacted by the foods we eat and how we digest them. I also highlight the impact of an imbalanced microbiome on a host of mental and physical health problems in ourselves, as well as its impact intergenerationally. Throughout this episode I highlight scientific research that demonstrates the connection between our gut and our brain – emotionally and physiologically - and weave in evidence-based principles and strategies drawn from Eastern and Western medicine for taking care of this gut-microbiome-axis in order to promote longevity, holistic wellness, and healing. I close with a brief mindfulness practice intended to help ground us before and/or after meals, and to enhance awareness of the internal emotions, sensations, and thoughts we may be experiencing and bringing in to mealtime, in order to enhance our ability to digest and more fully process foods and their nutrients.

To connect more with Dr. Foynes:

  1. Check out the free 4-part video series on building resilience: https://melissafoynes.com/free-series

  2. 1:1 Coaching Program: https://melissafoynes.com/1-1-program

  3. Follow @drfoynes on Instagram.

References & Additional Resources

  1. Bear, T. L., Dalziel, J. E., Coad, J., Roy, N. C., Butts, C. A., & Gopal, P. K. (2020). The role of the gut microbiota in dietary interventions for depression and anxiety. Advances in Nutrition, 11(4), 890-907.

  2. Cryan, J. F., & Dinan, T. G. (2012). Mind-altering microorganisms: the impact of the gut microbiota on brain and behaviour. Nature reviews neuroscience, 13(10), 701-712.

  3. Li, William W. Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself. Hachette UK, 2019.

  4. Mayer, E. (2018). The mind-gut connection: How the hidden conversation within our bodies impacts our mood, our choices, and our overall health. HarperCollins.

  5. Sanada, K., Nakajima, S., Kurokawa, S., Barceló-Soler, A., Ikuse, D., Hirata, A., ... & Kishimoto, T. (2020). Gut microbiota and major depressive disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of affective disorders, 266, 1-13.

  6. Simpson, C. A., Diaz-Arteche, C., Eliby, D., Schwartz, O. S., Simmons, J. G., & Cowan, C. S. (2020). The gut microbiota in anxiety and depression–A systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 101943.

  7. Yang, B., Wei, J., Ju, P., & Chen, J. (2019). Effects of regulating intestinal microbiota on anxiety symptoms: a systematic review. General psychiatry, 32(2).

Please note that the information provided in this episode does not constitute professional advice or therapy, mental health services, or health care services, and is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional advice or services. If you are struggling with a mental health crisis or need immediate assistance, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

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