Gut Health Blog

June 16, 2024

How To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Hello Everyone!

I’m sure it must be frightening to hear you have the genetic markers for Alzheimer’s disease. However, please be assured that this doesn’t automatically mean that you will develop the condition.

Why? Because you have the power to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s a bold statement, I know, but as with any inflammatory condition (which Alzheimer’s Disease is), you can use diet and lifestyle to minimize your risk of developing it.

In this article, I will tell you some facts about Alzheimer’s disease and explain how you can optimize your brain health and protect against cognitive decline.

Please share this post with anyone you know who is fearful of developing Alzheimer’s and anyone who cares for someone who has early signs of it. It might make a world of difference to their lives.

Alzheimer’s and Inflammation: The Facts

Lifestyles Drive Alzheimer’s Risk

Alzheimer’s Disease and Gut Health

Sleep and Neuroinflammation

Movement Affects Our Brains

Stress Response and Inflammation

How Long Does Protection Against Alzheimer’s Take?

Reverse Early Onset Dementia

Alzheimer’s and Inflammation: The Facts

Let’s establish some of the facts about Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. There are an estimated 5.8 million people in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Around 200,000 of these are under the age of 65.
  • Women are nearly twice as likely to be affected by Alzheimer’s than men.
  • The inflammation and cellular damage that leads to Alzheimer’s begins years before any symptoms appear.
  • There are many underlying causes of Alzheimer’s, which is why the search for a single drug cure will never work.

Alzheimer’s is characterized by the appearance of amyloid plaques and knots of tau protein in brain tissue. However, this type of damage occurs in healthy brains as they age and doesn’t explain why some people develop Alzheimer’s and others don’t.

Scientists then discovered that chronic inflammation in the brain drives the progression of Alzheimer’s. It seems to be this combination of chronic inflammation alongside amyloid plaques and tau protein fibers that leads to Alzheimer’s.

A close up of a bowl of chips being eaten by a lady but only her torso is seen.

Lifestyles Drive Alzheimer’s Risk

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are more prevalent now than 100 years ago. This is because our diets and lifestyles are radically different:

  • We are exposed to more environmental toxins and chemicals in food. These toxins alter the gut microbiome and drive inflammation.
  • We do less exercise and movement.
  • We have less good quality sleep.
  • We eat junk foods that lack essential vitamins and minerals.

All these factors combine to create a state of chronic inflammation that damages brain tissue, leading to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease and Gut Health

To understand the origins of Alzheimer’s we need to look at gut health. Gut bacteria have a direct effect on brain health and inflammation. What we eat affects the balance of good and bad gut bacteria and can increase our risk of inflammation in the brain.

If we choose ultra-processed foods filled with refined sugar, processed fats, and chemical additives, we are choosing to damage the gut, promote inflammation, and increase our risk of developing dementia.

If we opt for anti-inflammatory foods that provide brain-healthy nutrients, then we are choosing to nourish our gut bacteria, minimize inflammation, and protect our brains against Alzheimer’s.

Sleep and Neuroinflammation

How well we sleep influences our risk of developing neuroinflammation. Good quality sleep is vital for brain cell “housekeeping” and clearing away amyloid plaques in the brain. If you regularly get less than 7-9 hours’ sleep a night you are depriving your brain of the time it needs to do this repair work.

The Eat Burn Sleep lifestyle supports and promotes healthy sleep and we have specific advice for Insomnia. You might also like to read: What Happens If You Don’t Sleep Enough?

 

Movement Affects Our Brains

Exercise and movement stimulate blood flow and oxygen circulation to the brain. Brain cells get more nutrients and metabolic waste can be cleared away.

Our program includes a whole series of exercise and movement videos designed to improve your strength without increasing inflammation. Many regular forms of exercise are too strenuous. They spike your cortisol levels which then causes more inflammation.

Stress Response and Inflammation

Stress is a massive factor in chronic inflammation and dementia. We each have the power to reduce the effects of stress and improve our resilience. Regular relaxation is crucial for cognitive wellbeing and we have a library of guided meditations for you to enjoy.

 

How Long Does Protection Against Alzheimer’s Take?

In a matter of weeks, you can dramatically change your genetic expression and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. If you are as consistent as possible (I advise an 80/20 on this lifestyle), you give yourself the best protection possible.

Start the 6-Week Reset, and then follow Daily Goals and the monthly planner in the Reboot & Revive section under Lifestyle Guide to make your meals, meditations, exercises, and snacks for each day as easy as possible. Remember that the recipes are family-and-friends-friendly!

 

 

Reverse Early Onset Dementia

If you have signs of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or early onset dementia, you can slow the progression and dramatically change the outcome with the Eat Burn Sleep lifestyle. Give yourself proper rest, daily movement, interesting activities to stimulate your brain, and an anti-inflammatory diet, and you will give your brain the best chance to fight dementia.

My final advice is to start protecting yourself as soon as possible. Don’t live with that fear anymore. You can protect yourself against developing inflammatory conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and look and feel years younger by doing so!

Want to find out how? Look at the Eat Burn Sleep program and find out about our membership options now.

You might also like:

How Does Sleep Help With Inflammation?

Brain Food for Studying and Focus

Signs of Inflammation That May Surprise You

With love and excellent health, as always!

Yalda x

 

Yalda Alaoui is a qualified Naturopathic Nutritionist (with a foundation in Biomedicine) who studied with the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London. She has spent over a decade performing groundbreaking research in chronic inflammation and gut health.

 

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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Come Off Antidepressants

Brain Food for Studying and Focus

How Do You Live With IBS and Anxiety?

July 02, 2023

Come Off Antidepressants

Empowering Techniques

Hello Everyone! I hope that you are well. Panorama, a BBC investigative documentary series, recently aired a really interesting program about antidepressants. After it aired, The Royal College of Psychiatry published a document reiterating the right way to go about coming off antidepressants.

Depression is a chronic condition and can be fatal. Stopping medication abruptly is dangerous.

Interestingly, doctors have now been recommended not to prescribe antidepressants unless patients request them.

In the show, Tony Kendrick, who is a Professor of Primary Care at Southampton Hospital, said, “We now teach (medical) students to hold off prescribing them (antidepressants) for mild depression because most people get better doing something else for a few months, and they won’t get problems further down the line when they want to come off them.”

This post is to help you if you have depression or are considering coming off or even starting antidepressants.

Side Effects of Antidepressants

Some Facts About Antidepressants:

Medical Supervision and Coming Off Antidepressants

How Long Should You Take Antidepressants?

Diet and Lifestyle Intervention for Depression

Support for Reducing Antidepressants

How Does Food Affect Depression?

Man, face not seen, holding an antidepressant pill bottle

Side Effects of Antidepressants

Firstly, as the program demonstrated, you should always consult your doctor with any medical matter.  Antidepressants cannot be just stopped.

The side effects of taking antidepressants can be plenty, but the benefits for many people can outweigh the adverse effects. For many, they are life-saving. Oftentimes, the negative effects make people feel changed completely.

People have stated that they have numbing feelings that help their depression. However, good feelings, love, happiness, libido, genital nerves, and interest in hobbies have also been numbed.

Interestingly, Panorama also highlighted that there are many studies where adults with moderate to severe depression have been given a placebo. 20-40 people out of a hundred showed an improvement in 6-8 weeks.

40-60 adults noticed an improvement after taking antidepressants for 6-8 weeks.

This is only an extra 20 out of 100 people!

It is important to make sure that severe depression is diagnosed and treated correctly. Antidepressants can be helpful for some people to get into a daily routine, start going to psychotherapy, and embark on a good diet and lifestyle regime – source: InformedHealth.org.

Taking antidepressants and discussing the pros and cons should be discussed with your doctor.

Some Facts About Antidepressants:

• Antidepressants cause gut dysbiosis, which can cause weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, other chronic inflammatory conditions, and autoimmune diseases – source: National Institutes of Health.

• Global consumption of antidepressants has increased dramatically in the last two decades. Long before the 2020 pandemic -source: Euronews.

• Use of antidepressants increased by nearly two and a half times from 2000 to 2020 in 18 European countries – Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

• Two million people in the UK have taken antidepressants for five years or longer—source: the Pharmaceutical Journal.

• Long-term studies don’t support the long-term use of antidepressants (yet some people need them long-term). Clinical trials and studies on the side effects of medications are not usually longer than six weeks.

• When medications are taken over a long period, the body and brain adapt to it. This leads to tolerance, lessening the effects over time, and withdrawal when stopping. Dependence is different than addiction, which also involves cravings and compulsive use – source: Dr. Mark Horowitz (UCL Psychiatry).

 

Medical Supervision and Coming Off Antidepressants

Around the world, antidepressants have been beneficial for people who have faced devastating and life-threatening conditions and have saved lives.

However, because of how they have always been marketed as a ‘magic bullet’ that you can easily stop taking safely, I am sure that many people with mild depression or anxiety would not have started them if they had known about the side effects.

When people have come off them, the side effects have been mistaken as part of their depression condition and gone back on them again.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists explains that there are some ways that you and your doctor may know what withdrawal symptoms are and what are signs of depression through timing. Withdrawal symptoms generally start immediately after discontinuing antidepressant use. Depression will usually take longer to return. Of course, this is all for discussion with your medical practitioner/therapist.

There are usually side effects of any medication. Like I always say, they can often save you, but they are not for the long term for everyone.

Medication causes gut dysbiosis.

This is when the induction of susceptibility to many pathological conditions occurs. Gut dysbiosis actually contributes to depression and anxiety.

So, the medication you take for depression can cause depression.

It is also linked to joint pain, skin inflammation, hair loss, gastrointestinal issues, cardiovascular complications, weight gain, obesity, and cancer.

Medications can keep your body inflamed!

How Long Should You Take Antidepressants?

The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ advice on Stopping Antidepressants says, ‘How long you take antidepressants depends on why you were prescribed them. You usually don’t need antidepressants for more than 6-12 months’. It should be reviewed every six months on a joint decision between the person with depression and the medical practitioner.

Clinical trials and studies on the side effects of medications are not usually longer than six weeks.

Depressed young female sat holding her knees with her head down

However, they also state that some people need them for longer. It really is a matter to be discussed with your therapist/doctor.

Diet and Lifestyle Intervention for Depression

Antidepressants have often been prescribed for mild cases when they were not necessary. As the Professor at The College of Southampton stated, doing something else for a few months may be more helpful to avoid damaging withdrawal symptoms further down the line.

Diet and lifestyle intervention is often prescribed and is good for treating depression as it is noted that what we eat and how we live do contribute. Of course, one size does not fit all, and mental health is a complex condition, but there is evidence of how an integrative approach supports mental health.

Especially since the right type of eating supports the microbiota-gut-brain axis, modulates the immune system, and reduces inflammation.

Check out the post: Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis & Mental Health.

The prevention, promotion, and management of depression through the gut-brain axis with this anti-inflammatory lifestyle are gaining more and more traction. I know how Eat Burn Sleep is helping people with depression and anxiety. Members are continuously telling me, so I can genuinely say that this anti-inflammatory lifestyle is evidence-led as well as scientifically backed for improving mental health.

Mental well-being is usually always mentioned even when members have joined to reduce their weight, bloating, PCOS, alopecia, eczema, arthritis, migraines, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, and so on! The connection is chronic inflammation!

Indeed, focusing on gut-healthy nutrition, anti-inflammatory movements, stress-reducing exercises, good sleep-wake cycles, meditation, mindfulness practice, and support in reducing cravings that don’t help will assist during tapering or even while you are on medication.

Support for Reducing Antidepressants

I advise that you talk with your doctor if you are thinking about reducing your antidepressants and show them this BUPA-Global-approved lifestyle. Stopping antidepressants immediately is potentially dangerous for some. Having your mental health toolbox to support you during this time is essential.

Many areas in life that can impact mental health, like obesity, stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, and exposure to pollutants, can increase low-grade systemic inflammation.

Cortisol and oxidative stress in the body also induce chronic inflammation. You may need professional help with psychological trauma, which is a well-established risk factor, but another well-established risk factor is chronic inflammation, and this is something that you can have control over. Controlling things that you can, where you can, helps.

Members follow the comprehensive science-backed personalized advice for Depression & Anxiety. It is a natural alternative to antidepressants and will help you manage depression and support you when reducing antidepressants.

Or even if you don’t want to come off antidepressants just yet, it will help you because there are compounds in foods you shouldn’t have when you are on certain antidepressants, for instance, and it may just contribute to combatting side effects.

It is a safe way to enhance physical and mental well-being and has positive side effects like continual mood-lifting, weight management, and better body composition.

How Does Food Affect Depression?

Malnutrition and many diets, like the keto diet and low-calorie diets, are linked to depression because of the decline in gut species richness and beneficial microbes in the gut. Starving your body of what it needs may not show itself now.

An abundance of microbiota-loving nutrients will support your gut, brain, and immune health, aiding the production of serotonin and reducing neuroinflammation. This may reduce any side effects, as healthy gut microbiota is established and will certainly be supportive. Mental resilience will improve.

This is very much a mental and physical health education platform, with easy-to-make (even for the very busiest of you) 300+ good-mood food recipes.

Enjoy recipes inspired from around the world, like Vietnamese Chopped Salad & Healthy Speculoos Biscuits. 

I would also advise that you pick your moment in coming off antidepressants if you do. The sunnier climes may make it easier because of the benefits of the mood and sleep-boosting sunshine.

Ensure you have good support around you. Connect with our supportive nutritionists any day of the week in our forum, or reach out to me via a 15-min Zoom call.

I wish you all well!

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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Join the Eat Burn Sleep email newsletter and be the first to hear about new tips, and recipes!

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How To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Brain Food for Studying and Focus

How Do You Live With IBS and Anxiety?

April 23, 2023

Brain Food for Studying and Focus

Improving Brain Health Through Nutrition

Nutrition is essential for brain health. Eating well for memory, focus, and the best cognitive function is a good plan when studying for exams.

So too, is focusing on what will feed the good bugs in your gut, aiding brain health.

Not eating good brain food, not exercising, or sleeping enough while preparing for exams may upset your gut health, which may upset your brain health.

This post is designed to help anyone who wants to improve their focus, memory, and cognitive thinking, which is particularly helpful for exam time and anytime!

What Is Good Brain Health?

What Are the Best Brain Foods?

What Foods Are Good for Memory and Focus?

What Helps Studying?

How Can You Improve Focus and Concentration?

How Do You Stop Craving Sweets and Snacks?

What Is Good Brain Health?

In the British Medical Journal, the brain is defined as a complex organ with at least three levels of functions that affect our daily lives.

These are:

  • Maintenance of cognitive, mental, and emotional processes
  • Maintenance of normal behavior and social cognition
  • Interpretation of senses and control of movement

 

Brain health, therefore, may be defined as the preservation of optimal brain integrity and mental and cognitive function and the absence of neurological disorders. Wang et al. BMJ (2020).

Neurological disorders are linked to systemic inflammation affecting the central nervous system.

For thousands of years, it has been known that nutrients can affect cognitive processes.

Along with other factors like exercise and sleep, nutrition plays a crucial role in shaping cognitive functions. The network of neurons that communicate with cells and the body relies on nutritious, anti-inflammatory, gut-healthy foods that will prevent oxidative stress, fight free radicals, and encourage neurotransmitter production, for instance.

Many foods contribute to cognitive decline.

Foods that increase inflammation will increase inflammation in the brain, too.

Take, for instance, ultra-processed foods (UPFs), which I talk about a lot. If they form the majority of someone’s diet, then essential brain nutrient requirements are not being met. For instance:

  • Short-chain fatty acids support the integrity of the blood-brain barrier, protecting the brain from toxic compounds.
  • Polyphenols offer protection from neurodegenerative diseases (and cancer, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, etc.).
  • Omega-3s, which are important for our brain throughout our lives…and the list goes on!

You may enjoy reading: Do We All Need Omega-3?

What Foods Are Good for Memory and Focus?

Any foods that encourage bad bugs to flourish in your tummy causing gut dysbiosis (imbalance), are not good for memory, learning, and focus.

When you eat nourishing, nutritional food, which promotes a healthy gut and ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter synthesis, it also reduces inflammation in the brain and supports healthy brain function. 

Neurotransmitters are an integral part of the brain-gut axis. You can read all about the amazing things neurotransmitters do for our minds and bodies here.

Dopamine, for instance, is involved in memory and focus. 50% is produced in the gut by enteric neurons and intestinal epithelial cells. The rest is made in the brain by converting the amino acid tyrosine into another amino acid called L-dopa! L-dopa then undergoes another change, where enzymes turn it into dopamine!

The role of dopamine is also involved in attention, learning, cognition, mood, and motivation. These are all important, of course, and will assist you when you are studying for exams.

Tyrosine, for example, plays a critical role in dopamine production. Boosting levels with tyrosine-rich foods are a good way. It can also be made from phenylalanine, another amino acid in many protein-rich foods we love on EBS!

These provide an extra boost of memory and mental performance!

Like other minerals and vitamins, for instance, concentrating on tyrosine alone won’t work if your body lacks good nutrition. 

Also, just taking ‘studying’ supplements are not enough, either. If you missed it, read my AGI Review: Is AGI Supplement Good for You? 

Needless to say, you always need complete nutrients to allow for conversions and synthesis in the body.

What Helps Studying?

Nourishing your gut and mind will also help you keep stress at bay and reduce any digestive issues and anxiety you may have while studying. Did you read last week’s article: How Do You Live With IBS and Anxiety?

Various compounds and activities enhance brain health and help with studying for exams. They make an immense difference in learning and retaining information! Plus, you are protecting yourself from possible neurodegenerative disease, looking further down the line.

So many diets contribute to difficulties with studying, staying focused, and remembering. Snacking and not eating and drinking well during exam time is common. Just bear the thought that if you eat, drink, and sleep well, it is likely to enhance your studying at this time.

Make sure you read: What Happens If You Don’t Sleep Well? , Why Are You Moody and Irritable? , and

Is This the Reason Why You Are Tired All the Time?

How Can You Improve Focus and Concentration?

Focus and concentration can improve rather quickly when you switch to an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle. It isn’t just about food!

Replenishing, nourishing brain health nutrients will kick in rather quickly. Following Eat Burn Sleep for brain food for studying, cravings for ultra-processed foods (UPFs) will diminish. This is good because UPFs won’t help your focus, memory, and cognitive thinking.

If you think that you are doing okay eating them, imagine how even greater your mind can be. Do bear in mind long-term use because oftentimes, we can get away with things if they are temporary.

Changing diet patterns isn’t as hard as it may seem, too. It’s all about those bugs in our tummies!

How Do You Stop Craving Sweets and Snacks?

You can stop craving sweets and snacks on Eat Burn Sleep.

Members say that foods they used to eat now taste so ‘weird,’ ‘strange,’ and ‘chemical,’ and they cannot believe that they used to form a large part of their diet.

Focusing on improving the bacteria in your stomach is so powerful because it removes those ‘addictive’ bacteria that keep telling your brain that you want more junk. Bacteria are so powerful. They, good or bad, tell your brain to feed them more of what they need to survive.

So, the harmful bacteria that cries out for unhealthy food wants to grow and multiply. If they are satisfied, the good guys will diminish. As this is happening, your body can become susceptible to digestive and immune issues and chronic inflammatory conditions. Your brain may not be at its optimum, slowing your cognitive function. This will mean that studying, memory, focus, and all learning abilities may not be not as switched on as they could be.

Looking after your brain and nervous system will look after automatic activities such as breathing and waking up. It will also aid in reading, learning, and remembering information.

Ensure that you eat well and live well. Support the vagus nerve, move correctly, keep stress and inflammation at bay, look after your immune system, and support neurotransmitter production by doing so. It will assist in your studying.

Having the right balance will ensure good quality sleep. It’s important not to fight sleep for good cognitive function.

Being kind to yourself is essential. During exams. During life.

I wish you good health and good luck.

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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Join the Eat Burn Sleep email newsletter and be the first to hear about new tips, and recipes!

Continue Reading

How To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Come Off Antidepressants

How Do You Live With IBS and Anxiety?

April 16, 2023

How Do You Live With IBS and Anxiety?

Reducing IBS and Anxiety

Hello Everyone! Here’s some good news if you’ve given up on life without IBS and anxiety!

There are 4-5 lbs of bugs in our tummies. They consist of viruses, fungi, bacteria, and protozoa, fundamental to our health.

IBS and anxiety can be reduced by changing these bugs in your tummy, and there are many ways to do that.

This post will tell you about the link between IBS and anxiety and how to put them into remission, possibly!

How Do You Develop IBS and Anxiety?

What Causes IBS and Anxiety?

How Do You Cope with IBS and Anxiety?

What Links IBS and Anxiety?

Will IBS and Anxiety Go Away?

How Do You Develop IBS and Anxiety?

Bugs are all over and inside us. Trillions of them! They support critical bodily functions and have a potent effect on physical and mental health. They have a role in the development and severity of IBS and anxiety. In fact, with many conditions, anxiety runs alongside them because of this.

A good balance of bugs in our tummies equals better mental and physical health. A good balance of diverse bugs keeps our immune system healthy and chronic inflammation at bay.

They aid digestion and absorption of food. They also defend against pathogens and regulate immune homeostasis.

What Causes IBS and Anxiety?

An imbalance of tummy bacteria contributes to IBS, bloating, digestive issues, anxiety, depression, and a whole array of conditions. The list is endless.

An upset balance of bugs means that there can be more bad guys than good. The balance is easily upset through food, lifestyle choices, stress, medication, sickness, destructive sleep patterns, thoughts, who we live with, etc.

The thing is, the dominant species proliferate. The bad bugs may take over depending on what you eat and how you live. Too many of these affect your physical and mental health immensely.

When an alteration in the normal tummy flora occurs, stomach lining permeability, inflammation, gut motility, and the quality of life change – for the better or worse.

Oftentimes, the existence of IBS contributes to things like stress, inadequate sleep patterns, and malnutrition, and this creates an endless cycle. If you suffer from IBS and anxiety, it is no wonder that you think it will never end.

If you are on medication, this may also contribute to the alteration in your tummy flora because medicine can do that!

It is no wonder that IBS often develops after a bout of gastroenteritis, an extremely stressful event, or any life stressors. People with depression, anxiety, and PTSD often have to deal with irritable bowel syndrome or some digestive issues, too, for a reason.

How Do You Cope with IBS and Anxiety?

When you have IBS, it can take over your life. Your day can be planned around it or changed at the last minute due to flare-ups! You can be in a vicious cycle because how do you stop being stressed about having IBS?

The anxiety and possibly depression about having IBS is not just because of dealing with the effects of having IBS. The gut is connected to the brain!

What goes on in the gut affects the brain, and what goes on in the brain affects the gut.

It is often described as the microbiota-gut-brain axis.

A whole load of physiological processes explains how the brain influences intestinal activities and how bugs in the tummy affect mental health.

The microbiota-gut-brain axis is explained in more detail here: Why You Need To Know This If You Have Depression.

The other thing to note is that if your gut is imbalanced, it isn’t producing the neurotransmitters that make us feel good. Read this article: 4 Secrets to Feeling Good.

Also, an imbalance means that essential vitamins needed for neuronal function are not being synthesized. This leads to fatigue, depression, anxiety, low moods, and brain fog!

The constant running to the bathroom will prevent you from absorbing nutrients, causing your tummy bacteria to become unbalanced. This can lead to low iron levels and anemia.

Will IBS and Anxiety Go Away?

I have noticed that many diets recommended for IBS include foods and compounds that exacerbate IBS symptoms. So, if you have tried an IBS diet and have not seen any positive results, this will be why.

This natural treatment for IBS I developed myself, and I suffered from IBS flare-ups for years. It truly works!

Eat Burn Sleep has many members that used to have IBS and anxiety. The great thing is that they got a handle on it early since this IBS diet and lifestyle guide are easy to follow.

Members, access the personalized advice here for the IBS flare dietary protocol, foods to avoid, foods to favor, supplements, and nutritional advice for all symptoms of IBS.

Eat Burn Sleep doesn’t mask symptoms temporarily. It gets to the fundamental reason you have IBS and anxiety, and it assists with improving both until it is no longer happening.

Increased energy, weight loss, reduced bloating and puffiness, glowing skin, better body composition, consistent good sleep, and a better quality of life are often reported side effects. Check the testimonies.

And there is nothing off-limits since this is all about limitation! Although, those tummy bugs are powerful. When balanced perfectly, cravings reduce. It does feel magical.

I hope that you have a wonderful day.

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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Join the Eat Burn Sleep email newsletter and be the first to hear about new tips, and recipes!

Continue Reading

How To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

What Kills Candida Overgrowth, Fast?

Worst Foods For Gut Health

March 26, 2023

Why Are You Moody and Irritable?

This Could Be The Reason Why

Hello everyone! If you are wondering why you have been feeling moody, irritable, or on edge without any apparent cause (and have had anything serious ruled out by your doctor), this article may help you pinpoint a reason.

Of course, many factors could be contributing to your changing moods. They could also be signs that your brain is not receiving the essential nutrients needed to function.

Brain food is not a new concept, of course, but there’s also food that spoils your brain. And it’s everywhere. Chances are, you may have had some recently.

This post highlights that you may be able to help yourself change your mood swings and irritability.

What Is Good Brain Food?

How Does Nutrition Affect The Brain?

What Food Affects Your Mood?

Does Junk Food Affect Your Mood?

What Do Ultra Processed Foods Do To You?

What Is Good Brain Food?

Now, I talk about good gut health equals good mental and physical health all the time, and it is a fact. Hundreds of studies show that a diverse microbiota in the gut is essential for the brain, hormones, and happiness. 

Keeping chronic inflammation at bay is good for the brain. For leveling out emotions and moods and making you less irritable, anxious, depressed, and vulnerable to sickness.

There are bugs in your tummy that make you moody, irritable, and sick. The more that they are fed, the more they contribute to neuroinflammation. You feed them, and they increase, inflammation rises, and anxiety and moodiness stick around. It’s like a vicious cycle.

Also, happy, feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin are not produced in an unbalanced gut. (95% serotonin is made in a healthy gut, and the rest is produced in the brain stem).

The brain-gut axis is a bidirectional communication system between the gut and the brain.

Low serotonin is linked to low moods!

Check out the articles: 4 Secrets To Feeling Good, Do You Often Feel Like Crying? and Depression Diet & Lifestyle Intervention.

Members, check the Depression & Anxiety Personalized Advice for comprehensive information about brain health.

What is also linked to mood swings, brain fog, and irritability is candida overgrowth, which leads to chronic inflammation and neuroinflammation. Make sure to read: What Kills Candida Fast, Naturally?

How Does Nutrition Affect The Brain?

Nutrition is essential for our brains and nervous system – our network of neurons that communicate and make thousands of connections with cells around the body. 

Our thoughts and emotions represent a pattern of activity across this network through the neurotransmitters in the brain.

The brain and neurotransmitters are affected by what you eat and drink.

For instance, serotonin, as I mentioned, affects your mood (as well as so many other functions like sleep) and is made from amino acids. These amino acids need to be obtained from what you eat.

Their production, however, also depends on good micronutrients being present. Simply put, there’s a process that helps build and rebuild the brain and nervous system that involves vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, for instance.

When you eat nourishing, nutritional food, which promotes a healthy gut and ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter synthesis, it also reduces inflammation in the brain and supports healthy brain function. 

What also happens is that when your gut-brain axis is beautifully synthesized, you have the best quality sleep. Lack of sleep is not good for the brain and can contribute to feelings of irritability and moodiness.

(Poor sleep quality could be something you are experiencing alongside your changing moods and anxiety).

Nutrition, stress-reduction exercises, and non-inflammatory movements assist in a better body core, healthy vagus nerve, better body composition overall, and reducing inflammation in the mind and body.

All this makes for a happier, even-keeled, hormone-balanced, less moody, and stressed you!

Keeping chronic inflammation at bay is also anti-aging. Protecting our bodies and minds can assist in reducing the risk of age-related diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

What Food Affects Your Mood?

Any food that causes chronic inflammation is not good for your mood and brain health. Many foods can cause neuroinflammation, and some you may be surprised at because they are promoted as good for you.

I am talking about foods that seem unprocessed. They are listed in the Food Lists on Eat Burn Sleep, Members. All other compounds that cause inflammation are there for your guidance.

These foods do not keep the brain healthy, preserve optimal brain integrity and mental and cognitive function, and can put the brain at a higher risk of neurological disorders.

Does Junk Food Affect Your Mood?

There are also ultra-processed ‘foods’ (UPF), which I talk about often, as members know.

Although ‘food’ is not a good description for UPFs. Food is a substance that enables people, animals, and plants to stay alive.

Food is meant to aid in growing and repairing tissue, providing energy, nourishment, essential nutrients, etc.

Ultra-processed ‘foods’ will be doing the opposite of much of that. In fact, UPFs can contribute to accelerated aging, opening the body up to disease, causing blood sugar to rise and fall rapidly, and turning on any genetic conditions.

They are junk foods that are so processed with salt, chemicals, fats, colors, emulsifiers, and flavor enhancers that you would not recognize them when they started out. Nor, if you saw the process, you would not want to eat them.

UPFs don’t contain nutrients and fiber that are important for the brain and body and contribute to mood swings, irritability, and low energy.

What Do Ultra Processed Foods Do To You?

Your body struggles to metabolize these types of substances. When eaten regularly, they are linked to many chronic inflammation conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic disorders, and neuroinflammation.

Neuroinflammation includes anxiety, depression, brain fog, memory issues, moodiness, irritability, cognitive impairment, anger outbursts, and behavior changes.

Ultra-processed foods have become everyday food for many people, and the food processing industry does not help. It is contributing to people’s chronic conditions. If UPFs form most of someone’s diet, they miss essential brain nutrients.

Considering the rise in mental health issues in adults and children, UPFs could very well be a significant contributor to this pandemic.

So, if you are moody, irritable, on edge, or under par, consider what you eat. Think about what you eat over time. Then, consider feeling happier, less irritable, calmer, and without anxiety and low moods because it can happen.

The sooner that you can optimally nourish your brain, the better!

Do get in touch with my EBS team with any questions.

Have a wonderful day!

 

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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December 11, 2022

Feeling Depressed, Not Jolly?

Your Gut Health Could Be The Reason

Hello Everyone! It’s a fact that your gut health has an impact on your mental well-being, as well as your physical health. Feeling jolly has a lot to do with a gut abundant with a perfect balance of diverse intestinal microbiota (brain-gut connection).

The holidays can test your brain and gut health. Whatever holiday you celebrate in your corner of the world can be a period where food, alcohol, (and stress) are prominently present.

All these can lead to a gut microbiota imbalance, causing a pro-inflammatory state, which has adverse physical and mental health outcomes. These include low moods, brain fog, depression, and anxiety, as well as subsequently affecting neurotransmitter (e.g., feel-good serotonin) synthesis.

In this post, I will share tips on indulging in some microbiota-loving activities to look after or improve your gut health throughout the festive season.

How to Have a Gut-healthy Holiday Season

What Alcohol Is Best for Gut Health?

Festive Food to Keep Gut Healthy

Does Exercise Reduce Inflammation?

Can Holiday Stress Affect Gut Health?

Sleep and Gut Health

Looking After Your Gut Microbiome

 

How to Have a Gut-healthy Holiday Season

Five tips that will contribute to your jolly time:

J    Just be kind to yourself – and have alcohol in moderation. Because in large amounts, alcohol can overwhelm your gastrointestinal tract and liver.

O   Opting for traditional holiday foods like meat and vegetables prepared simply will populate your microbiome with some excellent bacteria.

L   Love yourself more and let your mind and body relax, breathe, meditate, and reduce stress. This is important for gut motility, liver health, digestion, and immunity.

L   Limited body movements promote inflammation. Make sure that you fit in a little exercise every day. Gut microbiota doesn’t like sedentary lifestyles.

Y   Yawning means that you are tired. Don’t fight sleep—alternate later nights with earlier nights. Sleep deprivation changes gut microbes.

 

What Alcohol Is Best for Gut Health?

I love a glass of champagne or some vintage wine, and I recommend a glass or two when at parties, with a glass of water in between. Not only to dilute it in your system but also to avoid dehydration. If you are at a dinner party, all the better because the food will slow the absorption of alcohol in the bloodstream. 

Make sure that you don’t drink on an empty stomach. 

A glass of red wine or champagne will have a beneficial effect on your gut microbes and increase diversity, which in turn will reduce inflammation.

This is mainly attributed to their rich and varied polyphenol content. Non-alcoholic red wine contains the same levels of polyphenols, too. 

Polyphenols are antioxidants that can beneficially affect the gut microbiota. They also exert a protective effect on the brain, protecting from age-related neurological disorders and the cardiovascular system by lowering blood pressure.

If blood pressure is a concern, non-alcoholic red wine may be a better option. Go for an organic one. Check the ingredients.

If you are out for a drink with friends and feel like you will have more than one, I recommend a vodka soda because it isn’t loaded with sugar. Alternate with sparking water and a slice of lime! So refreshing!

However, if you are at a party and are offered a sweet cocktail, mulled wine, or a glass of red wine or champagne, I recommend the red wine or champagne, for their antioxidants, every time. Sip slowly and enjoy each delicious mouthful.

I always recommend you steer clear of sugary alcoholic drinks because they produce the worst hangovers!

Some sweet alcoholic beverages play havoc with your blood sugar levels and induce cravings while drinking them, which can have you reaching for snacks that may disrupt your gut health.

Sugar in alcohol gives you a buzz, but the come-down the next day and the dehydration are why you feel dreadful. Plus, the a lack of good sleep, hormone disruption, etc.

For more information about what happens when you drink alcohol, read the articles: How to Avoid a Hangover, How to Deal With a Hangover, & Best Alcohol Drinks for Diabetes.

Moderation is key, of course, because in large amounts, alcohol will cause gut dysbiosis, which is when your balanced gut bacteria is disrupted.

This compromises the immune system, leads to bacterial overgrowth and leaky gut syndrome, and can damage other organs.

It can also make you feel the opposite of jolly because of the brain-gut connection. Too much alcohol can lead to depression.

Liver health is also imperative to good health, as an overtaxed liver makes you feel unwell. Alcohol interferes with the liver’s ability to break down and remove fats.

Also, excess alcohol can strip the body of essential minerals and can further contribute to chronic disease.

Drink lots of warm lemon water between your social occasions to support your liver health, and try to have a few days alcohol-free, if possible.

Members, be prepared! Here’s a detailed Overindulgence Recovery Protocol.

Support your liver through the festive period by following the liver detox section.

Festive Food to Keep Gut Healthy

Traditional holiday foods like meat and vegetables that are prepared simply will do you good since they will populate your microbiome with some excellent bacteria.

For instance, many traditional feast vegetables will have a prebiotic effect. Prebiotics stimulate health-promoting bacteria in the gut microbiome.

As a prebiotic example, carrot fiber is a good fuel source for the bacteria Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium adolescentis, and many more residing in the gut.

This bacteria produces short-chain fatty acids, contributing to good gut health, increased barrier integrity, decreased inflammation markers, and overall health.

The amount and type of fiber you eat affect the composition of gut bacteria and what short-chain fatty acids are produced. 

Nutrition in traditional and straightforward vegetables served at holiday times is essential for health.

For instance, the carrot is a gold mine of nutrition. It is rich in vitamins, polyphenols, and carotenoids, acting as antioxidants, anti-cancer, and immune boosting.

They are suitable for a healthy heart and lungs, cholesterol-lowering, collagen production, eyesight, skin, nails, wound healing, and anti-inflammatory.

Nutrients in various types of organic meat will also provide bioavailable (easily absorbed) protein, minerals, and vitamins, aiding the body in building and repairing tissue, maintaining healthy skin and hair, and boosting immunity, a healthy nervous system, thyroid health, metabolic balance, red blood cells, and cholesterol health. Plus, beneficial gut bacteria.

For lots of holiday feasts, there are a lot of baked and sweet goods that may contribute to an unhealthy gut.

Try these: Gut-healthy Thanksgiving Recipes, 5 Acid Reflux-friendly DessertsGut-friendly Festive Recipes, and Best Appetizer Recipes to Suit Everyone.

I suggest baking your cakes, cookies, and bread using anti-inflammatory ingredients. You will know what they contain and will satisfy your sweet tooth for longer without compromising your health.

Eating predominantly well means that it is okay to have the odd chocolate candy being passed around because you will be full of nutrition.

For the buffet table or to know which canapés to go for, Members consult the Eating Out Guide.

Interestingly, it doesn’t take long to train your tastebuds, nor reduce the microbiota that craves unhealthy food and increase the microbiota that craves healthy, anti-inflammatory foods.

Food is one of the most critical modifying factors of the microbiota-gut-brain axis.

As Dr. Dawn Sherling said in our recent podcast about additives and the microbiome, reclaiming the joy in food and eating well is excellent advice. 

Enjoying good food is essential to good gut health, liver health, immunity, neurotransmitter production, and keeping inflammation down.

Food is life; it is beautiful, and it significantly affects how we feel. 

Does Exercise Reduce Inflammation?

It’s wonderful to rest, read, play board games, watch films, and have time with your family over the holidays. Remember to move every day, though. You will feel better for it.

Being sedentary increases inflammation and is a significant risk factor for chronic conditions.

Stretch out your fascia and fit in a quick anti-inflammatory workout before you start the day, focusing on your core for good gut health. The Eat Burn Sleep movements are manageable and show results quickly without increasing inflammation (many exercises can cause chronic inflammation). Being sustainable helps mental and physical health.

Even a short walk twice daily will benefit you over the holidays.

Gut microbiota loses diversity, and disease risk increases with a sedentary lifestyle.

Can Holiday Stress Affect Gut Health?

Holiday stress is real, and in particular, if you are suffering from chronic diseases like inflammatory bowel disease such as colitis and Crohn’s, PCOS, and endometriosis, with flare-ups that are challenging throughout the year, let alone having to navigate the holidays, too.

Unfortunately, stress does affect your microbiome, which can increase the symptoms and conditions.

Excess cortisol alters microbial diversity and composition, and good microbiota regulates stress response and hormones.

The gut-brain axis aids in reducing stress. A well-balanced gut will deal with stress more efficiently.

Stressful interventions induce changes in the gut, so make sure you socialize with people who do not stress you out, for instance.

Physical interactions with people you love to be with promote an abundance of good microbiota.

Keeping stress down will promote a balanced microbiome, gut motility, digestion, immunity, healthier liver, neurotransmitter production, and aid sleep.

Whatever healthy things you can do to reduce stress, do them as much as possible between festivities. Make time for yourself.

Check out How Do You Live With IBS & Anxiety?, & Depression Diet & Lifestyle Intervention.

Members, you have full access to the potent tools to aid in de-stressing throughout the platform under Membership, like the Mental Wellness section, Movement Guide, Lifestyle Guide, etc. 

Sleep and Gut Health

A lot of late nights in succession will take its toll. I always advocate for early nights rather than late ones.

There’s nothing nicer than an evening meditation, a warm bath, and snuggling up early with a good book with my phone in another room.

However, I know there are dinners, party invitations, family gatherings, and visitors, so I suggest taking alternate early nights over the festive season and getting back on track as soon as possible.

Sleep deprivation does so much damage and will zap your energy levels. It changes gut microbes, dysregulates hormones, compromises your immune system, increases inflammation, puts your body at risk of chronic disease, puts weight on, and so on.

You can read more about what happens during sleep in this article: Top Tips for Better SleepWeight Loss & The Link With Sleep.

You can also retrain your sleeping patterns with Eat Burn Sleep because a healthy gut microbiome influences your sleep quality. There’s a Personalized Advice for Insomnia for anyone needing extra help.

Microbiome diversity promotes more restorative sleep in the long term. Sleep is precious and imperative to good health.

Looking After Your Gut Microbiome

Looking after your gut microbiome will aid you in navigating the holiday season with vitality and joy.

It’s a scientific fact that you are more likely to feel naturally jolly if your gut bacteria is balanced.

Remember that what you eat, how you move, what you think, breathe, and how you sleep all contribute to your health. 

Be kind to yourself and look after yourself, and remember that it is not about perfection. It is about damage limitation.

Whichever holiday you celebrate this month, I hope you enjoy it.

 

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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October 09, 2022

Depression Diet and Lifestyle Intervention

The Brain-Gut Connection and Depression

Hi Everyone! Everyone gets sad (and depending on what season it is, they get S.A.D.), which mimics depression for a brief period. But that is the difference between sadness, S.A.D, and depression. Depression doesn’t have interludes of comfort and joy. It sticks around. It’s a whole different kettle of fish.

I know that depression is multifactorial, but I want to offer some insight into how the brain-gut connection can assist with alleviating depression. By understanding it more, you will see how it makes sense.

It’s not just another ‘self-help’ exercise suggestion that doesn’t feel like help when you are depressed. It’s evidence-based and backed by science.

So, this is for you and everyone with depression. In this article, I will explain how your gut influences your brain and how your brain influences your gut.

What Is the Brain-Gut Connection?

How Does the Vagus Nerve Affect Depression?

What Is the Role of Gut Microbiota?

Does Gut Microbiota Affect Mental Health?

Does the Immune System Affect Mental Health?

How Is Neuroinflammation Linked With Depression?

What Is a Good Diet for Depression?

How to Stop Being Depressed Without Medication

What Is the Key to Optimizing Mental Health?

 

A lady talking with a nutritionist about her depression

What Is the Brain-Gut Connection?

Your gut (gastrointestinal tract) has much to do with depression because your gut is connected to your brain.

So, basically, what is going on in the gut affects the brain, and likewise, what is going on in the brain affects the gut.

This brain-gut axis influences major mental disorders, depression, and anxiety.

In brief detail, the gut-brain axis links the enteric (controls gastrointestinal behavior) and central nervous systems (the body’s processing center – movement, thinking, hearing, seeing, tasting, speech, and awareness – and comprises the brain and spinal cord) with the gut.

The importance extends to include metabolic (metabolism/catabolism: the buildup and breakdown of substances), endocrine (any organs that produce hormones) and humoral and immune communication (responses that allow the body to protect itself against pathogens), and the vagus nerve, too.

In a little more detail:

The autonomic nervous system is a component of the peripheral nervous system. It regulates processes like digestion, mood, respiration, sexual arousal, heart rate, blood pressure, and any involuntary function within the body. It has three divisions called: sympathetic, parasympathetic, and enteric.

So, the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (which describes the interaction between the hypothalamus, the pituitary, and the adrenal glands), along with the nerves within the gastrointestinal tract from the enteric system – all link the gut to the brain!

This allows the brain to influence intestinal activities and the gut to affect mental health.

Any alterations in this network involve complex interactions across the organs by nerves (vagus nerve) and systemic circulation pathways, which alters homeostasis in the body.

Oh, and to note, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis pathway is the body’s response to stress that produces cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol also impairs gut motility and enzyme secretion.

It is all so connected!

How Does the Vagus Nerve Affect Depression?

You have heard me talk about the vagus nerve and its involvement in gut health, back pain, and depression, and this is a basic explanation.

The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the body and runs through several regions in the body and connects the brainstem to digestive organs.

They are the primary nerves of your parasympathetic system. As mentioned above, they are involved in digestion, respiration, etc.

Fibers of the vagus nerve are connected to the gut lining cells, making the brain-gut connection.

Vagus nerve fibers use the gut lining cells to collect information from gut activities and then transfer it to the brain.

Your gut is basically letting your brain know what is going on.

This is how the vagus nerve is involved in gut motility, the movement of food through the mouth, the digestive process, etc.

It lets your brain know when you are hungry, etc. (It’s the pathway for Ghrelin and Leptin, hunger regulation hormones).

When gut bacteria break down food particles, they produce metabolites like butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that the vagus nerve can sense.

The vagus nerve transmits this information to the brain, which regulates digestive processes.

The vagus nerve will also communicate with the brain to release anti-inflammatory substances in response to any inflammation in the gut and is also involved in controlling the gut lining.

Stress can stop the vagus nerve from performing these tasks. When this happens, the vagus nerve cannot release anti-inflammatory molecules to calm the inflammation, so gut bacteria suffer.

What also happens is that it can’t control the permeability of the stomach lining.

A damaged and malfunctioning intestinal lining leads to more changes in gut bacteria (causing dysbiosis) and allows food and toxins to penetrate the tissues beneath it. This leads to leaky gut syndrome.

Leaky gut syndrome is associated with mental illness, obesity, fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, migraines, and allergies…

It can be so painful, and many symptoms can display themselves when you have a leaky gut!

In the Personalized Advice for Depression, you will learn more about how to stimulate your vagus nerve.

What Is the Role of Gut Microbiota?

Your gut is home to an array of micro-organisms (100 trillion) consisting of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. These are called microbiota and are paramount to the state of our health.

Your microbiota is made up of your genes, how you live, what you eat and drink, what you are exposed to, and other lifestyle factors like toxins, stress, sickness, medication, and so on.

It is this that aids digestion and absorption of food. It also defends the gut from pathogens, and it regulates immune homeostasis.

Gut microbiota is also involved in the synthesis of vitamins that are essential for neuronal function. Deficiencies lead to cognitive impairment and depression!

This is more evidence of why your gut microbiota plays a significant part in your mental health.

Gut Dysbiosis

Certain foods, inflammatory ingredients, medication, drugs, pesticides, stress, and lifestyle choices can all lead to dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is an imbalance of gut microbiota.

The role of gut microbiota cannot be underestimated since if your gut is in dysbiosis, inflammatory diseases, and immune dysregulations are more likely to occur.

70%-80% of immune cells reside in the gut, you see. This is why autoimmune disorders often accompany depression, for instance. 

In essence, it is a knock-on effect since inflammatory diseases change the diversity and quantity of bacteria.

Read NSAIDs, Gut Health & Inflammation & Side Effects of Antibiotics: IBD.

Does Gut Microbiota Affect Mental Health?

Also, if your gut microbiota is compromised, then important mood-regulating neurotransmitters produced in the gut will not be produced. 

This could explain why people feel moody and irritable and cannot pinpoint why.

So, you can already see that good gut health is paramount to good mental health. 

Microbiota fluctuations are linked to changes in the mental and emotional centers of the brain.

Indeed, 60% of neurotransmitters associated with mood regulation are produced in a healthy gut. I have explained that this affects our mental well-being (and more) in the article: Do You Often Feel Like Crying?

It is noted that microbiota in the gut and its related metabolic disturbance is characterized in patients with depression. 

Also, gut microbiota composition causes the degradation of the colonic mucus barrier. This causes microbiota encroachment, leading to disease susceptibility and chronic inflammation.

There is so much involved, and it is vital to keep inflammation down!

Have you read Reduce Chronic Inflammation for a Healthy Mind?

Does the Immune System Affect Mental Health?

Yes, the immune system and depression are linked. Have a read of The Benefits of Sun Exposure.

Keeping the immune healthy plays an integral part in depression because if it cannot respond to pathogens and other environmental triggers, it can lead to inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

What happens then is that the gastrointestinal tract’s inflammation leads to neuroinflammation. This is an inflammatory response within the brain or spinal cord.

How Is Neuroinflammation Linked With Depression?

What happens in neuroinflammation is that the proinflammatory cytokines (immunomodulating agents) increase.

This then activates the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, increasing resistance to glucocorticoids (hormones that fight inflammation and work with the immune system, and so on).

This subsequently affects serotonin (mood, emotions, appetite, sleep, digestion) synthesis and metabolism. It affects neuronal apoptosis (brain cell death), neurogenesis (creation of new brain cells in adult brains), and neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change, reorganize and form new connections, as in learning).

This is how neuroinflammation is involved with depression.

As you can see, so much is involved in how the gut affects the brain (and I have barely got into it) and why we have to have good gut health.

What is also happening is that when there is chronic inflammation present in the body, other inflammatory conditions arise. Digestive issues, autoimmune conditions, IBD, chronic pain, obesity, diabetes, psoriasis, eczema, and other skin conditions – are all common health issues with depression.

This is why so many people have gastrointestinal diseases with anxiety and depression. Make sure to read: How Do You Live With IBS and Anxiety? & Feeling Depressed, Not Jolly?

Long COVID is an inflammatory condition. This is why many people have depression as well as Long COVID. Again, Long COVID is another condition that you can find Personalized Advice for in the Membership section. Have you read: Long COVID Migraines?

What Is a Good Diet for Depression?

Addressing the body holistically is essential regarding mental health. A diet isn’t enough because, as I mentioned earlier, it is multifactorial. A lifestyle intervention for depression is recommended.

I know it can be intensely complex for individuals with depression, and I am not trivializing it because there could be reasons that are out of your control.

The best anti-inflammatory lifestyle may not remove all factors contributing to your depression, but it will treat depression symptoms and conditions at the source. This means changing poor, unbalanced microbiota and systemic inflammation.

Eating good mood-lifting recipes is a given on this anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Here are some examples for you: Asparagus and Crab Salad, Paleo Double Chocolate Chip Cookies, Almond Chia Pots, & Meditteranean Roast Chicken & Vegetables

How to Stop Being Depressed Without Medication

Make sure you read: Come Off Antidepressants. Don’t ever come off antidepressants abruptly. This is written off the back of watching a BBC documentary about why doctors are advised not to prescribe them in the majority of cases.

A Primary Care Professor, Tony Kendrick, stated: “Most people get better doing something else for a few months, and they won’t get problems further down the line when they want to come off them.” They now teach medical students to recommend a diet and lifestyle intervention for depression instead.

Guide to Treating Depression By Yourself

Everything you need is on this anti-inflammatory lifestyle platform when you become a member. There is a Mental Wellness section in the Lifestyle Guide, a Personalized Advice section on Depression & Anxiety and Masterclasses on Mental Wellness: the basicsMental Wellness: advanced!

It will help you interrupt the depression cycle by controlling what contributes to your depression. It will help you gain the vigor and mental capacity needed to deal with the other factors contributing to depression that you can’t control. Trust me! Its effects are amazing. 

I advise embarking on this lifestyle intervention for depression, and you will be:

  • *supported by me and my team, including other qualified nutritionists (we are contactable), and have access to the tools that will help reduce your depression every single day, all year long!
  • *eating gut-microbiota-rich, nutritious mental health food (which includes the essential vitamins for neuronal function) at the right time
  • *reducing inflammation
  • *healing your gut lining, allowing for essential nutrient absorption
  • *addressing gut dysbiosis and immune dysregulation
  • *promoting the production of serotonin and dopamine
  • *doing the correct movements that also affect the vagus nerve as well as reduce inflammation
  • *reducing body aches with food, movements, and daily practices
  • *keeping stress down with neuroplasticity exercises (affecting the vagus nerve and calming down the central nervous system, reducing cortisol, etc.).
  • *detoxifying the liver
  • *reprogramming destructive sleep patterns
  • *reducing conditions that run alongside depression, like autoimmune conditions, bowel conditions, digestive issues, chronic pain, skin conditions, anxiety, and so on
  • *educated with all specialized advice for an array of issues that are mental, physical, and emotional
  • *part of a motivational, supportive community

 

A Lifestyle To Compliment Therapy

I hope that you are having therapy that is working out well. This lifestyle for depression intervention will complement your treatment if this is the case. Follow the above comprehensive advice on how to treat depression naturally. It will support you tremendously on how to look after yourself with depression.

Certainly, run it by your therapist. Health professionals around the world are prescribing this anti-inflammatory lifestyle to their patients with depression and other chronic inflammation conditions.

I firmly believe in blending allopathic and holistic treatment for all inflammatory conditions, hence the Health Board for Chronic Inflammation.

Chances are if you have depression, your medication has stopped working, or you could have treatment-resistant depression. This lifestyle for mental health treats conditions at systemic levels and doesn’t just mask the symptoms.

Don’t forget to watch the Masterclass on Emotional Hygiene, too. Do explore the Videos and listen to the Podcasts. Many of my guests have faced emotionally difficult times. Their stories may resonate with you.

If there is depression running in your family, you reduce the gene expression of those weaker genes by keeping inflammation at bay.

Chronic inflammation triggers epigenetics, which could be, in your case, depression.

Thousands of studies have been conducted on the brain-gut axis since it was first coined in the 1960s, with positive conclusions about microbiota’s power in treating mental disorders.

What Is the Key to Optimizing Mental Health?

So, this is why you need to know more about the brain-gut connection if you have mental health issues. Knowledge is power!

By working on the gut and the mind simultaneously, which is the key to optimizing mental health, you will start noticing days with comfort and joy in them.

As the bright mood spots increase daily and then more regularly, you realize that you have some joie de vivre back! And with certainty, it continues.

Wishing everyone a day that has brightness in it! Do share with anyone you know who might be struggling with their mental health. It could very well be the lifestyle intervention for depression that they need.

You/they may want to read the testimonials on depression and mental health. Also, the article about our member’s depression and obesity remission success was in The Daily Express.

I often advise on mental health issues and other chronic inflammation conditions in my Insta reels. You can follow me here.

With love and good health!

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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How To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

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August 25, 2022

4 Secrets to Feeling Good

Want to Know How to Feel Good?

Hi Everyone! Okay, there are a lot of components in creating a state of mind and feeling good, and you know that I am going to say that tiptop gut health is imperative to it. But this post is about some other matters!

Although this post touches on gut health, I will talk about 4 functions to focus on to feel good and how to activate them yourself.

It’s easier than you think. Read on!

What Are the Secrets to Feel Good?

What Is the First Secret to Feeling Good?

How Do You Increase Dopamine Naturally?

What Is the Second Secret to Feeling Good?

What Is the Third Secret to Feeling Good?

Some Signs of Serotonin Deficiency

What Is the Fourth Secret to Feeling Good?

How Do You Optimise Your Feel Good Hormones?

 

What Are the Secrets to Feel Good?

For the sake of this post, the secrets to feeling good are wrapped up in hormones that are also neurotransmitters.

Hormones (neurotransmitters) are your body’s chemical messengers, carrying, boosting, and balancing signals between nerve cells and target cells around the body.

They are released by glands into your bloodstream and rise and fall throughout the day and night, acting on various organs and tissues.

Neurotransmitters manage everything from our heartbeat to our memory, for how you feel and your body functions.

It’s a complex and highly interconnected system, with over 60 neurotransmitters (e.g., amino acids, peptides, purines), and imbalances occur if optimal health isn’t achieved in the body.

Now, amongst these neurotransmitters and hormones, there are ‘feel good’ hormones that you have the power to control.

These ‘feel good’ hormones are:

  • Dopamine (pleasure and motivation hormone)
  • Oxytocin (love)
  • Serotonin (happy hormone)
  • Endorphins (pain relief and well-being).

D.O.S.E. 

Use the following as a checklist to encourage the release of and activate your daily D.O.S.E!

Man on the beach, arms stretched out, laughing.

What Is the First Secret to Feeling Good?

The first secret to feeling good is the hormone and neurotransmitter: Dopamine!

Dopamine is part of our brain’s pleasure and reward system. It’s often called the ‘motivation molecule.’

It is all the things that trigger that intense feeling of reward, like sex, food…winning an award!

It’s that feeling you get when you do something like going on a scary ride at the amusement park – or jumping off a boat in the middle of the ocean, as I did recently!

Four people in swimwear jumping off a boat, legs splaying, seen from behind.

Dopamine is that feeling of pleasure washing over you while your brain feels perked up.

About 50% of dopamine is produced in the gut by enteric neurons and intestinal epithelial cells (more about their role, with serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain-gut axis another time!).

The rest is produced in the brain’s substance nigra, ventral tegmental area, and hypothalamus.

This is in the process of converting the amino acid of tyrosine into another amino acid called L-dopa! L-dopa then undergoes another change, where enzymes turn it into dopamine!

Man on a sofa, smiling, with headphones on.

The role of dopamine is involved the following:

  • punishment and reward
  • voluntary movement
  • inhibition of prolactin production
  • lactation
  • blood vessel function
  • kidney function
  • heart rate
  • motivation
  • behavior and cognition
  • sleep
  • dreaming
  • working memory
  • attention
  • learning
  • mood

Dopamine transmission levels increase in response to ‘rewards’.

Its involvement in reinforcement is what makes us go back for more! More food, more sex, more scary rides – more jumps into the water!

Two males, gaming, faces not seen.

Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why people get hooked up on addictions like shopping, gambling, and gaming!

Dopamine deficiency presents itself in back pain, constipation, muscle cramps, low mood, feeling hopeless, lack of motivation, and full of brain fog (despite low moods being mostly linked with serotonin deficiency).

Dysregulation of dopamine shows itself in conditions such as Depression, Parkinson’s disease, and Irritable Bowel Disease.

You may be interested in reading How to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

How Do You Increase Dopamine Naturally?

Yes, you can increase dopamine and reset your zest for life!

A tagine with chicken and vegetables, saffron and herbs.

1. Reduce inflammation, improve gut health, and ensure nutrition and absorption are maximized by following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

2. Regular movement in the form of anti-inflammatory exercise – stimulating the vagus nerve, increasing blood flow to the brain, and promoting neurogenesis.

Proper exercise stimulates the immune system and produces an anti-inflammatory response.

3. Tyrosine plays a critical role in dopamine production, so boosting levels with tyrosine-rich foods like bananas, pumpkin seeds, chicken, and avocados is a good way.

Tyrosine can also be made from phenylalanine, another amino acid found in many protein-rich foods like turkey and eggs!

Have some Dairy-free Scrambled Eggs or an Asparagus, Zucchini & Avocado Salad!

These provide an extra boost of memory and mental performance!

Needless to say, you always need complete nutrients to allow for conversions and synthesis in the body.

Like iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins, for instance, concentrating on tyrosine alone won’t fix it if your body lacks good nutrition. 

4. Sunlight for Vitamin D. Especially in the morning, setting the circadian rhythm.

5. The practice of meditation, since consciousness change may trigger its release.

6. Listen to music. Even the thought of listening to your favorite music can release dopamine!

7. Sleep regularly and for reasonable amounts of time. Lack of sleep disturbs circadian rhythms.

8. Massage and touch – reduces cortisol, stimulates the vagus nerve, and increases oxytocin (see below!).

Man having a massage on a massage table, resting his chin on his crossed arms, arms of masseuse seen only.

What Is the Second Secret to Feeling Good?

The second secret to feeling good is the hormone and neurotransmitter Oxytocin!

It is produced in the hypothalamus and transported to and secreted by the pituitary gland at the brain’s base.

The way to feel some of the oxytocin’s magic is that wonderful sense of well-being that occurs when you hug someone.

Male and female holding hands, hands seen only, with sunlight shining through.

Or when skin is touched, in massage, holding hands, making love.

Or spending time with your favorite pet! Oxytocin levels rise in both pets and owners when they have time to snuggle with each other!

It’s not just that, though. Oxytocin plays a huge role in female reproductive functions.

Oxytocin is present during labor, increasing uterine motility, which causes uterus or womb contractions.

As the cervix and vagina widen in labor, oxytocin is released. Further contractions enable the widening to increase.

Woman staring down at her baby, with a huge smile on her face.

That overwhelming love feeling you have with a baby is what oxytocin is responsible for.

It fosters the bond between mother and child immediately after birth and affects milk release from mammary glands for breastfeeding.

That sense of bonding, when entwined with music, increases oxytocin levels if you are in a band or choir together.

Practicing random acts of kindness boosts oxytocin levels, too!

Ensure that you top up your oxytocin levels and maintain real contact with people and animals. Socialize, touch, and hug! Our immune relies on socializing, too.

What Is the Third Secret to Feeling Good?

The third secret to feeling good is ensuring that gut dysbiosis does not suppress the hormone and the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Serotonin is one of the most important signaling molecules within the gut.

It plays a pivotal role in initiating secretory and motor reflexes. Serotonin keeps your appetite and satiety in check.

Female making a heart shape over her gut, face not seen.

It is serotonin that kicks in when you have eaten something that your body does not like.

It lets the brain know it is time to dispel it as soon as possible.

90% of serotonin is in the gut and stored in the intestinal mucosa.

This is why, as I always mention, depression, low moods, and tearfulness are linked to an unhappy gut and low serotonin levels!

The other 10% of Serotonin is attributed to the serotonergic neurons of the enteric nervous system.

It works a little differently there, promoting feelings of well-being and happiness.

These cells play an essential role in regulating serotonin homeostasis and possess the apparatus to produce and store serotonin.

This affects many parts of the brain that affect sexuality, memory, fear, body temperature, stress response, digestion, sleep, breathing, and addiction.

Tryptophan, the amino acid – is used by your brain to make serotonin, but only 1-2% of dietary tryptophan is converted to serotonin.

Do You Have to Eat Tryptophan to Produce Serotonin?

It isn’t a case of eating more tryptophan foods to increase the amino acid to make serotonin, though.

A plate of chicken and grilled vegetables.

When you eat tryptophan-rich foods like chicken and other high-protein foods, the protein breaks down into amino acids.

This competes with tryptophan to get across your blood-brain barrier.

The blood-brain barrier prevents harmful substances from reaching your brain and, as such, blocks tryptophan from getting in.

Getting Tryptophan Into Your Brain Without Medication

Eating carbohydrates (not high-protein foods) with tryptophan foods may help get tryptophan into your brain.

This is why immune-boosting chicken soup made with vegetables is suitable for a dose of tryptophan to soothe your mind and heal your body.

You see, your body produces insulin when you eat certain complex carbohydrates.

Insulin helps your muscles take in more amino acids, which is why tryptophan has a better chance of making it across the blood-brain barrier.

How Serotonin Aids Sleep

Serotonin is a regulator of the sleep-wake cycle.

A female in her bikini by the pool, wearing a hat, smiling and looking at the camera.

Serotonin levels increase with sunlight, and melatonin kicks in with the dark.

These aid sleep regulation and lower stress levels.

This is why light therapy is suggested in the winter for many people who suffer from S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder).

Melatonin also sets the body’s circadian rhythms. As well as countering infection, reducing chronic inflammation, suppressing skin damage, and clearing many diseases.

Sleep is imperative to live!

Looking to improve your sleep and lose weight?

Some Signs of Serotonin Deficiency

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • S.A.D
  • Sleep-cycle disturbances
  • Chronic disease
  • Neurological disease

What Is the Fourth Secret to Feeling Good?

The fourth secret to feeling good is the hormones and neurotransmitters: Endorphins!

There are twenty different types, and the most studied is beta-endorphin – the euphoric endorphin.

The one that is felt when we dance, exercise, have sex, or laugh out loud, lots!

Two females laughing out in the kitchen, while chopping vegetables.

In fact, laughter alters serotonin and dopamine levels, as well as releases of endorphins. Laughter is so good for you!

Ever danced and laughed at the same time? It’s an amazing feeling.

The hypothalamus and pituitary gland release our body’s natural pain relievers that give us a sense of well-being.

Female, closed eyes, facing the sun, smiling.

You feel them when you meditate and breathe deeply and correctly, inducing calm in the body and mind.

It is connected with that beautiful feeling that you get when you have had exposure to the sun!

The calmness and the sense of well-being are connected to UV light, which has stimulated the release of beta-endorphins in the skin.

Endorphins promote other hormones that are involved in all of the feelings when you are in love!

Female performing downward facing dog.

They are also responsible for one of the reasons why exercise is recommended for depression.

When repeated daily, the buzz from endorphins you get from workouts aids mental well-being.

Can You Take a Feel Good Hormone Supplement?

Supplementing these feel-good hormones wouldn’t ever be as effective as encouraging their production biologically with lifestyle, food, movement, thoughts, actions, and who we have around us.

Supplements can’t produce what these elements can.

You know my thoughts about supplements being no contender against the bioavailability of foods and how our body absorbs and utilizes nutrients based on our lifestyles.

Extra caution is paid attention to serotonin level-raising supplements, for instance, because they are linked to severe diseases and organ damage.

How Do You Optimise Your Feel Good Hormones?

So, you can optimize your feel-good hormones with your lifestyle and the people around you by focusing on choices that secrete these neurotransmitters.

Gut-health foods that are nutrient-dense with an ample amount of essential B vitamins, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and micronutrients – that work intricately in concert with each other will assist with neurotransmitter health.

What foods we eat are not enough, though, for lifestyle choices are cofactors in synthesizing nutrients in the body. I know that I say this a lot, but it is so important!

What you eat, how you move, how much you sleep, and what you think all play a significant role in these feel-good hormones.

Who you hug and spend time with and what you do in a day aids optimization, too.

You could take a walk with a friend, turn up the music and dance, or hold hands with someone you love.

Three girlfriends laughing on the sofa eating popcorn, presumably watching a comedy.

Watch a movie with friends or your family that you know makes you all laugh out loud.

Sitting in the sun and shifting consciousness will aid in feeling good mentally.

You could reward yourself with an early night and a good book.

I am a massive advocate for this, as you know because health optimization rewards yourself daily and is essential for hormone balance.

Of course, other elements come into play when it comes down to feeling good, like following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle 80/20.

This D.O.S.E. of neurotransmitters is an excellent focus to assist you with optimum health, though. They play a crucial part in maintaining homeostasis for the entire body. 

Six people holding hands running in a field, faces not seen.

They’re a reminder to have fun, be with people, take a walk, and sit mindfully while you eat. To live and love well. That sort of thing!

Getting your ‘feel good’ hormones optimized and your body balanced will not just make you feel good. You will feel amazing!

There’s a lot of their work to feel grateful for.

I hope that you have a super day!

 

 

 

 

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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August 14, 2023

Do You Often Feel Like Crying?

Not Feeling Sad but Want to Cry?

It doesn’t matter who you are, your age, or your resilience; we all cry and need to cry.

It’s an essential release for grief, sadness, stress, anger, sentimentality, and tiredness.

Sometimes though, we can go through periods of crying without obvious external motivators, wondering what is going on with ourselves!

So many people say that they feel like crying and don’t know why.

They say they have a good life, many great friends, a wonderful family, and good health (without a condition). They are flummoxed because they have lots to look forward to – and just cannot put their finger on why they could burst out crying at any given moment.

In this post, I am going to talk about what the reason could be.

Why Do You Feel Emotional For No Reason?

Why Does Gut Health Affect Mental Health?

Does Your Gut Produce Happiness?

What Is the Best Diet for Your Brain?

How Does Your Gut Make You Sad?

What Affects Gut Health?

What Foods Boost Happiness?

Why Do You Feel Emotional For No Reason?

You are not alone if you cannot quite pinpoint why you feel so emotional lately and want to cry.

If you are crying spontaneously (unusual for you, and your doctor has ruled out disease), you may be surprised to know that it could all be down to your gut bacteria.

You may have heard me talk about the bidirectional link between the brain and the gut before.

Neuroinflammation, depression, and mood disorders are linked to gut bacteria.

Why do you nip to the bathroom before a public speaking event or get ‘butterflies’ in your stomach before meeting someone?

That’s the brain-gut connection!

Why Does Gut Health Affect Mental Health?

The gut is the largest immune organ in the body!

In brief, the intestine’s surface area is the epithelium; under that is a network of immune cells. Above the mucus layer that tops the epithelium sits the gut microbiota.

What we eat influences gut microbiota composition and activity.

Gut microbiota affects our inflammatory state by breaking down food into compounds that modify immune cells.

Simplified, a whole cascade of body health events occurs according to what we eat. A gut imbalance affects the body and mind.

Gut microbiota interacts bidirectionally with environmental risk factors such as diet and lifestyle.

When we are born, we inherit our Mother’s microbiome (entire habitat of the body: microorganisms, genomes, environmental conditions).

Over time, from when we are weaned into solid foods, our guts develop a diverse and distinct collection. Over 250 bacterial species, in fact – but it can contain 1,000 different species.

This comes from genetics, bacteria that surround us, and bacteria from other people around us (environment).

Also, how we deal with stress, medication, what foods we eat, and what nutrition we give our bodies.

We have 100 trillion microorganisms that are in our microbiome.

Not only do gut microbiota aid digestion, metabolism, and nutrient absorption, but they inhibit pathogens and assist with developing and protecting the immune system.

Gut microbiota balance hormones, nourishing intestinal cells, and the gut where feel-good neurotransmitters are produced!

Does Your Gut Produce Happiness?

Feel-good neurotransmitters that are produced by gut bacteria are:

  • Serotonin (the happy hormone)
  • Dopamine (pleasure and motivation hormone),
  • GABA (the reward hormone) 
  • Melatonin (the sleep hormone)

So, a compromised balance of gut microbiota results in these neurotransmitters not being produced, which means we won’t feel good mentally.

90% of serotonin is produced in the gut, for instance.

Serotonin is responsible for happiness and well-being, reducing mood swings and anxiety. It is also a precursor for melatonin, the hormone that aids sleep.

So, if you have wondered why you are not sleeping, this could explain why.

Have you read 4 Secrets to Feeling Good, How Do You Live With IBS & Anxiety?, Depression Diet & Lifestyle Intervention, and Why Are You Moody & Irritable?

Sleep is affected by gut imbalance, too. This does not help with keeping your emotions in check!

Common triggers of chronic insomnia are emotional concerns and the body’s overactive fight-or-flight mechanism (but this article is about not being able to pinpoint why we cry when there aren’t any obvious reasons).

In turn, critical biological functions, like hunger hormone regulation, occur when you go through the sleep cycles.

Without essential sleep, these essential hormone regeneration functions do not occur. This leads your body to not operate at optimum health levels, possibly activating inflammatory genes.

There’s a symbiotic relationship between gut microbiota and the body as long as good health exists.

What Is the Best Diet for Your Brain?

I always advocate for a lifestyle change rather than just a diet because how you move and think significantly affects your gut health.

So, I would recommend an anti-inflammatory lifestyle with good gut health recipes.

One that contains omega-3-rich foods that optimize brain function. The long-chain omega-3 fatty acid is suitable for brain development and plays an essential role in neurotransmitter release, cellular membrane function, and fluidity.

Choose a healthy gut lifestyle that contains all the nutrition to aid in feeding the body with good bacteria and eradicating harmful bacteria.

Because it heals the body and affects pro-inflammatory cytokine release in the brain, it allows for maximum absorption and fights against neuroinflammation in aging brains.

I always say that the way to reduce mood disorders or neurodegenerative disorders in the brain is to start with the gut!

Doctors recommend a gut-healthy lifestyle for physical and mental well-being. 

If you are a member of Eat Burn Sleep, you will be experiencing the gut-healthy effects on your mental health and know firsthand that you will have improved mental well-being.

It won’t be just because your health goals are being met, but it will be for scientific reasons: biologically, physically, and mentally.

When there is gut dysbiosis, our overall health is impacted.

How Does Your Gut Make You Sad?

Microbiota is essential for homeostasis, and any dysbiosis (imbalance) compromises not only physical health but also mental health.

It’s incredible what a balanced gut microbiota can do!

You see, many people who describe themselves as ‘fit and healthy’ with good body composition can’t understand why they feel tearful and emotional.

These ‘fit and healthy’ people are often surprised to learn that despite evidential physical fitness, they are not in optimum health.

Their chosen exercise could make their bodies inflamed and susceptible to disease.

The same people experience the positive change themselves when their lifestyles (not just diet) become more gut-health-focused.

A balanced microbiota in the gut lowers chronic inflammation and promotes optimum health.

It may seem obvious now, but many people are surprised to learn why they may be crying when all is good in their world:

In the same way that your gut bacteria can make you happy when there’s a good balance in the microbiota, an imbalance causes an impact on your emotional behavior in a less-than-positive way.

Your gut bacteria affects your emotional behavior negatively and positively, and an imbalance soon happens.

Sadness, anger, and fear can all present themselves as a representation of your gut bacteria.

Even the mildest amount of stress that you may be dismissing – that couldn’t possibly warrant such uncontrollable outbursts of tears – can cause a microbial imbalance that can cause those tears and mood changes.

That is why, with gastrointestinal disorders like IBS and high inflammation, there are often accompanying depression and anxiety.

This isn’t just because of the nature of the condition or having to navigate life while dealing with the condition, such as triggers and timing.

Feeling good and the well-being of gut microbiota are tightly connected.

What Affects Gut Health?

Social Stress Can Cause Imbalanced Gut Health.

Stress can affect your mental health via its effect on the gastrointestinal tract.

It could be that you have spent time, however brief, with someone who has decreased your gut diversity. For instance, if you have experienced conflict or aggression from someone.

Positive social interaction is beneficial to gut health, optimum health – and longevity!

Likewise, oxytocin, a mood-modulating hormone, is produced in the hypothalamus and released into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland when we hug, touch, and love someone.

Or having a dance or exercise with friends!

Despite not being produced in the gut like the other feel-good hormones, oxytocin is linked with gut health because it is an anti-stress hormone.

Stress triggers gut health imbalance and digestive and inflammatory issues.

You may be recovering from an illness or an operation or have taken antibiotics even, that have wiped your body of good (as well as bad) bacteria.

So many factors can contribute to gut dysbiosis and open the pathways to inflammatory conditions. It is essential to nurture yourself.

So, the next time you feel like crying and can’t explain why, think about your gut. Is it time for a microbiome reset? 

What Foods Boost Happiness?

Learn about the foods that will boost your happiness in The Lifestyle Guide and save your favorites! Access the in-depth, personalized advice for depression and anxiety here.

Improving gut health improves brain health.

It’s science!

Don’t forget to do daily anti-inflammatory movements for gut health, too! It all works synergistically together.

Here are a few quick serotonin-inducing, gut-healthy recipes for you all to enjoy: Roasted Sunchokes With Salsa Verde, Slow Cooker Indian Vegetable Curry. and Savory Rosemary & Chives Paleo Bread Rolls

I am sending you wishes for a beautiful day!

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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March 22, 2023

Member’s 25kg Weight Loss Success Story

A ‘Greatest Gift’ Story from an EBS Member

An Eat Burn Sleep Member tells her success story in the Express about the benefits of joining our anti-inflammatory program.

Help With Weight Loss and Chronic Inflammatory Conditions

After significant traumatic events led Christen Kinard to deal with depression, anxiety, weight gain, and dermatitis, she stumbled across the Eat Burn Sleep program by following me on Instagram.

She says, “I followed Yalda Alaoui for a while on Instagram before signing up for the platform, but it was when I signed up that everything kicked into high gear. Everything made sense. I felt knowledgeable, empowered, supported, and equipped.”

It was when she joined the Eat Burn Sleep community that her skin started healing, weight loss happened rapidly for her, and the anxiety and depression melted away.

For twenty years, Christen suffered from depression before joining the Eat Burn Sleep program!

There are many scientific reasons why anxiety and depression are reduced on this anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Better mental health isn’t just a by-product of the target of weight loss and conditions clearing up in the skin and body.

The program connects the brain and gut while lowering inflammation.

The whole program educates you in an easy way so that you make good choices for your body going forward, with a focus on not striving for perfection but for damage limitation.

You may hear me often talk about this because I don’t think many fashionable ‘diets’ are sustainable.

They actually end up making people feel guilty, unhappy, or even unhealthier because it was extreme (which is so bad for the body), or they fell off the wagon because it was hard to stick to and didn’t fit in with their lives.

This lifestyle is for long-term health and happiness

So, a huge part of the lifestyle is devised around neuroplasticity and neurotransmitters, lowering cortisol, improving endorphins, human growth hormones (HGH), and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), supporting the parasympathetic system and lowering the sympathetic nervous system (as well as encouraging the production of neurotransmitters in the microbiome, too). Have you read 4 Secrets to Feeling Good?

The food is carefully chosen for its powerhouse compounds that aid in the lowering of inflammation and fighting disease, which are brought together into powerful healing recipes that will fill you up and make you happy.

Recipes like Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies & Slow Cooker Indian Vegetable Curry.

The videos on wellness, nutrition, movement, meditation, advice, and tips are continuously being added because I am continually researching.

I teach to educate everyone about achieving an optimum healthy life!

I am so passionate about living this anti-inflammatory way due to my own journey, which led me to research extensively, which led to my recovery. Which is why Eat Burn Sleep exists.

This anti-inflammatory lifestyle saved me from dying, and now I have optimum health; the best body composition that I have ever had, keeping me strong – and I have put my autoimmune diseases into remission. I couldn’t keep that to myself!

So, during my decade of research, I qualified in Naturopathic Nutrition with a foundation in Biomedicine so that I could dispense my scientific findings!

So, hearing life-changing stories daily makes it all worthwhile.

Christen also shares some of the benefits of the anti-inflammatory program in the article, “I had a system, a community, and a lifestyle mapped out for me.”

I am so pleased that Christen shared her “greatest gift” success story with the Express.

For me, I want to reach as many people as possible so that we are all living our best lives with more autonomy over our dietary and lifestyle choices – feeling happier, healthier, and stronger – both mentally and physically.

Reducing disease, losing weight, and protecting ourselves can be a complicated affair. Especially with all of the confusing, inconsistent information: potions, magic pills, extreme diets, and fads out there, which are quite possibly contributing to inflammation and making people’s bodies susceptible to disease.

You can’t just take a pill, eat what you like, and wake up with dramatic health changes!

Have you read How to Lose Weight Fast, Why Am I Always Hungry?, How to Lose Weight For and During Holidays, Weight Loss & The Link To Sleep? & Best Exercise to Lose Belly Fat Quickly

Members do say that weight loss happens quickly for them and stays off due to the whole lifestyle guidance and education that’s enjoyable to follow. So, it is a quick fix that lasts – for some, but I like to focus on the long-term optimum health for everyone, not quick fixes.

Many people say that they feel empowered with the education from Eat Burn Sleep – and that is just wonderful to hear!

You can read the article about Christen’s 4-stone (25kg) weight loss, mental health, and skin improvement here.

Wishing you good health, too.

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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October 08, 2020

Reduce Chronic Inflammation for a Healthy Mind

Reduce Chronic Inflammation for a Healthier Mind

I was interviewed by Beauty and Well-Being (BWB) about the connection between chronic inflammation and mental health.

Here are some snippets:

‘Depression is directly linked to Chronic Inflammation. Blood tests of people with mental health issues often show high inflammation markers.

Reducing chronic inflammation for anyone suffering from depression would require a change in their overall lifestyle.

These changes range from the food they eat, the way they move their bodies, their sleep patterns, and the way they think.’

Gut health is important to reduce inflammation and neuroinflammation. Recipes like Spinach & Tomato Paleo Muffins, Slow Cooker Chicken Soup & Vietnamese Chopped Salad all encourage a good gut diversity. An anti-inflammatory breakfast, lunch, and dinner with afternoon treats like cake (!) will help you.

Click here to read the article.

You may also be interested in reading Depression Diet & Lifestyle Intervention, How Do You Live With IBS & Anxiety?, Do You Often Feel Like Crying?, Feeling Depressed, Not Jolly? & How Can You Achieve Optimal Wellness?

There is in-depth Depression advice in the Personalized Advice section, which goes deep into what can lift your depression on top of this gut-mind-health lifestyle. So many members have put their depression and anxiety into remission.

Contact the team with any questions, or reach out to our nutritionists in our forum.

I wish you great health.

 

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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August 18, 2020

What Links Mental Health To Physical Health?

The Links Between Mental Health and Physical Health

A Conversation with Dr. Tamsin Lewis:

I hope you enjoy this fascinating insight into the link between chronic disease and dysfunction.

The Psychology of Inflammation

Dr. Tamsin Lewis is a medical doctor with a BSc in Neuroscience and the Biology of Ageing, specialist training in psychiatry and sports medicine, and further education in nutritional and functional medicine.

She is a former GB elite triathlete who started her own company focused on providing an integrated medical service with a unique approach to optimal health. Dr. Tamsin joined me for a live on Instagram to talk about the psychology of inflammation. 

In this video, we cover the following:

  • What physical processes can happen after emotional trauma?
  • How to measure changes in your body.
  • How breathing affects your physical and mental health.
  • What is the connection between psychological safety and autoimmune issues?
  • What is hormesis, and how can it strengthen your body?

 

LEARN MORE

I have dedicated an entire section to mental wellness on the Eat Burn Sleep Platform, and there is an in-depth section on Depression in the Personalized Advice with extra support. I will continue to add more Videos, interviews, Podcasts, and articles surrounding many topics connected with mental health and physical health. Sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss a thing!

You may want to read these articles: Feeling Depressed, Not Jolly? Depression Diet & Lifestyle Intervention, Why Are You Moody & Irritable? & Does Junk Food Damage Your Body?

Reach out to me on Instagram or the team with any questions. Gut health, anti-inflammatory movements, neuroplasticity exercises, and lifestyle will help you emotionally and ease your anxiety and depression.

Wishing you a good day!

 

Yalda Alaoui

Author

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How To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Come Off Antidepressants

Brain Food for Studying and Focus