Bloating, fatigue, and food cravings might seem like completely separate issues at first glance, but most people experience all three at one time or another - or even all at once.
If you're constantly tired, frequently bloated, and struggling with food cravings, you know how difficult it can be to make it through your busy day.
These issues can fog the mind and sap your motivation, especially when you're trying to focus on making positive changes in your life.
But before you give in to your cravings and stock up on caffeine, here’s a little secret: All three of these issues are tied to your brain-gut connection.
What Is the Brain-Gut Connection?
Most people have never heard of the brain-gut connection - also known as thegut-brain axis - but it's probably the first place you should look when you're feeling lost and struggling with fatigue, bloating, and food cravings.
You've heard of "gut feelings," right? Well, your gut is actually the center of your health and intuition. The more you pay attention to your gut feelings, the better off you'll be. These feelings often lead us toward healthy life choices.
More than just giving you "gut feelings" about certain life situations, your gut is also responsible for determining the health of your immune system, how you feel, and even how well you digest your meals.
Believe it or not, the neurons in your gut create just as much dopamine as the neurons in your brain.
So, if your gut is unhealthy, you will notice. Not only will your brain feel foggy, but you'll also notice a difference in your mood, energy, and cravings. It means your digestive system is out of whack, causing you to feel tired, bloated, and more likely to reach for caffeine and sugars.
This is what happens when the neurons in your gut aren't able to produce the correct amount of neurotransmitters. So, what can you do about this? You have to go back to the basics and take a look at what you're eating.
Try an Elimination Diet
Bloating isn’t the only sign of digestive issues. An upset stomach, gas, and constipation might also be symptoms you’re experiencing. When these issues arise, common solutions are to increase your fiber intake and to watch your diet.
And while those are generally two good tips, they aren’t very helpful if your current diet is causing problems for you. Everyone is different, and every body reacts to foods in different ways.
While you could consult a doctor to suss out what’s causing you problems, this option could be expensive and may lead to you having to take some drugs you don’t truly need.
To figure out a diet that works best foryou and your body, the elimination diet is the way to go. This diet works just like it sounds. The key is to eliminate specific items from your diet to identify which foods or ingredients are causing issues for you.
A common first step is to eliminate the food or foods that are most likely to give you an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction will occur every time you consume the food, but sensitivity to a food may only make itself known on occasion depending on how often you eat it and how much you eat.
The most common allergens to start with are soy, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, wheat, fish, and eggs. If you believe you merely have a food sensitivity, try cutting out gluten, sugar, meat, caffeine, or alcohol.
It’s important to stick to an elimination diet for at least three weeks, and then you can start slowly reintroducing foods to your diet.
One of the drawbacks is that this diet can be quite restrictive, depending on what you cut out of your diet. If you love eggs, dairy, or nuts, this diet could be difficult to follow. Additionally, cutting out more items means it will take longer to determine the cause of your issues.
While it may take a while to determine what is causing issues for you, this diet is very straightforward and can save you a lifetime of bloating, fatigue, brain fog, and other side effects.
Build a Better Gut Foundation
The bacteria in your gut impact your brain health and your health as a whole. Even if you've largely sussed out your dietary issues through the elimination diet, changing your gut bacteria can still be beneficial to your health.
Here are some examples of foods that benefit your gut:
Omega-3 Fats: Not only do these fats increase the amount ofgood bacteria in your gut, but they have also been known to reduce the risk of brain disorders.
High-Fiber Foods: Nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are all full of prebiotic fibers that are perfect for your gut.
Fermented Foods:Yogurts, sauerkraut, kefir, and cheese are full of healthy microbes like lactic acid bacteria.
Tryptophan-Rich Foods:Did you know that tryptophan is an amino acid that your body converts into serotonin? Get your tryptophan from plant-based sources such as leafy greens, sunflower seeds, watercress, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, broccoli, and peas. You can also get tryptophan from animal sources such asturkey, eggs, and cheese, but the body has a difficult time converting it to serotonin.
Polyphenol-Rich Foods: These are plant chemicals that get digested by the bacteria in your gut. Polyphenols - like green tea, cocoa, and olive oil - help increase your body's count of healthy gut bacteria.
Building your diet around macro and micro nutrients that benefit your brain-gut connection will make all the difference. Not only will you gain more control over your cravings, but you'll also have higher and more consistent energy levels, and you'll be able to focus better.
Building a better foundation for your gut should also include digestive plant enzymes, which will offer your body more micronutrients and help with digestion. Properly supplementing your diet with these enzymes will help eliminate bloating and other tummy troubles.
Smart Pressed Juice understands the importance of a good gut-brain connection, which is why we recommend ourPineapple Chia Cleanse to anybody struggling with bloating, fatigue, and cravings.
ThisPineapple Chia Cleanse is packed with superfoods that nourish and restore your gut daily. The sprouted prebiotic fibers provide essential nutrients to keep your gut microbiome and immunity functioning at its best.
This unique blend of 15 superfoods is packed with fiber and also acts as a daily mini-detox. It not only combats bloating and keeps cravings in check, but activated fibers gently remove waste and support the healthy elimination of toxins.
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