Your Gut = Your Second Brain
As a mental health professional, I ascribe to a holistic/integrative conception of health. This belief is based on research asserting that an individual’s health is best conceived from a systemic point of view, meaning that the division of body and mind as separate aspects of the health is ultimately a disservice to effectively approaching dysfunction. My certification in Integrative Nutrition from the University of Central Florida and the bulk of my Master’s level research on nutritional interventions in mental health cemented my conviction in the power of food to positively affect mood. If we seek to only treat “the mind” while ignoring “the body” as a potential access point for intervention, we very much limit ourselves in any efforts to create lasting, positive change. My research paper,Farm To Treatment Team, explores the trends in mental health-informed nutrition and explains the Gut-Brain Axis, which is the biochemical signaling that takes place between the gut, or gastrointestinal tract, and the central and enteric nervous system. Basically, the environment of our gut acts as our second brain by way of cultivating a gut microbiome that creates beneficial neurotransmitters to fight anxiety, depression and a wide variety of mental health pathology. Therefore increasing awareness of the nutrition you’re feeding your gut allows for greater insight into ways WE can create powerful solutions for any presenting health issue.