I’ve only just realised how much I hate the word gut. GUT. It’s just awful. But I’m about to use it a lot so lets get this out the way. GUT GUT GUT.
There we go.
Did you know that around 95% of serotonin is produced in the gut?
There’s a common misconception that the serotonin is purely released from the brain but that’s not the case at all. If you didn’t already see the benefits of a healthy diet and it’s relation to mental illness that’s the argument right there.
By now most people are aware of what serotonin is, aka: the ‘happy hormone’. It’s actually a neurotransmitter responsible for a whole load of things that generally contribute to us being healthy, pleasant humans which include supporting the brain cells in relation to mood regulation, sexual desire and function, appetite, sleep, memory and learning, temperature regulation, and certain social behaviours.
I could go on about this all day as it’s super interesting but when you start to understand serotonin and it’s impact on the body and the mind everything starts to fall into place. For example, when under stress the body starts producing something called cortisol and decreases is production of serotonin, therefore the most widely used medication for treatment of anxiety and depression are a group of drugs called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s). Again, super complex and interesting but these force the body to hold on to the little bit of serotonin it produces for longer periods to actually allow it to do its job!
Anyway, I’m waffling. Basically serotonin is the bomb, it’s awesome and so it’s important to support your body in not only producing but also maintaining this hormone.
It’s so important to maintain a healthy diet and focus on making the right choices food-wise, and although it’s all about balance there are some key foods you can eat more of in order to keep your tummy (and your mind) happy!
There will be plenty more posts on this to follow but for now a quick and easy recipe for you all. This is so easy and quick that even in my worst state I could bring myself to make it. There’s something really comforting about the colour and taste also which is always a plus.
This smoothie is so creamy and delicious and it’s good for your tummy. It does include natural sugars so I would recommend this in the morning or mid-morning. The oats in it should stabilise any sugar spikes and also keep you feeling full for longer as it’s slow releasing carbs. There is also some natural anti-inflammatory action from the ginger and cinnamon, probiotic from the yoghurt and the almond butter has a dose of protein for you.
The yoghurt I use is this one as I’ve found it the best vegan alternative that still contains the probiotics:
I blend this bad boy until it’s super smooth as I can’t stand lumps in my smoothies, but if you want it a bit more substantial feel free to play around with the quantities to your taste.
- Approx 250ml oat milk
- small handful rolled oats
- 100ml dairy free yoghurt with cultures/probiotic
- 1 banana
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- approx 1cm cube fresh ginger (I use frozen pre-crushed ginger, life saver!)
- 2 tablespoons honey to your taste