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Leaky Gut & Brain - What Should You Know?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Aarti Midha 89% (17 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Jaipur  •  19 years experience
Leaky Gut & Brain - What Should You Know?

You may be surprised to know that the health of your gut influences the health of your brain. The microbial imbalance in your gut is linked to various psychiatric disorders. Leaky gut or intestinal permeability is one of the gut disorders that can cause inflammation in the brain. It has been linked to certain mental disorders like depression.

What is a leaky gut?

It is a digestive condition, in which the intestinal wall is damaged due to your diet, the presence of a protein called zonulin or some medications. All bacteria and toxin waste products leak through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. This condition triggers the immune system and causes widespread inflammation and allergic reactions like a migraine, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, food allergies etc.

Leaky gut and the brain:

Research shows a link between leaky gut and a number of mental disorders, like-

Schizophrenia
Bipolar disorder
• Depression
Anxiety
• Parkinson’s disease
Autism spectrum disorder
• Rett’s syndrome

The ‘leaky’ diet

You can prevent high permeability of your intestines if you manage and plan your diet with the right food

What to eat-

• Leafy vegetables - Spinach, cabbage, asparagus, lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower are high in all the important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, folate, folic acid, selenium etc. These enhance the production of neurotransmitters in your brain. They help you to stay away from high anxiety and depression.

• Animal liver and meat - Animal liver is the best for your mental health. Chicken, beef, fish, lamb are high in protein, zinc, potassium and vitamin. Animal liver is the best for your mental health.

• Fermented food - Yoghurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, ginger, fermented cucumbers contain beneficial bacteria that reduce the symptoms of high anxiety and stress.

• Fruit - Pears, apple, apricots, berries and peaches are low glycemic fruits that prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut.

• Whole grains - Ricequinoasorghum, etc. elevate your mood by inducing serotonin release in the brain.

To decrease the risk of gut permeability and to maintain your mental well-being, focus on a healthy diet free of sugar. Remember that a healthy gut will lead to a healthy mind.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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