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how food can support our mental health

The gut microbiome is one of my key areas of interest, having completed my BSc dissertation, and now MSc dissertation on the topic. The gut microbiome has widespread effects on our body, including our brain via the gut-brain axis. I really enjoyed researching and writing this piece for my mentor, Sophie Bertrand (RNutr), in this area.

Research is increasingly demonstrating that there is a relationship between our mood and the food we consume, which is the theme we are going to explore today, specifically looking at factors affecting our gut-brain axis (1). Our gut microbiome communicates to our brain via the gut-brain axis, so it can exert an influence over immune and hormone signalling in our brain. Preliminary evidence in humans suggests that our gut microbiome is altered in depression. So, what can we do to support our gut microbiome? (2,3)

In this piece, I consider several aspects of the Mediterranean dietary pattern. Overall, the relationship between food, mood, and mental health is complex. A diet that provides us with adequate amounts of all the nutrients and which we feel good eating, satisfying our personal dietary preferences, is likely to support a good mood.


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