Bosst your gut health and fitness by smiling?! There used to be a time when doctors would barely even pay attention to gut health. But now have things changed. We now know that if you want to live a long and healthy life, you nedd to pay special attention to your gut. Because health problems like Alzheimer’s, arthritis, obesity, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) all start in our guts.
You Dr has probably told you to take a daily probiotic to keep your gut bacteria (your microbiome) happy and healthy. But according to new research, there’s another powerful weapon against serious gut infections and the disease they can cause you need to know about. And it all starts with a smile. The secret to a happy gut! Happiness can’t always be achieved, but now days is providing another reason to strive for positivity. And serotonin, the brain chemical responsible for feelings of happiness may be able to stop harmful intestinal pathogens from causing deadly gut infections.
Many people think of serotonin as just a brain chemical. But the truth is about 90% of it is produced in your stomach. You have trillions of bacteria living in your stomach. Most of those bacteria are good, but some pathogenic (bad) bacteria also make their way in. Of course, when this happens, it can lead to dangerous and sometimes fatal gut infections. What’s more? When human cells were exposed to the serotonin-weakened bacteria, that dangerous bacteria was no longer capable of inflicting "infection-associated lesions." So to put it simply: By adding serotonin, the bacteria loses its ability to produce a fatal infection. And there’s more good benefits. Having boosted levels of serotonin can also help protect you from other diseases like Alzheimer’s and depression. Fortunately, it’s effortless to boost your body’s serotonin production regardless of your age;
- Your diet: You can’t get serotonin from food, but you can get tryptophan which is an amino acid converted to serotonin in your brain. Tryptophan is found in high-protein foods like salmon and turkey.
- Exercise: Working out triggers the release of tryptophan in your blood. So, lace up those tennis shoes and get outdoors for a nice walk around the park!
- Supplements: There are a few supplements you can try to increase your serotonin levels, but I recommend 5-HTP. It work just as effectively as antidepressants at reducing symptoms of depression.
- And of course, smiling! Each time you smile, you throw a feel-good party in your brain. Flashing a smile releases serotonin and increases feelings of happiness.