EP 15: Gut Health Impacts Your Mental Health
In this insightful conversation, we're joined by Nicole Riley, a nutrition and wellness expert, and our host, Ana, as they discuss the profound connection between our gut health and mental well-being. Nicole's personal journey from a Crohn's disease diagnosis to a holistic transformation through nutrition sets the stage for a deeper understanding of the mind-gut connection.
Nicole begins by sharing her health awakening, driven by her Crohn's diagnosis seven years ago. She realized the potential of nutrition in managing and even healing chronic conditions, leading her to explore the quality of the food she consumed. She emphasizes the misconception around fruits, highlighting the importance of differentiating between natural sugars and refined sugars.
The conversation unfolds with a focus on the mind-gut connection. Nicole underlines how our gut health influences our mental well-being. It's a bi-directional relationship, with more signals traveling from the gut to the brain than the other way around. Unhealthy dietary choices, particularly high in processed sugars, disrupt the gut microbiome, leading to negative impacts on mental health, including anxiety and depression.
As the holiday season approaches, Nicole provides practical tips for maintaining a healthy diet while enjoying seasonal treats. She advises indulging consciously and in moderation, avoiding sugary treats on an empty stomach, and balancing them with protein, fats, and fiber to prevent blood sugar spikes and mood swings.
The discussion delves into the importance of reading food labels. Nicole stresses how labels unveil the true nature of the products we consume. The front of a package might make enticing claims, but the ingredients list reveals the reality. Processed foods often hide additives, sugars, and artificial ingredients that can be detrimental to our health. Reading labels empowers us to make informed decisions.
Nicole addresses the challenges people face when transitioning to a healthier diet, particularly due to time constraints. She encourages a shift in perspective, urging individuals to prioritize their health and explore time-efficient, healthy options like frozen vegetables and seasonal, fresh produce.
The conversation concludes with a discussion on the shocking impact of sugar on our health. Nicole emphasizes that processed sugar is a major contributor to health issues, sending confusing signals from the gut to the brain. She highlights the hidden sugars in popular drinks and foods, such as pumpkin spice lattes, which can contain alarming amounts of sugar.
Nicole's services, including personalized nutrition coaching, are introduced, and she shares the initial steps to embark on a journey to holistic wellness. It begins with a discovery call, followed by a customized plan tailored to individual needs, making the process enjoyable and achievable.
This enlightening conversation with Nicole Riley offers valuable insights into the mind-gut connection and the transformative power of nutrition. It encourages us to take charge of our health, make mindful choices, and savor the benefits of a well-nourished body and mind.
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