Gut Health and How It Affects Your Body & Mind

I recently read an article by Holistic Women’s Psychiatrist, Kelly Brogan MD, on the mind-gut connection. Kelly was emphasising the link between taking pharmaceutical medication, like antibiotics and antidepressants, and a lack of variety of whole, nutritious foods in the diet, and how this directly affects the digestive system and also the production of “happy hormone” serotonin.
Kelly’s preference to the typical prescription is to recommend a wholefoods diet, supplements as necessary, breathwork, exercise and basically, a holistic approach to handling stress, infection, fatigue, depression and anxiety.
Kelly recommended probiotics to rebalance gut flora, ensuring the ideal environment for digestion to take place and hormones to function optimally. This means no bloating, fatigue and nausea. A stable appetite, energy and sense of wellbeing.
So, feeling inspired to improve my own digestive health (I eat lots of whole foods – veggies, fruit galore) but I’m guilty of going for convenience over organic and super-fresh most of the time. I buy canned fish (in my defence, WILD CAUGHT!) and canned tomato plus frozen vegetables. Again, in my defence, I eat plenty of fresh veggies too but frozen have been proven to retain a high level of nutrients in the snap-freezing process. ANYWAY!
I have started probiotic supplements – yes, you can get a fix with high-quality, natural yoghurt but I’m not a big dairy eater so a handy, measured dose is perfect.

I'm taking Naturopathica GastroHealth Capsules (available at Chemist Warehouse), but I also like Bioglan Probiotics.
I am not doing a juice cleanse. There’s no way food is not existing, in solid form, in my life for any amount of time as long as I have a choice. BUT I am definitely adding the healing, delicious juices I discovered in Kara M L Rosen’s Plenish.

Plenish – Juices to boost, cleanse & heal is the book form resulting from Kara’s Juice Delivery business in the UK. The one-time media professional was flying New York to LA, subsisting on coffee and processed foods, and regularly getting prescribed antibiotics and medications to deal with her fatigue, stress and depression. It took the poster of Albert Einstein and his eternal words of wisdom to finally force Kara to act as her own GP: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
In the introduction to Plenish, Kara says “I wish I could have told my younger self then that 95 per cent of the happy hormone serotonin is produced in your gut, so looking after your second the first step to promoting your mental wellbeing.”
Plenish has a treasure trove of juice recipes designed for particular ailments but also for general wellbeing, skin, liver and mood boosters. Below is the Kale Mary juice to detoxify, heal and cleanse. A great substitute for a Bloody Mary!

This is a great virgin version of a Bloody Mary. Detoxifying and alkalizing greens aid in eliminating toxins, while fresh horseradish has a high level of glucosinolates, which help to detoxify the liver, as does apple cider vinegar. Kale Mary!
1 cup kale
2 salad tomatoes
3 celery sticks
1 cucumber
1 slice fresh horseradish root (unpeeled), about 1cm thick (adjust according to how much kick you want)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Dash of tamari
1 tsp apple cider vinegar