The power of gut-brain connection: food, mood and microbes

In a recent #MedEd Webinar, ‘The power of gut-brain connection: food, mood and microbes,’  Dr Emily Leeming delved deep into the relationship between what we eat, our gut bacteria and our mood. This webinar covered the function of the gut microbiome and that it is constantly evolving its ecosystem throughout the lifespan.

Dr Emily discusses the latest evidence and research on the gut microbiome and that in relation to food and mood, this still lies within mice and human-association studies. Dr Emily explains the complex relationship between the brain and the gut microbiome and discusses evidence behind serotonin production and how this may be linked to our guts and the foods that we eat. In terms of mood, she also speaks about the differences in the gut microbiome of individuals living with depression, and those who experience stress. Dr Emily also discusses the evidence behind different dietary patterns and their correlation with the gut microbiome as well as and how following a certain diet may increase one’s risk of depression. Dr Emily stresses the importance of diversity of foods in the diet and that the most important food group in terms of the gut microbiome is fibre. The evidence relating to the consumption of prebiotics, omega-3, fermented foods, and probiotics are discussed alongside the link to better gut health and potentially better mood. Dr Emily talks about why 30 plant foods a week may not be appropriate for everyone, as well as the importance of seeing foods as multicomponent as eating food is meant to also make us happy, remembering that dark chocolate is full of polyphenols!

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