If you haven’t caught on by now, it seems my current obsessive niche is mental health. The predecessor, gut health. The correlation between the two and how they work in conjunction, is not to be debated.
Maintaining gut health, is maintaining mental health (chicken – egg, egg – chicken). Probiotics reek of benefits. The strains are endless and immensely interesting. The special strain of the day is Bifidobacterium Infantis. This type of bacteria is found in babies (infantis) and is beneficial for the way the acids work with digestion by halting the production of surrounding bad bacteria. It is also considered to be the therapeutic probiotic, suggesting a very particular relationship with the central nervous system “through GABA receptors in the Vagus nerve”. GABA receptors are responsible for calming nervous activity in the brain. There is a blatant interdependence on how healthy gut flora can positively influence neural circuitry. Which mood is dependent on.
The Vagus nerve is the extension cord between your gut and your brain and probiotics are what keeps the power on. Plug it in, plug it in.
Inflammation, the Gut and Mood Disorders
Everything you eat contributes to your mental health. In a previous post, How to Make Bulletproof Coffee, a reader (fellow blogger) had asked about coconut oil and its correlation to the mental clarity achieved. It’s not the coconut oil, but it is the coconut oil. Coconut oil has the density of about 2/3s MCTs. Medium chain triglycerides. The coconut oil is the MCTs.
The brain is very unique. For the brain to function in its own unique fashion, it must be fed a unique diet. Medium chain triglycerides are unique. Thus making them a very unique size to click together with the brains vast diet needs. How unique? So fetch.
MCTs (5-12 carbons in length) are small enough to cross through a double mitochondrial membrane, creating ketones rapidly. Ketones can can then cross the blood-brain barrier (via portal system) more swiftly to create instant energy. MCTs can be digested quicker without interfering with intestinal factors that inhibit fat absorption. No pesky micelles leftover for adipose tissue absorption. Ketone bodies are more sustainable than glucose. Excess amounts of simple CHO (carbohydrates) in your diet can cause damage to the brain, fogginess, and can progress to chronic diseases such as diabetes T2, depression, Alzheimer’s…etc.
** Fun Fact: opposed to the standard 9kcal/g of fat, MCTs come in at 8.25kcal/g. That’s 10% less calories per gram.**
Because of this type of uptake, MCTs can help prevent or delay the brain from aging because of its ability to repair damage to brain cells (Oil of Olay) . It’s huge in the Alzheimer’s game. Think of simple CHO as cosmetic products or other environmental factors that contribute to wrinkles and think of MCTs/coconut oil as the preventive wrinkle cream.
Point: The brain is hungry for CHO. It utilizes about 50% of metabolized glucose. However, when it falls short, ketone bodies become prime. The difference is very clear once the diet is shifted. This doesn’t mean I’m speaking poorly of carbohydrates. Just the simple guys. And bringing light on the magnificent health properties of MCTs.
The short end of this, to elucidate, MCTs–>Ketone bodies–>brain preferred–> immediate usage/energy–>mental clarity.
*Sips bulletproof coffee*
Fulfilled, content, dejected, resentful, anxious, aroused. Emotions are the adjectives of the conscious state that you stand in. Whether or not you think you have a particular emotion floating in your mental, you do. Being able to express and process your emotions is what makes you human.
A little insight from the way I express mine:
Emotions: positive, happy, tender, smitten
I tend to be very expressive in the way that I speak. I bring even the smallest of details to life. I make you feel as if you were there. As if there were a large projector screen before your eyes as you read through whatever miscellaneous text or verbiage I spit at you. The fact that I exert such energy to explain a minuscule event of the day, means so much more than you would expect.
In other words, I am not going to be blatant until necessary. This is how I personally express my emotions. I had not known this about myself until one day I found myself multitasking, one person got the expressiveness and the other not so much.
The lesson here is, never stop learning about yourself. As long as you can commit to a constant in relaying your message and admitting defeat to your own emotions, you can remain whole.