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Happy gut, happy mind: how your gut health impacts your mood

Wellness expert Simone Thomas shares why our gut health is key to happiness

Woman with hands on stomach suffering from pain
Melanie Macleod
Wellness Editor
21 March 2024
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From spending time in nature to prioritising your hobbies, there are many ways to inject extra joy into your day – but if you're still feeling low and can't work out why, wellness expert Simone Thomas might have the answer.

Simone explains that looking after our gut is essential for our mood, and many of us don't realise how failing to care for our gut can wreak havoc on our happiness.

"Studies show that our gut isn't just in control of digestion, it's a mood booster too. The microbiome, which resides predominantly in our digestive system, plays a pivotal role in regulating our mood," Simone says. "A well-nurtured gut becomes a sanctuary for positive vibes, meaning it's vital for our happiness."

Woman wearing activewear in a basket chair© Steve Kraitt
Simone Thomas explains the importance of gut health

How does our gut regulate our mood?

"The microbiome in our gut communicates with our brain through the gut-brain axis. Neglecting our gut health can lead to an imbalance in the microbiome, contributing to mood swings and feelings of melancholy," Simone explains.

The good news? As soon as you start taking care of your gut, you're likely to see a swift improvement.

"Studies suggest that within a few weeks of mindful gut care, you can see improved mood, reduced stress and an overall sense of wellbeing," reassures Simone. "As you introduce probiotic-rich foods and supplements into your routine, the microbiome responds with a surge of positivity," she adds.

How can we make our gut happier?

Simone says that probiotics are key in improving your mood through gut care. "Probiotics influence neurotransmitter production, impacting mood-regulating chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine."

Here she shares her advice for making your gut a happier place.

Embrace probiotic-rich foods

"Kefir, sauerkraut and yoghurt are not just food, they are happiness elixirs," enthuses Simone. "Include them in your daily menu to support your gut and elevate your mood."

Photo of a young smiling woman having healthy snack in her kitchen© Getty
Probiotics such as yoghurt supports a healthy gut

Take a probiotic supplement

"Choose a probiotic supplement to fortify your gut with resilient, immune-supporting strains," Simone suggests. "It's an investment in your gut's happiness."

DISCOVER: 9 easy-to-follow food tips for living joyfully

Eat antioxidant-rich foods

"Berries, kale and other antioxidant-rich foods not only support your gut but also contribute to a joyful mood. Let your diet be a celebration of wellbeing," says Simone.

Shot of a young woman making a healthy snack with fruit at home© Getty
Eating berries is good for gut health

Prioritise fibre

"Prebiotic-rich fibre feeds the 'good guy' gut bacteria. Make vegetables, fruits and whole grains a part of your daily feast."

Manage stress 

"A happy gut and a stress-free life go hand in hand. Embrace regular exercise, quality sleep and stress-relief activities such as meditation to keep your gut and mood in perfect harmony."

Find out more about Simone Thomas and visit HELLO!'s Happiness Hub for inspiration on living a happier life.

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