By Donna Gates, as seen on:

Life comes with its highs and lows, its victories and defeats.

If you ever thought the road toward living your dreams would be straight and easy, think again. Often, the journey is unpredictable and full of challenges that are of divine creation.

If you know how to live your dream and fulfill your heart’s mission, when failure comes you will see it as an opportunity to learn.

Gut health and inner ecology is a personal passion of mine. This is because poor digestion and weak immune function is enough to stop many people from living their dreams.

This past month I came across a study that, once again, empowers us in our effort to live optimally on a mental, emotional and physical level.

In the study, researchers found that beneficial gut bacteria might help to regulate levels of serotonin in the body.

Serotonin is the “happy hormone” that many pharmaceutical antidepressants focus on. Because serotonin can have such a dramatic effect on our mood and behavior, many people associate serotonin with the brain.

In reality, 90% of the serotonin in the body is made in the digestive tract.

This new study suggests that the gut bacteria we acquire early in life (during infancy and childhood) are what shape how much serotonin we have in adulthood.

Fermented Foods Can Influence Our Mental Well-being

Choosing joy is not always about forcing the mind to think positive thoughts. Joy is also a direct result of a chemical state in the body.

As we learn more about how gut bacteria can influence our mood and behavior, we collect more tools that allow us to stay heart-centered and maintain positive self-talk, so we are in a state of joy and not having to force joyful thoughts that we actually aren’t feeling.

Choosing a joyful attitude happens spontaneously as we collect more pieces of the puzzle.

I find that the best way to influence the beneficial bacteria in my digestive tract is to eat fermented foods. Fermented foods are filled with microorganisms that have been shown to benefit health.

This means that in spite of whatever bacteria you may have acquired in childhood, you can still naturally influence levels of serotonin in the body by choosing these microbial-rich foods.

When we eat fermented foods, we take a conscious step toward health and happiness!

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