The 16th of January 2023 marks Brew Monday - an awareness day started by the Samaritans to encourage us to look after each other and talk about our mental health over a brew.1 At The Gut Co, mental health is one of our top priorities.
There has been a longstanding myth that the 3rd Monday of January is the most challenging day of the year, known as Blue Monday. The samaritans want to dispel this misconception and point out that any day of the year can be difficult, and making time for each other can help everyone to feel better.
Why is talking important?
Poor mental health can be detrimental to your physical health; the mind and body are intricately connected through the gut-brain axis. Communicating through complex signals, the gut’s health partly relies on a healthy brain and visa-versa.2
Poor gut health has been linked to depression and anxiety.3 As 1 in 4 people each year will struggle with a mental health issue,4 it is crucial to discuss what is going on in our heads to ensure we feel able to get the help we need to feel better.
Inviting someone over for a brew and a chat can ensure they know they aren’t alone and there is someone there willing to listen to them about any struggle they might be having.
Checking in with those around you and helping wherever you can benefit your own mental health and sense of worth, as well as being helpful to others.
Loneliness is a silent killer; it increases your risk of death by 26%. 25 million people, 45% of adults, feel lonely occasionally, sometimes or often in England. This statistic needs to change, and Brew Monday can be a significant first step to getting people talking and making connections.5
Benefits of tea on the gut
Brew Monday encourages you to invite a friend or loved one over for a cup of tea, and we wanted to discuss how this can be good for the gut as well as the mind.
There are so many tea varieties, and many of them greatly benefit the gut. Here are a few of our favourites!
Herbal teas can actually be traced back as a form of medication as far back as 4000 years ago in the Shang Dynasty in China.6
Herbal teas can benefit digestive issues, relieving digestive discomforts such as constipation, ulcers and indigestion.7
Black Tea and Green Tea
Black tea, green tea and oolong tea extracts have been shown to increase the growth of good bacteria in the intestines in an in vitro study.8 Adding milk to black tea can add a small dose of calcium into your diet, which is needed to maintain strong and healthy bones.9
Ginger tea can help reduce nausea - a side effect associated with anxiety. Inviting your friend round for ginger tea to discuss their anxiety can help them feel much better! Ginger tea has also been shown to help with weight management and blood sugar levels.10
If you feel comfortable doing so, reach out to a friend and invite them round for a brew. Talking about what’s going on for you can really be a lifesaver. If you are struggling with your mental health, the NHS has many resources that can help.
If you don't have anyone around you can talk to, it might be time to start making new connections. Many cities run social clubs and events where you can meet people. Picking up a hobby can be great to meet like-minded people, too!
A quick google search can show you what's available in your area. There are also apps available such as Bumble BFF that can help you to make connections in your area.
If you liked this article, check out our article Introduction to Gut Health and Mental Health to learn more about the gut-brain connection!