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The Gut-Brain Connection with Kari Natwick, RD – The Fed and Fearless Podcast Episode 49

kari natwick gut brain
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What if tending to your gut’s needs could improve the way your brain works? People with anxiety, depression, and cognitive dysfunction often blame their brains. Today, I talk with Kari Natwick, RD, who has seen that the gut and the brain are more closely linked than many realize. By fixing their gut issues, her clients have been able to fix their brain issues too.



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About Kari Natwick, RD

Kari Natwick is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and an Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner. She uses an integrative and functional nutrition model in working with patients and specializes in gastrointestinal related disorders and eating disorders. Kari is trained in intuitive eating, is trauma-informed, and incorporates mindfulness-based approaches into her patients care.


The Gut-Brain Connection

So much of every aspect of our health stems from the gut. This even includes issues that are normally associated with the brain. Kari has seen the undeniable link between the health of the gut and the health of the brain. By helping her patients tend to the needs of their gut, she has seen massive improvements with conditions ranging from anxiety to cognitive decline.


Physical Solutions for Mental Health

Stress is likely one of the most common places that people experience issues related to the gut-brain axis. Kari suggests a number of tools to address this. In fact, certain breathing techniques to engage the parasympathetic nervous system to promote better gut health as well as mental wellbeing.

Kari has also studied the body’s response to trauma. During a traumatic experience, the body will go to a fight, flight, or freeze response. Kari has seen that there are numerous ways to help people move on from this. This can involve movement, breathing, and diet to help realign the gut-brain axis. 

Have you experienced the gut-brain connection yourself? Tell me about it in the comments below! 

Got a question you’d love to hear me answer on the show? Leave me a voice message here!



  • What led Kari to explore her passion for the gut-brain connection [5:03]
  • Why fixing the gut can help fix cognitive issues as well [8:05]
  • What the gut-brain axis is and how it affects many parts of your wellbeing [10:00]
  • What to look for to see you your gut is having problems [13:28]
  • The role of diet in healing chronic health issues [18:10]
  • Beating stress through breathing [22:28]
  • The connection between gut health and trauma and strategies to help with it [30:40]
  • Interventions to help support people with eating disorders [38:00]
  • The five Rs for approaching gut issues [41:34]



“The gut is connected to so much. It’s really the seat of our health. It’s the most important component that really dictates who we are as a healthy person.” [6:49]

“We’re not only going to heal and repair the gut, but we’re also going to be making gains in terms of addressing some of the issues that coincide with chronic disease. [17:20]

“When you experience trauma, your body goes into a state of flight, fight, or freeze. Sometimes your body can get kind of stuck in that state.” [32:10]




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