Exploring the brain-body connection, digestion, and happiness.
You’ve probably experienced a “gut feeling” or a “gut reaction” to something. People have been talking about the “gut-brain connection” for a while now and research keeps pouring in about the connection between a healthy brain and a healthy gut. While this topic is trending, and for good reason, what does the gut-brain connection really mean and how can you use it to your advantage? In this article, we’ll unpack the details and science behind the gut-brain connection and talk about some practical ways you can use food to increase digestive health and overall happiness.
What is the Gut-brain Connection?
Some scientists are now calling the gut the “second brain” because the gut is connected to the brain via the vagus nerve and actually has its own nervous system, known as the Enteric Nervous System (ENS). Researches are finding that how we feel physically, mentally, and emotionally has a direct correlation with what we put into our bodies and more specifically, with our digestive health. Our digestive system needs healthy bacteria in order to flourish and when we consume bad bacteria or not enough good bacteria, our digestive and mental health suffers.
Practical Applications of the Gut-Brain Knowledge
Now that you have a basic understanding of the gut-brain connection, let’s talk about how you can employ this knowledge to improve your overall health and happiness. The good news is, there are plenty of simple lifestyle practices you can implement right away to start feeling your best. It’s recommended that you consume plenty of fiber from fruits and vegetables for optimal gut health. Additionally, healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and avocado are beneficial, as well as foods high in Omega 3’s like salmon. Limiting process foods and consuming mostly foods found in nature will boost your overall digestive health and likely lead to increased energy and an overall better mood.
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