Have you ever had a gut feeling about something? Maybe ever felt queasy as you walked into a room.
Our guts talk to our brain, like no other organ. And while we’ve been aware of those “anxious butterflies” for centuries, Western medicine is just catching up on how powerful and wide-reaching this connection truly is.
Why is the communication between your gut and brain so important?
The gut is the center of our being – our gut digests and assimilates nutrients from the food that we eat. It’s where the majority of our immune system resides, and it also plays an important role in your mood and hormones. Yep, soul food is starting to have a whole new meaning now!
So what’s so great about a healthy gut?
- A healthy gut better absorbs nutrients from the food you eat
- A healthy gut knows exactly what you need to feel better
- A healthy gut means a happier you
Your second brain.
Many experts refer to your gut as your “second brain” because it contains millions of neurons, which are quite sensitive to emotion. Multiple scientific studies have proven that our brain and gut are connected by an extensive network of neurons, chemicals, and hormones that constantly provide feedback about how hungry we are, whether or not we’re experiencing stress, sadness, or even anger. And those emotions can trigger a reaction in your gut.
That gut feeling is starting to make sense now!
And this conversation is not just a one-way street. Tummy troubles can impact your mood and happiness.
Heard of serotonin? It’s your body’s “feel good” neurotransmitter, which means it carries signals along and between your nerves. Serotonin is responsible for regulating a number of body processes, such as sleep and digestion, but its main role is to regulate anxiety, happiness, and mood. In fact, low levels of serotonin have been associated with depression. It’s estimated that 90 percent of your serotonin is made in your digestive tract, and that the production of this chemical is reliant on healthy gut bacteria.
So when this communication channel is out of whack – due to diet, lifestyle, stress, excessive antibiotic use or illness – we experience mental and physical health issues including food sensitives and allergies, digestive disorders, obesity, depression, panic disorders, anxiety, and fatigue.
When we work to keep our guts happy we can enjoy a happier mindset, reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression and often associated digestive symptoms, and even decrease our risk of developing neurological diseases and such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimers.
To keep your gut and you happy, I'm sharing my favorite gut healing foods...
Raw, fermented sauerkraut
One of the best sources of natural probiotics
Full of collagen and gelatin, which helps reduce inflammation in the gut and promote balance of the gut bacteria
Bitter greens (like dandelion, mustard, escarole, arugula, and the tops of root veggies like beets turnips, and radishes) are naturally detoxifying and cleansing for your gut.
Plain yogurt is rich in gut-healing probiotics. Can’t do dairy? There are great coconut and nut-based options available.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It helps strengthen our gut lining and is great for skin, hair, and nail health.
Root vegetables are super calming for the gut. For example, sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties and beets are known to sooth indigestion.
Kombucha can be a great source of good gut bacteria. But it can also be a source of added sugar. Make sure + take a peek at the label before enjoying!