Did you know that your gut is the epicenter of your physical and mental health ?
Have you ever heard of the “second brain”? Ever felt your stomach in knots, had a strong gut feeling or butterflies around someone you like? That’s no coincidence. The brain and gut are intertwined. Researchers are increasingly paying attention to the brain-gut connection and finding it to be far stronger than previously thought. During this mental illness awareness week, it seemed important to us to show you how closely the brain and the gut are linked!
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE BRAIN AND THE GUT?
You may have noticed that you completely lose your appetite during a stressful situation or even experience functional bowel problems in big emotional shifts. These and many others are symptoms of the connection between the two parts of the body’s nervous system. The gut releases hormones and neurotransmitters to send signals to the brain. In a stressful situation, the enteric nervous system (the nervous system located in the gut) responds by slowing or stopping digestion to allow the body’s energy to be concentrated on the matter at hand. The relationship between the brain and the gut is therefore inevitable.
HOW CAN YOUR GUT HEALTH BENEFIT YOUR BRAIN FUNCTION AND THE REGULATION OF YOUR EMOTIONS ?
There's a reason why it's called the second brain, the gastrointestinal tract is responsible not only for your body’s digestive functions, but for a host of physiological responses and communications with the brain that affect physical symptoms, mood and even neurological function, like memory. This kind of communication between the brain and the gut indicates how closely the two brains are interrelated. It’s also the reason why psychological interventions like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can relieve symptoms of digestive illnesses like IBS.
Altering your microbiome, thus promoting good gut health, can have a direct impact on the regulation of our emotions and our brain. For example, changing your microbiome could also improve mood disorders, like anxiety and depression, as well as autism and schizophrenia
Certain diseases like Parkinson’s that impair gastrointestinal function could also benefit from improved gut health. About 65% of Parkinson’s patients experience symptoms related to gastrointestinal dysfunction, like drooling, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, bloating and constipation. Changing and improving your microbiome can therefore have a big impact on your life.
And while we may not yet know just how much a diet full of vitamins, nutrients and probiotics could improve your overall health, it’s clear that boosting your consumption of fermented foods like our kombuchas Gutsy, can have some positive impacts on your life!