What Is Gut Health?
There has been lots of talk recently about what has become known as “gut health.” The Johns Hopkins Medical Center, one of the most well-respected hospitals and Medical Schools in the United States, says there is a good reason for this. Hidden within the walls of your digestive system is what is known as “your second brain” and is changing the way that we look at the links between mood, digestion, health and cognition.
How Is It Even Possible that the Enteric Nervous System (gut) can affect our Mood?
The ENS may sense things that our cerebral brain can’t. Evidence has been found that when the GI tract is irritated it sends signals to the central nervous system, which can trigger our mood and ultimately affect it.
When you consider that between 40% of the urban population has bowel problems of some kind and that a higher percentage of these individuals develop depression and/or anxiety, it’s easy to see how there could be a connection.
Our bodies are filled with bacteria. There are more bacteria in a human body than there are human cells – an estimated 100 trillion microorganisms living in our bowels alone. The key here is to have more good microorganisms to help you:
• Digest food;
• Absorb nutrients;
• Break down medications; and
• keep balance with other microbes
What Else can we do to Feel Good?
All the advice your grandmother and mother told you. Go play outside, eat real food, laugh More. Lighten up. Laughter really is the best medicine. It helps to reduce stress and floods your body with the happy hormones and chemicals that make the good overtake the bad.
There was even a study conducted (you can read more about it by clicking this link), where researchers studied healthy people as well as those with atopic dermatitis – a disease that is often associated with imbalances in gut bacteria.
The researchers had the participants watch funny movies daily for one week. In only one week, the patients’ gut flora had changed and resembled the healthy participants!!
Laughter may be the best medicine, it is definitely one type of medicine.
In the next post, I’ll dig into Reasons Gut Health Habits can be Good Health Habits.
“See” you then!