3 Ways to Care for your Gut & Brain

3 Steps to Prevent Disease

Step 1: Know What the Second Brain is and Why It Matters

This “little brain” is called the “enteric nervous system” or ENS and it comprises 2 thin layers of over 100 million nerve cells that line your GI tract from your esophagus to your rectum.

The role of the ENS is to control digestion, including swallowing to releasing the enzymes that help break food down, to the control of blood flow, which aids with both nutrient absorption and elimination.

The ENS communicates with our brain with significant results.

When you have an unhealthy gut the symptoms of that can manifest themselves in other parts of your body.

Studies have found that increasing your gut health can lead to improvements in:

• Immune function – 80% of our immune system is located in our gut

• Brain function

• Symptoms of anger, sadness, depression, and anxiety

• Obesity

• Toxin levels in the body

• Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and IBD (Crohn’s, Colitis)

• Allergies

• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

food lunch meal dinner
Even those on low carbs diets can feed their guts with fibre-rich slaw and fermented meat.

Step 2: Feed your internal environment/Get probiotics

There are quite a few ways to get probiotics, and feed the ones you already have. Some foods are high in probiotics or in their favourite elements.

• Unpasteurized Cheese – Gouda, Provolone, and Gruyere are some examples

• Kombucha (raw ones)

• Lacto-fermented veggies, true pickles

• Sauerkraut and Kimchi

• Natto & Miso

• Root beers, kvass, kefir, buttermilk

• Some dry cured/fermented sausage meats

• Sourdough bread

• Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

• Yogurt – some – not others, some sour creams

Getting more probiotics into your system is one of the best ways that you can improve your gut health.

If you already have good microbes, the way to get them to flourish and grow is to eat a better variety of veggies, those types that have a lot of resistant starch, which is what they prefer to eat – prebiotic fibre.

Eating starch such as plantain, rice (cook it, then cool it, then eat it, for the biggest boost), onion, garlic, potato starch, artichoke and bananas work really well.

Step 3: Play Dirty!

Get into nature, and even into the back yard. Gardening is good for you because it gets you outside, gives you exercise, and putting your hands in soil introduces your body to the microorganisms that are found on the plants and in the ground.

Stop killing all the bacteria. Anti-bacterial agents in things are bad for us and the world, because humans are killing things we need and poisoning ourselves. And what is happening? The bad bacteria are getting stronger and the good bacteria are dying.

Throw the kids outside. Studies have shown that kids who grow up in rural communities or with a dog have both a lower risk of allergies and a healthier immune system. Growing up with siblings and being exposed to more microbes makes us less likely to have IBD, autoimmune disease and hay fever!

chatting cups dog faces
Hang out outside more often, and bring Fido.

Dogs are associated with a type of house dust that actually exposes us to important strains of bacteria, L. johnsonii is one, which is essential within the digestive tract (http://www.naturallivingideas.com/13-ways-to-improve-gut-health/.)

Dogs also work somewhat like a probiotic, helping develop healthy bacteria that boost your immune system, stopping you from getting ill, and possibly reducing allergies. Of course, dogs also help you, or in some cases force you, to exercise more and help relieve stress in your life, and get you into nature where you breathe in some useful microbes too.

Conclusion

It may well be that a large part of maintaining good health is maintaining good gut health. There are many ways that you can do this, including good diet and exercise, and learning to listen to your body; however, some of the easiest changes that you can make are to:

Eat fibre-rich veggies.

Get plenty of probiotics – through supplements and food.

Laugh out in the open air and get into the woods.

Don’t over sterilize or try and kill all bacteria.

Be more willing to dog-sit or take your neighbour’s dog for a walk!

xox

Dana

 

Resources:

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_body/the-brain-gut-connection http://www.naturallivingideas.com/13-ways-to-improve-gut-health/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1954310 http://www.menshealth.co.uk/healthy/how-dogs-boost-your-immune-system

About Dana Green Remedios

Holistic Nutritionist

1 Comment

  1. […] the next post, I’ll dig into Reasons Gut Health Habits can be Good Health […]

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