Have you ever been in a situation where you have deferred the vast cognitive abilities of the brain to instead ‘Go with your gut?’ or perhaps felt ‘Butterflies in your stomach’, as a reaction to an impending and potentially stressful event? If you are human and reading this, then the answer will invariably be yes.
Over the past decade, as we delved further into the workings of the human body. We have discovered just how important the connection between our brain is to our neurology and furthermore the workings our nervous system.
In clinical practice, evidence of the gut-brain axis has come from the link between the associated disruption of central nervous system disorders; such as autism and anxiety to functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, acidity and cancer.
“The road to health is paved with good intestines!”
~Sherry A. Rogers
Our brain and gut connect by an extensive network of neural pathways, chemicals and hormones that are always updating us on our hunger and stress levels, immune activation, intestinal permeability and hormonal signalling. This information superhighway connects us to our intestines is known as the Gut-Brain Axis. It monitors our digestive tract from the oesophagus to the anus with billions of neurones, in fact, it is so extensive that the ENS can operate as an independent entity to our central nervous system, always listening and maintaining the peace within the microbial communities within our intestinal biome.
Recent evidence suggests that our microbial biome contains around a thousand different species of bacteria, trillions of cells and weigh between one and three pounds play a crucial role in anxiety, depression and other emotional and biological disorders, controlling to an extent how you think, act and feel.
This pathway, however, is a two-way street and while you may believe that you are in charge, it would appear otherwise. How many times per day do we make a decision influenced by our gut and perhaps, more importantly, how can we take back some control?
“All disease begins in the gut!”
It is vital to eat well if we are to live long and happy lives, it has become apparent that we owe our mental and physical health to our gut. Luckily it is remarkably simple to achieve perfect intestinal health. After years of eating food that serves to disrupt the microbiota and cause problems such as leaky gut. Which can lead to many of the common diseases we are fighting today.
It is important to allow ourselves time to heal by staying away from harmful foods such as gluten, dairy, processed foods and none organic meats. Instead, consuming fruits, vegetables and pulses giving our body the tools it needs to repair itself. Followed up by a prebiotic and probiotic regimen to slowly populate and repopulate our intestinal biome. Eventually achieving a stable homoeostasis in our gut, which has a knock on effect on everything along the gut-brain axis, enabling us to embrace the benefits of good ritual health.