Monday, June 22, 2015

How Gut Health Affects the Brain

Guest Blog:

The gut is often called "the second brain," because your gut bacteria transmit information to your brain via the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem into your enteric nervous system (the nervous system of your gastrointestinal tract).

There is a close connection between abnormal gut flora and abnormal brain development. There are neurons in your brain just like the neurons in your gut -- including neurons that produce neurotransmitters like serotonin. Serotonin which is also found in your brain and is linked to mood and depression.

Your gut health can impact your brain function, moods, and behavior because they are interconnected and interdependent in a number of different ways. In addition to avoiding sugar, hydrogenated oils, and artificial sweeteners one of the best ways to support gut health is to consume beneficial bacteria.

You can use a probiotic supplement for this or organic Greek yogurt. I'm particularly fond of using fermented vegetables, because they can deliver extraordinarily high levels of beneficial bacteria. Most people aren't aware that in a healthy serving of sauerkrauttwo to three ounces or so you're getting the equivalent of nearly 100 capsules of the highest-potency probiotic you can buy. It's clearly one of the most cost-effective alternatives.

Often the lower brain senses such as cravings for sweets can override the higher brain messages If menus are not pre-planned. Better Brain strategies must always include making sure the gut is healthy. 

Better Brain Tip:

How much of your planned meals support the BRAIN HEALTH of you and your family?

This week add gut healthy, brain supporting foods to your weekly meals!

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