We often hear the phrase ‘gut feeling’ or ‘gut instinct’ while meeting different people. When someone says, “go with your gut”, they may not entirely be wrong. Turns out that the rational decisions that you think are the result of your brain may sometimes also just be your gut communicating with you. That’s right, the gut is most definitely a second brain in the stomach that affects your entire wellbeing as much as the brain would. In fact, your immune system is also dependent on the sound functioning of your gut.
The mind and gut connection in its reality is not just a metaphor but a highly extensive network of neurons that are constantly communicating with each other to exchange information about the body. Let’s find out why the gut is actually the second brain of your body.
The mind-gut connection
While the body’s central nervous system is controlled by the brain, there is also a lesser-known part of the system that is situated in the gut. This part of the nervous system is called the ‘Enteric Nervous System’ (ENS). This network of neurotransmitters and nerves runs all the way along the digestive tract of the body, i.e from the esophagus and down to the anus.
The bundle of networks in the Enteric Nervous System closely resemble the ones in the central nervous system of our brain. Due to the remarkable similarity between these two functioning systems and their ability to function independently, medical experts often call the gut “a second brain in the stomach”.
However, the ‘gut and brain connection’ is much more complex than that. The gut sends constant updates to the brain and vice versa through the ‘brain-gut axis’ using neurotransmitters and helps connect the two ends of our body in order to maintain overall well-being. Therefore, concerns about our gut health directly connect to the functioning of our brain.
The importance of gut health
Simply speaking, it is important to maintain our gut health because it will have an effect on our mental health as well. Due to the highly intimate connection of our gastrointestinal (GI) systems, one distress can affect our entire digestive tract. GI disorders often lead to an increase in gut bacteria. And when the gut sends warning signals to the brain’s central nervous system, it often results in mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and depression.
How to ensure overall wellbeing?
Gut health begins with trusting your gut when it communicates to you about its condition. By taking care of the gut, you are essentially enabling it to take care of the rest of your body. The best solution to ensure gut health and maintain the levels of gut bacteria is through probiotics and prebiotics. While fermented food is a great way to supply your gut with probiotics, you can also find probiotic supplements altered to the requirements of your own body.
One of the best supplements is Wellbeing Nutrition’s clinically approved mix of probiotic +prebiotic fiber that provides a unique blend of 6 active probiotic cultures and ensures good digestion and a sound gut health.
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- What is 'gut health' and why is it important? (https://health.ucdavis.edu/health-news/newsroom/what-is-gut-health-and-why-is-it-important/2019/07)