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  • Writer's pictureCathryn Reiber

The Gut - Your Second Brain

Did you know enteric nervous system (gut) extends from your esophagus all the way to your anus and uses more than 30 neurotransmitters, just like the brain? Did you know that 95 percent of the body's serotonin is found in the gut?

If you knew that you could feed your second brain to improve your mood while strengthening your immune system, would you?

When your gut microbiome is balanced, your immune system is strong, you are in a good mood and you have good energy. When your gut microbiome is out of balance, you are setting yourself up for health issues that can include inflammation, depression, anxiety, weight gain, diabetes, brain fog, and cancer.

Fortunately with little effort, you can feed and restore your gut microbiome and prevent or reverse many modern diseases. Here are some simple steps that you can take:

  1. Get your carbohydrates from vegetables and low-sugar fruits. Eating a lot of leafy green veggies (half of your plate should contain veggies) will help seed your gut with healthy and diverse bacteria. Eat plenty of prebiotic fruits and vegetables like radishes, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, jicama, asparagus, carrots, garlic, apples and bananas.

  2. Include fermented foods in your diet. Fermented foods are probiotics and seed your gut with healthy bacteria. Eat sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kefir, yogurt (sugar free with limited additives), and kombucha.

  3. Eliminate artificial sweeteners. Research shows is that artificial sweeteners alter the gut bacteria in a way that causes glucose intolerance.

  4. Remove the sugar and processed foods from your diet. Refined carbohydrates, sugar (including alcohol), and processed foods get absorbed quickly into your small intestine without any help from your microbes, which can lead to Leaky Gut. Stick to the most minimally processed foods you can find.

  5. Drink tea. The polyphenols in tea help you digest your food faster, while suppressing hunger cravings and allowing you to poop more. Research shows that the polyphenols in black tea decrease your gut’s ability to absorb fats and sugars.

Like everything else, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to your gut microbiome. We are all unique individuals with a unique and powerful second brain. The key is to keep supporting your gut microbiome with the foods that are healthy for you.

What will you do to improve your gut health? What have you done to improve your gut health? Please share your comments.

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