Your body host trillion of microbes that outnumber all human cells in your body. We humans are superorganisms composed of closely interconnected human and microbial components, which are dependent on each other for survival. The microbial component is closely connected through shared biological communication to other microbiomes in the soil, air, and ocean, thus we are all closely and inextricably tied to earths web of life. Pretty cool, right!
I recently read the Mind-Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer and found it to be very fascinating. Your gut is basically your “second brain” and it is absolutely amazing all it is capable of doing. Your gut informs the brain every millisecond what’s going on inside of you. Your brain receives sensory information from every cell in your body, the brain then uses this information to keep the body’s systems in balance and functioning. Did you know that there are more serotonin containing cells in your gut then in the brain about 95% vs. 5%. Crazy right, but it makes sense, this may be why people feel good and content after the ingestion of an enjoyable meal. The microbes in our gut influence the appetite control system, emotional operating system in the brain, behavior and even the mind. These invisible creatures (microbes) affect how we feel, make decisions, and how our brain ages and develops.
One of the most astounding findings from a study of 100 adults, is that our brains become rewired in response to adverse experiences early in life, which can lead to stress sensitivity in the brain. Also, stress in the womb can alter a mother’s vaginal microbiota, which will affect the babies gut microbes. Expecting mothers can follow a healthy diet, utilize simple stress reduction techniques and avoid antibiotics to help protect their and their babies gut microbes.
When the human intestinal system gets out of balance the unfriendly bacteria produce toxic substances that negatively affect the overall systems of health and function. The good news is there are some simple ways to improve the health of your gut and its functions:
Eat a diverse range of foods and lots of veggies, it is ideal to get as many nutrients and vitamins from a clean, healthy diet.
Eat fermented foods, they are rich in lactobacilli which is good bacteria.
Limit artificial sweeteners, they can negatively affect the gut microbiota which in turn effects blood sugar levels.
Take a probiotic supplement, this will aid to keep the microbes in good health.
Engage in stress reduction techniques when needed as stress negatively impacts the microbes as well.
Your gut health is extremely important! Many studies have shown that poor microbe health can lead to numerous health complications as well as a weakened immune system. Become an expert in listening to your gut feelings, after all it is your “second brain”.