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A healthy gut microbiome is involved in regulating metabolism and weight management. Having a healthy gut can lead to improved skin, reduced stress levels, and balanced energy. Improving your microbiome can lead to better sleep and digestion.
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There has been a lot of research concerning the enteric nervous system (ENS). The ENS is basically the nervous system of your gastrointestinal tract. Because of this, it’s often considered your body’s “second brain”. Neurobiologist Dr. Michael Gershon is considered by many to be responsible for our current understanding of the ENS. In his book The Second Brain, he explains that your gut is actually the only organ that has its own intrinsic nervous system. Because of this unique nervous system, your gut can mediate impulses in the complete absence of input from the brain or spinal cord.
Through your gut’s connection to the central nervous system via the vagus nerve, essential information is exchanged with your brain and spinal cord, regulating organ functions like digestion, breathing and heart rate. It also controls certain reflex actions like sneezing, coughing, vomiting, and swallowing.
Neurobiological insights into gut-brain crosstalk have revealed a complex, bidirectional communication system that not only ensures the proper maintenance of gastrointestinal homeostasis and digestion, but is likely to have multiple effects on affect, motivation and higher cognitive functions, including intuitive decision making. Moreover, disturbances of this system have been implicated in a wide range of disorders.
In short, this means that the communication between your gut and your brain not only affects your digestive health, but also your physical and mental health.
Your enteric nervous system actually makes use of more than 30 neurotransmitters— most of which are identical to the ones found in the brain. This includes neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine and serotonin. The last two, the most recognisable, are both considered “happy” hormones and play a major part in regulating your mood and your metabolism.
Interestingly, more than 90 percent of the body’s serotonin exists in the gut, as well as about 50 percent of the body’s dopamine.
The pathway to treating many disorders— ranging from anxiety and depression, IBS, and ulcers, all the way to Parkinson’s disease— may be hiding in the connection between the two brains. This is because an unhealthy gut’s neurotransmitter production might be faulty. So this information is crucial in illustrating the importance of a healthy gut in maintaining a healthier and happier you.
Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is an important part of health, beauty, and a balanced lifestyle.
Keeping your gut clean and at peak performance is a primary goal in any healthy dietary program; adjusting your lifestyle to support ongoing cleansing and detoxification simultaneously cleans out your system like a gentle sponge while promoting healthy eating.
But cleansing is not the only way to promote gut health or overall health. Your gut is an ecosystem all by itself— it’s called your gut microbiome, or gut microbiota. The health of this ecosystem is dependent on the right balance of gut flora to keep it functioning at peak performance.
A healthy microbiome works with your digestive system to help the natural process of extracting the nutrients from your food and keep you regular. Your digestive system performs even more functions than that, including:
- Regulating your immune system
- Breaking down the foods you eat
- Correctly distributing the nutrients extracted from your food
- Eliminating their leftover by-products as waste
So what is your gut telling you? Here are a few tips:
- Eliminate processed foods
- Use good probiotics
- Balance healthy fats