Feb 222019

You know that you can have gastrointestinal symptoms when you’re stressed or nervous. We’ve all experienced that.

But, you may have also heard about the “gut-brain connection.” That your gastrointestinal system, lovingly called the “gut,” not only talks to your brain (yes, talks “to” your brain) but is kind of its own brain (a “second brain”). 

And that it may influence your actual brain.

If there was ever a call for “digestive health,” this is it! 

Yes, it’s true. Your gut is considered your “second brain.”

There is no denying it anymore.

And because of the new scientific discoveries about the vagus nerve, the enteric nervous system, and the amazing influence your gut microbes can have, it’s no wonder what you eat feeds not only your body but can directly affect your brain.

I find it amazing (but not too surprising).

What exactly is the “gut-brain connection.”

Well, it’s very complex, and to be honest, we’re still learning lots about it!

There seem to be multiple things working together.  Things like:● The vagus nerve that links the gut directly to the brain;●  ● The “enteric nervous system” (A.K.A. “second brain) that helps the complex intricacies of digestion flow with little to no involvement from the actual brain;●  ● The massive amount of neurotransmitters produced by the gut; ●  ● The huge part of the immune system that is in the gut, but can travel throughout the body; and,●  ● The interactions and messages sent by the gut microbes.●  

This is complex. And amazing, if you ask me.

I’ll briefly touch on these areas, and end off with a delicious recipe (of course!)

Vagus nerve

There is a nerve that runs directly from the gut to the brain.

And after reading this so far, you’ll probably get a sense of which direction 90% of the transmission is…

Not from your brain to your gut (which is what we used to think), but from your gut up to your brain!

The enteric nervous system and neurotransmitters

Would you believe me if I told you that the gut has more nerves than your spinal cord?

I knew you would!

And that’s why it’s referred to as the “second brain.” 

And, if you think about it, controlling the complex process of digestion (i.e. digestive enzymes, absorption of nutrients, the flow of food, etc.) should probably be done pretty “smartly”…don’t you think? 

And guess how these nerves speak to each other, and to other cells? By chemical messengers called “neurotransmitters.”

In fact, many of the neurotransmitters that have a strong effect on our mood are made in the gut! e.g. a whopping 95% of serotonin is made in your gut, not in your brain!  

The immune system of the gut

Because eating and drinking is a huge portal where disease-causing critters can get into your body, it makes total sense that much of our defense system would be located there too, right? Seventy-five percent of our immune system is in our gut! 

And you know that the immune cells can move throughout the entire body and cause inflammation just about anywhere, right?

Well, if they’re “activated” by something in the gut, they can potentially wreak havoc anywhere in the body. Including the potential to cause inflammation in the brain.

Gut microbes

Your friendly neighborhood gut residents. You have billions of those little guys happily living in your gut. And they do amazing things like help you digest certain foods, make certain vitamins, and even help regulate inflammation!

But more and more evidence is showing that changes in your gut microbiota can impact your mood, and even other, more serious, mental health issues.

How do these all work together for brain health?

The honest answer to how these things all work together is that we really don’t know just yet. More and more studies are being done to learn more.

But one thing is becoming clear. A healthy gut goes hand-in-hand with a healthy brain!

So, how do you feed your brain?

Of course, a variety of minimally-processed, nutrient-dense foods is required, because no nutrients work alone.

But two things that you many consider eating more of are fiber and omega-3 fats. Fiber (in fruits, veggies, nuts & seeds) help to feed your awesome gut microbes. And omega-3 fats (in fatty fish, walnuts, algae, and seeds like flax, chia, and hemp) are well-know inflammation-lowering brain boosters.

Recipe (Gut food fibre, Brain food omega-3): Blueberry Hemp Overnight Oats

Serves 2

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 cup oats (gluten-free)

1 cup almond milk

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 banana, sliced

¼ cup chopped walnuts1. Blend blueberries in the food processor until smooth.2. Mix blueberries, oats, almond milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds in a bowl with a lid. Let set in fridge overnight.3. Split into two bowls and top with cinnamon, banana, and walnuts.

Overnight Oats

Serve & enjoy!

Yours in Health and Happiness,

Penny/ Massage Therapist / Certified Health Coach

Tip: Your gut microbes love to eat the fiber in the blueberries, oats, seeds, and nuts. Meanwhile, your brain loves the omega-3 fats in the seeds and nuts.

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Penny Welke

I would like to induced myself Penny Welke I am happily married for 30 years, we have 4 children, 9 grandchildren My husband owns is own lawn care and snow removal business. I am a retired hairstylist of 30 years. I have work in salon and spa salon. I worked as cosmetologist for 30 years and Massage Therapists 11 years. In 2015 I got induced to wonderful company a easy solution how to get more fruits and vegetables to everyday, helping myself and others how to shred bad habits teaching others how live a healthy lifestyle. I love doing both profession because they go hand and hand. It was long and hard decision to give up my salon business but my heart wasn't in anymore, my heart led in direction in following my passion in Health and nutrition In 2009 my Avenue changed, deciding to take a leap of faith and started my own business. I working chiropractic office until he closed the doors than I had find place to do my massage business. Finding a place across from Red Robin behind mcmanion chiropractor and physical therapy building been there for 3 years. Having a passion for health and nutrition. Impacting people lives with my hands and impacting people and with their health. Teaching people how to live a healthy lifestyle by shredding bad habits by creating healthy habits. Seeing the benefits of getting regular massages on a regular basis. Helps with circulation Stress Headaches, Muscle tone Helps with preventing Helps improve posture, muscle tension The modalities I do is bamboo massage, deep tissue, trigger point, warm stone, myofasacia , relaxation, pregnancy massage. Using warm towels, essential oils. I customize my services and tailor each session to your individual needs. Whether you are looking to reduce stress, reduce pain, or are recovering from an injury – I am here to help you achieve your goals through therapeutic massage. I impact people lives with my hands and I impact people lives with their health. Giving them a solution to help them with their neck, shoulders and back issues. Giving them hope through massage and wellness. More and more physicians are recommending therapeutic massage for their patients as they see all the great benefits it has. I see on average of 5 or more referrals every week from the medical community. Ask your healthcare providers if they think massage would benefit you. Whether migraines, low back pain, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia or whatever your ailments are more than likely the pain and suffering can be helped with regular massage. Because of Juice Plus my family is living a healthier lifestyle. I thought I was somewhat healthy but learned with JP+ and Shred10 program what healthy really is! My body was going through a-lot hormone changes ended up with dermatitis, allergies in early 40’s. Suffered with IBS most of my life, dealing with diarrhea and constipation and rectal pain. Taking prescription medications for all of them. Taking handful of vitamins on market and spending tons of money on them. I know I needed a change. 4 years ago, I am thankful for my friend shared a simple way to flood my body with fruits and vegetables. So I decided to get started right away I noticed more energy, I no longer take medicines for my lBS , allergies or my dermatitis. I sleep better, I can focus better,I am regular and no retal pain, skin and hair is healthier, cravings shifted and rarely ever sick, my immune system improved, inflammation has greatly improved. I feel younger in 50’s than I did in my 30’s and 40’s. A process I was Making in Health everyday to live a healthier lifestyle, with one simple change. I am grateful for a solution to impact our Health and others giving them hope, provide families with a simple solution to use everyday and help them to live healthier lifestyle. Because of Juice Plus I will inspire and leave a legacy that impacts generations to come.


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