The brain and digestive system communicate closely with each other
Mainly through the so-called stray nerve (vagus nerve). It immediately transmits signals from the abdominal organs to the brain – the center of the nervous system. A typical example of the speed of such transmission is the well-known “butterflies in the abdomen”. We feel you as soon as we see someone nice. It also works the other way around: As soon as there is something wrong with the digestive system, it immediately signals the brain, which triggers other processes.
The digestive system is inhabited by 100 million neurons and even more bacteria
Researchers have recently found that the digestive system has even more nerve cells than the spinal cord. Without exaggeration, this is our second brain. There is also growing evidence that gut health affects our mood. However, we only have it in our hands – most of the work is done by bacteria, which naturally inhabit the digestive system. There are over 2,300 different species.
- They help with the digestion of food.
- They produce vitamins and hormones. According to a video from AsapScience , they are even responsible for the production of 50% dopamine and 90% serotonin in the body. Therefore, experts are increasingly claiming that the feeling of happiness is related to healthy digestion.
- They strengthen the immune system.
- It protects us from attacks by viruses, fungi, and other vermin.
- They reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases of civilization.
What can a healthy gut do?
According to the Journal of Medicinal Food, a healthy gut can, among other things:
- Suppress inflammation in the body
- Reduce cortisol levels to improve stress management
- Improve memory
- Reduce feelings of anxiety, including social phobias
A healthy intestinal “biome” also relieves us of common digestive problems – bloating, constipation or diarrhea. This has another positive effect – relieving fatigue. Disruption of the intestinal microflora very exhausted the body. It is not for nothing that 70% of human immunity is said to be in the gut.
How to “raise” healthy intestinal bacteria?
Our intestinal bacteria grow with us for life. They are affected by what we eat and how we behave in general – how stressed we are or how good we sleep. Bacteria remember, for example, the amount of sugar we eat every day. If it is too much, the brain sends the appropriate signals and a dangerous sugar addiction develops.
TIP: According to the journal Vesmír , intestinal bacteria in the mother’s body even affect the activity of our genes. Therefore, if you are pregnant, read the next lines even more carefully.
What can you do today? Include more probiotics and prebiotics
Changing your lifestyle and avoiding stress is running for the long haul. Start simple – include more so-called probiotics and prebiotics in your diet.
- Probiotics – inhibit the proliferation of undesirable microorganisms in the digestive system and reduce intestinal pH.
- Prebiotics – are food for probiotics. Thanks to them, they survive in the intestine and continue to multiply.
Probiotics and prebiotics in food
Natural sources of probiotics are:
- White yogurt (especially one that also contains strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium Lactococcus lactis)
- Kefir, sour and acidophilic milk
- Sour unsterilized cabbage
- Fermented cucumbers
Prebiotics include, for example:
- Most legumes
TIP: Don’t expect to be relieved after the first glass of kombucha or a few cucumbers. Wait for the first results of diet modification with enough probiotics after 7-14 days at the earliest. Of course, depending on the overall lifestyle.
Probiotics and prebiotics in food supplements
If you do not take enough probiotics naturally, or suffer from acute digestive problems, reach for quality supplements. Ideally those that directly combine probiotics with prebiotics. Watch the composition of the products. The good ones contain a mix of lactobacilli, bifidobacteria, and other friendly bacteria.
You can also recognize quality probiotics by the production process. Perennial fermentation with the help of lactic acid bacteria is ideal. Slowly fermented bacteria stay alive and are well tolerated even by people with very sensitive digestion.
TIP: Do you take antibiotics? Probiotics will help you maintain a healthy indoor environment. It is best to take a capsule of probiotics on the first day of taking antibiotics and continue for about a week after taking them.
And that’s not all…
Doctors and scientists influence the effect of digestion on our bodies. For example, they performed an interesting study in mice – after the delivery of friendly bacteria, their mood was demonstrably improved. Do intestinal bacteria work against depression? We have to wait for verification.
However, the main tip is clear: Maintain a healthy lifestyle with plenty of probiotics and prebiotics in your diet. You will be better!