The Gut-Mind Connection
Updated: Jun 23, 2022
Your gut and your mind are deeply linked! How is your gut moving these days? Remember, our bodies were meant to move. I'm not just talking about the movement you can see. What's going on inside that beautifully designed body of yours? The gut plays a crucial role in not only mineral and vitamin absorption but also your mood and decision making. It's hard to believe but the two are definitely linked together.
Digestion begins the minute you put anything into your mouth. The digestive enzymes in your mouth go to work breaking down the food you eat. This is why chewing longer is so important. They can't do their job effectively unless you do your job of chewing the food down. Then the food goes into the stomach where the acid and more digestive enzymes get to work. From the stomach to the small intestine then into the large intestine where the minerals and vitamins get absorbed and go to work giving our cells the energy they need to fuel us for our day. Feed your body well and you'll have the energy you need to feel your best. Eat a standard American diet and you'll feel less than optimal!
The large intestine also houses your microbiome. Your microbiome is made up of a unique bouquet of millions of different types of bacteria, yeast and other microbes. These organisms outnumber our human cells 10 to 1! So keeping them fed and balanced should be important to us. Consider that our microbiome makes 70% of our serotonin. Serotonin is that important mood neurotransmitter we need to feel our best. The vagus nerve that runs from your brain to your gut is constantly sending message back and forth. Those little organisms are telling your brain when they're hungry and what to eat. Feed it well and it continues to crave the good stuff, feeding the good bacteria helps them flourish and grow. Yes-it's a complex system! But not too complex for you to take some control. There are things you can do to maintain better gut health which will lead to better mental health. Many people still believe that it is normal to poo only once a week! I was actually one of those crazy people--relying on laxatives more often than not. The sad fact is that 60% of people in the US are constipated. Being constipated is just a symptom for what's really going on. What I didn't know was that my gut was completely out of balance. Is your gut out of balance my friends?
What's normal when it comes to bowl movements? You should be going every single day! Some people actually go more than once a day and that's completely normal too. It's a shocker I know.
What we don't want is for toxins and waste to sit inside of us. When all is in sync it's called symbiosis. When all is well, it's easier to maintain optimal weight, think clearly, and make better decisions. Digestion is a complicated process. We'll talk through the details of digestion from the mouth to the toilet in another blog!
What can you do to move your body on the inside? Here are just a few suggestions: 1. Aim for 30 grams of fiber every day. 2. Cut out gluten, alcohol, and sugar from your diet. 3. Honor your bodies circadian rhythm. 4. Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water every day. 5. When you feel the urge to go, just go. Holding it makes things much worse. 6. Encourage good bacteria growth with pre and probiotics.
EAT BREAKFAST LIKE A QUEEN--LUNCH LIKE A PRINCESS--AND DINNER LIKE A PAUPER.