Healthy gut, happy person?
Healthy gut, happy Person?
Did you know that you have a second brain in your gut?!
Your gut and brain are constantly communicating with each other. When your digestive system is healthy, your mood improves, you feel great, you are able to focus more easily and you are often a much happier individual.
Studies show that our intestines play an important role in our health.
There is increasing indication that a direct co-dependant relationship between the condition of the intestines and the brain exists. For example, when stressed one often experiences abdominal complaints, together with more frequent visits to the toilet. Alternatively, anxiety, racing thoughts and an obsession for being in control is often linked to constipation.
Did you know that your intestines contain more nerve cells than your brain?
It is said that there is a second brain - or enteric nervous system - in your belly. Intestinal nerve cells join and connect with one large nerve that runs to the brain. This is called the gut-brain axis. Communication goes both ways; not only from the brain to the intestine, but also from the intestine to the brain. The immune system, valgus nerve and sympathetic nervous system also play an important role in this communication.
The large nerve of the gut-brain axis is the most important and quickest route from the intestine to the brain and back. It runs through the diaphragm, along the oesophagus between lung and heart, and through the throat to the brain. Your intestines and brain are in constant contact with each other through natural regulatory chemicals such as serotonin.
What is Serotonin?
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, and commonly referred to as the 'happy hormone'. This neurotransmitter has a very important role in signal transfer between gut and brain. Your intestines produce around 90% of the serotonin in your body. The rest is made by your brain.
If your serotonin level is too low, you may suffer from insomnia, depression and even anxiety. It is therefore important that your body produces enough serotonin The neurotransmitter serotonin can only be produced when the body has sufficient supplies of an amino acid called tryptophan.
Your intestinal flora determines your level of health
It is becoming increasingly clear how important the intestines are; not only for your brain but also for every other organ. Bacteria that live inside our intestines in particular influence our brains and behaviour. A single disruption caused by infection or antibiotics can therefore lead to behavioural changes.
Stress, incorrect dietary habits and allergies can also create imbalance within your intestinal flora. If your stomach turns in response to a major event, this is the result of changes in the brain-gut axis. Every form of stress activates nerve pathways that slow down our digestion and thereby place unnecessary burden on the digestive system.
Your intestines play a major role in your health and well-being.
After all, around 80% of the immune system is located here. Healthy food and good probiotics are an important method of healthy gut support.
Which foods increase your intestinal health?
- Fibre-rich foods such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, unground whole grains, oatmeal
- Prebiotic-rich foods such as artichoke, garlic, chives, leeks, onions, asparagus, sweet potato, bananas, apples, berries, honey, legumes, turnips, whole grains
- Fermented foods such as lactic acid products, yogurt, kefir, miso, sauerkraut
- Foods rich in polyphenols & flavonoids. These include fruits and vegetables, herbs, spices, berries, grapes, pomegranate, citrus fruits, green tea, herbal tea, olive oil, cocoa, omega 3 fatty acids
- Eat less animal protein and fats (meat, dairy)
- Eat less refined 'bad' carbohydrates and sugars
- Avoid alcohol and any form of smoking.
In addition to a healthy and varied natural diet, it is important to channel your stress in a similarly healthy way. Go for a relaxing walk in the countryside, practice yoga, and incorporate enough time for rest and self-care. It is sometimes also advisable to visit a naturopath, homeopath, acupuncturist or nutritional therapist.
Natural treatments often add value to individuals suffering from bowel problems and/or other imbalances.
Flora Protect herbal drops - Nature's Helping Hand
When to use:
- Digestive complaints
- Inconsistent or otherwise poor bowel movements
- Intestinal problems during times of stress
- Anxiety and nervous unrest
Flora Protect herb drops provide a valuable supplement for people who regularly suffer from digestive complaints, bloating after meals or flatulence.
They are also recommended for those suffering from stress-induced digestive discomfort and inconsistent, poor bowel movements.
Warning: Flora Protect is recommended for children of 12 years and over, and adults. Flora Protect should never be combined with anticoagulant therapy (oral anticoagulants).
Directions for Use:
Take 7 to a maximum of 10 drops in a little water and drink. Repeat 2 to 3 times a day if necessary. Use before or after every meal.
In cases of chronic constipation or consistent complaints, use an extra 7 to 10 drops before bedtime.
Combinations: Flora Protect can be combined with the other herbal drop variants, such as Enjoy, Trust and Trust Mild. Ingredients and composition can be found via the link below.
I hope my blog will inspire you to tackle your existing imbalances. Do you have any questions? Would you like some personalized advice? You are more than welcome to contact me.