Hello!! I’m back to reality after a semester of Microbiology and Sociology, the last 2 classes I needed to advance my nursing career path. This was an intense semester because I also work full time and have a full time social life (HA!). But I made it and I’m alive and well and ready to share more with you on my blog!
I came across this article: ‘How Gut Bacteria Control Your Mind‘ while perusing on Facebook and it was right around the time we were learning about the gut-brain axis and gut flora in Microbiology. Human microbiota or gut flora are microorganisms that live within your intestines; the ‘good bacteria’ help our body function properly and overcome unwanted inflammation caused by the overgrowth of ‘bad bacteria’. This article shares tips on how to keep the ‘good bacteria’ flourishing and how to get the ‘bad bacteria’ to subside and also how the right food can help regenerate our brain cells. Winning.
When I first heard this idea about gut-brain axis, I didn’t understand the connection between our intestines and our brain but after taking Anatomy and Physiology the connection is clear. And now it makes even more sense when I hear, ‘You are what you digest.’ So I’ll try to explain the connection in the simplest terms possible.
Your body has 2 main nervous systems, central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous system (the nervous system outside the brain and spinal cord, ex. arms and legs). The peripheral nervous system relays the messages from the body to the brain. Within the peripheral nervous system there are subsections (somatic, autonomic, sympathetic, parasympathetic) and the one that controls the GI (Gastrointestinal) Tract is the enteric nervous system also known as the ‘brain of the gut’. They call it this for several reasons but one of them is because this system works automatically and operates independently of the brain and spinal cord, we don’t have to think about digesting our food our GI tract just does it. All of these systems; central nervous system, peripheral nervous system and enteric nervous system are all interconnected in a highly complex, communicative manner. So it’s no wonder stress can alter our eating habits, either we over eat when stressed or don’t eat at all.
Another blog I found from Integrated Wellness Retreat has some visuals and spells out the nervous systems, microbiome and digestion nicely as well.
I hope you enjoyed this blog and if anything I hope it sparks your curiosity about the food you eat and how it effects not only body but your mind as well. Also don’t forget the links to the blog or articles are embedded in the titles, just click on the title to take you to the website.