“The gut–brain axis is involved in a multitude of physiological processes including satiety, food intake, regulation of glucose and fat metabolism, insulin secretion and sensitivity and bone metabolism” according to a recent study by the Clinical Nutrition Association. Your amazing gut handles so much more than just digestion. Your digestive tract is also lined with millions of neurons that comprise your enteric nervous system or “second brain.”

The gut-brain connection is no joke; it can link anxiety to stomach problems and vice versa. Have you ever had a “gut-wrenching” experience? Do certain situations make you “feel nauseous”? Have you ever felt “butterflies” in your stomach? We use these expressions for a reason. The gastrointestinal tract is sensitive to emotion. Anger, anxiety, sadness, elation — all of these feelings can trigger symptoms in the gut. The brain has a direct effect on the stomach and intestines. For example, the very thought of eating releases the stomach’s juices before food gets there. This connection goes both ways. A troubled intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression. That’s because the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected.

Gut care begins with what you put into your gut, so make sure you’re getting lots of these gut-healthy goodies:

 Fiber-rich foods: Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains contain prebiotic fiber, which nourishes your microbial allies.

• Fermented/cultured foods: Foods like kefir, and yogurt contain friendly microbes that will join your microbial community.

• Omega-3 fats: Found in oily fish, chia, flax, algae, hemp, and walnuts, support a diverse and robust microbiome.

• Polyphenols: These plant chemicals found in green tea, coffee, dark chocolate, and olive oil also keep good flora thriving.

If this is an issue for you learn, study and be educated. The smarter you are about your body, the easier, safer and more specific the “fixes” can be. Learn to be your Healthy Self

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