Brain Belly Interconnection
Why do I care about and talk so much about healthy bacteria, gut health, as well as a plant based diet?
Because our bodies have the ability to heal, it really depends on what nutrition you put into it. Also, what we put in our bellies on a daily basis affects not only our immune system, our digestion, our quality of life and most of all our mood.
Yup! It’s more well know that our mental state affects our gut, for example, those who suffer from anxiety, tend to have irregular bowel movements. Recent research also shows us that our gut affects our mental health.
“Approximately 90% of the serotonin in the body is located in the gut.” – Bodyecology.com
Actually, to briefly discuss our body as a whole, we are made up of mainly microbial cells known as our microbiome. There are more of these cells than gene cells! “The human body contains trillions of microorganisms — outnumbering human cells by 10 to 1.” – NIH.gov
Some of the these cells are mood altering affecting our mental health.
Many great articles of research are found within the NIH.gov site discussing this very topic including: The Gut Microbiome: A New Frontier in Autism Research.
Our enteric nervous system sometimes referred to by scientists as our ‘second brain’ is a very complex system.
When we’re eating processed foods or a high consumption of heavy caloric foods that are not nutrient dense, it negatively affects our digestion. While a whole food plant based diet promotes a healthy microbiome, as well as the intake of good bacteria or probiotics.
(For more information on the subject of probiotics read my previous blog: Dirt And You)
In order to feed healthy bacteria you also need prebiotics which ‘feed’ the probiotics. Prebiotics, similar to probiotics, are microorganisms that are found in plant foods such as:
- Inulin or Chicory Root
- Sprouted Grains
- Beans or Legumes
- Dandelion Greens
- Potato Skins
- Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- Garlic and Onion
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The Society for Microbiology reported in 2013 that vegetarian diets promote a healthy gut because of the higher intake of plant fiber which, as mentioned above, increase good bacteria while fighting bad bacteria.
Bad bacteria creates a body that is out of balance with symptoms or illness such as:
Mood disorders and Depression
Urinary Tract Infections
Sugary Food Cravings
Irritable Bowel Disease
and many other digestive issues
If you’re not focusing on eating plant foods, but rather grabbing for processed snacks, meat and others foods such as those containing milk fat then you’re not promoting a healthy flora and you might be promoting the bad.
The fact that milk fat is mainly saturated fat is important to understand. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that these saturated fats are hard for the body to digest and it responds by pumping more bile into the gut. This changes the gut environment and leads to a change in the bacteria growing there. – bbc.com
Also the nutrient, choline found mainly in eggs, seafood and poultry and carnitine in meat create a substance, known as Trimethylamine N-oxide or TMAO, in the intestines which causes inflammation that leads to heart disease, according to the Cleveland Heart Lab, Inc.
How are we supposed to produce serotonin to live a happy life if we are not constantly feeding a healthy gut?
Like I said, it’s important, more so, it’s crucial to understand all of this information that I’m giving you so that you may make the right steps for your health each day.
When you are preparing your day, your meals and your family’s plates – think about how it will impact their lives long term.
I promote a healthy lifestyle for optimal health specifically for a better quality of life. Eating and living healthy is not torture, it is actually a luxury that is priceless.
Suggested Next Topic: Anti-Inflammatory Foods
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