The Brain – Gut Connection

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There are many contributing factors that affect our gut health such as diet, food intolerances, lifestyle, etc. Taking care of your digestive system has instant, positive effects on your overall wellbeing. A balanced diet and stress management for example, play a vital role in how well we sleep, stay active and live a happy, productive life.

It all starts in the gut…

In 2008, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) formed the Human Microbiome Project (HMP). Microbiome is defined as “the collection of microbes or microorganisms that inhabit an environment, creating a ‘mini-ecostystem.’”1

The human microbiome, located in the gut, is made up of trillions of bacteria that send messages to the brain. This communication is known as the “brain-gut connection.” Because approximately 70 to 80 percent of the body’s immune tissue is located within the digestive system, boosting your immune system really requires a healthy gut.2

You can help manage your microbiome and influence the brain-gut connection as well as strengthen your immune system. You can also increase the good gut bacteria that sends the brain positive messages and decrease the bad bacteria that causes bad food cravings. In this way, “you are what you eat.”

Since good bacteria thrives on fiber and nutrient-dense food, eating that type of food consistently is the key to a healthy brain-gut connection. Good bacteria feeds on fibrous food, digests it and releases a gas up to the brain, telling it that the body is well nourished. When the brain is told that the body is well nourished, it doesn’t think there’s a need to fill in the gaps created by a lack of nutrition. It’s a healthy cycle where nutrient-dense food that is fibrous creates more good bacteria.

Fiber does more than curb cravings. It also helps your mood. The Human Microbiome Project has shown that serotonin, the “feel-good” chemical the body generates, is actually created in the gut, not the brain. More fiber and nutrient-dense food in the gut could influence our emotional health as well as our physical wellbeing.

You may be surprised how quickly a healthy gut helps the brain minimize unhealthy cravings and also helps improve your overall health. If you currently don’t eat lots of fibrous foods, integrate them into your daily regimen slowly, so that your body has time to adjust. Incorporate it into each meal or snack. The fiber will give a sense of fullness to help you cut back on sugar and processed food.

The happier your microbiome, the fewer bad food cravings there’ll be. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but the important thing is to get started in helping your gut converse positively with your brain! Best of all, you will discover how delicious these nutrient-dense and fibrous foods are!

To help jumpstart your microbiome, we are introducing the new Kenzen Digestion Complex 4-20 to assist in processing the additional fiber you eat. Containing a combination of ingredients that tackles fats, proteins, carbohydrates and fiber, Kenzen Digestion Complex 4-20 could support the assimilation of all types of nutrients.

https://www.hmpdacc.org/hmp/overview/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515351/ 

(5th April)

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