How to Improve Your Second Brain: Your Gut
Your stomach is a hub of intelligence, holding the equivalence to a small pet’s brain. It’s host to 200 million neurons and hundreds of billions of bacteria that influence our personalities.
Your brain and stomach are in constant conversation. They both use the same neurotransmitters, it’s the language that nerve cells speak.
In both IBS and IBD, the mind and body are connected; however, it’s unclear which symptom started first. Did the mind affect the body or did the body affect the mind? Either way, we know they are intertwined and that we have to heal the ‘whole’ person in order to improve the condition of any ailment.
HOW YOUR DIGESTION AFFECTS YOUR WHOLE BODY
All health starts in the gut! Our digestive tract contains most of our immune system and 90% of our serotonin (the feel good chemical). These are just some of the many reasons why maintaining a healthy digestive tract is so important for the health of our entire body. Here are a few tips to help keep your body – and your digestion – running smoothly:
CHEW YOUR FOOD
Digestion starts in the mouth. The act of chewing not only breaks down our food into smaller particles to swallow, but it secretes saliva, coating the food with enzymes that begin to digest fats and starches right in your mouth.
EAT YOUR MEALS STRESS-FREE
The state of mind that you are in when eating will affect your digestion. Eat meals at the table with loved ones. Turn off the TV. Put away your phone.
DECREASE DRINKS AT MEAL TIME
Drinking too much with meals will decrease the amount of stomach acid which is needed for proper breakdown of food and nutrients. In fact, drinking too much during a meal will actually shut down the digestive process. Take small sips of water at room temperature if thirsty.
The Importance of Self-Care in Preventing Chronic Health Problems
Stress is part of life, but before it gets to be too much, it’s time to take care of yourself. Self-care is not selfish.
We all experience stress, it’s hardwired into our DNA; the fight or flight response is within each of us. But when we’ve been cooped up for too long, or events outside of your control way too heavily on your mind, it can all be too much. Mental stress can have serious negative effects on your physical health. That’s why it’s important to take care of yourself, especially if you take care of others or if you’re the type of empath that others lean on, you need to take a break.
To help others you must first help yourself.