Fixing your digestion can make you feel a lot less anxious.
There has been a longstanding metaphorical connection between the brain and the gut, illustrated by expressions such as “trust your gut” and “gut instinct.” Now we’re learning about the physiology behind the metaphor—the dimension of intelligence that actually comes from the gut. Those “butterflies” or that “knot” in your stomach are signals from the brain in your belly telling you to be nervous. This “belly brain” even has a scientific name—the enteric nervous system (ENS)—and the 100 million nerve cells that make up this brain are hidden in the walls throughout the digestive tract.
This sophisticated superhighway that connects the brain in your head to the brain in your gut is getting a lot of attention in the scientific literature lately, especially when it comes to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. In fact, our belly brain may influence our mental health as much as our head brain. And if this is the case, it makes sense to find out how to properly “feed” that belly brain. As it turns out, one of the best ways to support your belly brain is with bacteria&md …
Karolyn Gazella has been writing and publishing integrative health information since 1992. She is the author of several books and hundreds of articles published in both peer-reviewed medical journals and consumer magazines. She is also the co-creator and CEO of the iTHRIVE cancer survivorship plan. For more information visit www.iTHRIVEplan.com.