Your Gut Is Important Too
Your brain gets all the credit. As head in chief (ha!), it has a huge role in keeping you alive. That’s great, I mean we cannot do much, really practically nothing at all without our brains. So, it would be great it we had two. Well…truth is we do. I promise you I have not smoked any OG Kush prior to this. The truth is we have two brains, one inside of our skull, and the other being inside of our body. The second brain I am speaking about is our digestive system aka our guts. As our second ‘brain’, the gut plays a huge role in more than digesting food.
The microbiome is the community of bacteria that lives in and on us. The microbiome is responsible for creating hormones that were thought to be created in brain. About 90% of the hormone serotonin is created in the microbiome *ref*. So, the beloved hormone and neurotransmitter that is believed to aide in mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire, is not created in the brain, it is created in the gut. Low levels of serotonin have been linked with depression *ref*. Anyone who knows someone with depression or has experienced depression themselves should understand how it can deeply impact everyday life.
There are many reasons why people experience low levels of serotonin. However, one of the most preventative things you can do to prevent a hormonal imbalance is keeping your gut healthy. The first thing you can do to keep your gut healthy, is limit your sugar intake. Sugar is killer. Sugar feeds and can cause an overgrowth in the bad bacteria you may have your gut. If you must have your precious cookies, do so in moderation. Secondly, you can invest in probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that you can get in liquid or pill form, that can help aide in digestive health. By taking probiotics you can help strengthen the good bacteria you already have. In having strong good bacteria you will overall have a stronger, more balanced microbiome. Lastly, it is important to get proper sleep. For those who think it is better to sleep when you are dead, you are actually causing yourself harm. Getting 8 hours of sleep nightly helps your body re–calibrate and repair itself. Funny how the gut and brain both need sleep to function properly.
Having two brains is awesome. We often focus on taking care of our first brain by consuming foods that aid in brain health and even partaking in meditation. However, how often do we think about taking care of our second brain, our gut? Comprised of trillions of bacteria, it is important to keep your microbiome healthy. Limiting your sugar intake, taking probiotics, and getting at least 8 hours of sleep can all help. However, in getting a little deeper we should also be cautious in the thoughts we feed ourselves. As connected as our brain and gut are, that stomachache we have been complaining of can actually be a result of the negative thoughts we choose to consume.
This article was written with the following references: