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The gut, “our second brain”

Have you ever had “butterflies” in your stomach? It turns out that there is actually a scientific meaning behind this sensation. It is an exciting area in the nutrition world as research is revealing gut health to have an effect on your overall health, most notably your brain function.

It turns out bacteria is not necessarily “bad.” As humans, our bodies are composed about 50-60% microorganisms. Our gut microbiome contains most of these diverse microorganisms which play important roles in energy metabolism and immune function.

Called the “second brain,” the gut also possesses the special ability to communicate with our central nervous system. Developing research on this gut-brain axis shows a potential link between gut health and mood shifts such as depression or anxiety. Although more research is needed in this area, this may pave the way for future treatments for mental health.

Nutrition is key in nourishing our gut microbiome. The spotlight on fermented foods such as kombucha and sauerkraut has been heavily portrayed in the media. However, there is no one food product that can transform your gut health. The key to a healthy gut is a well-balanced diet with diverse fiber intake. Physical activity, medication and stress are other factors that may play a role.

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