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4 ways to optimize your GUT (Part 1) - The Gut-brain connection

health healthy gut nutrition Sep 11, 2018

The Gut-brain connection

How well do you know your gut? We sometimes talk about having gut feelings, or that our gut is not feeling well. But do you really know where your gut is and what it does? What are the different parts of your gut and how do you keep your gut healthy? 


This week, we are going to pull excerpts from our free downloadable e-book that is available on our website,


We are the Foolish Couple, Andy and Minna. We believe that healthy relationships start with health and our goal is to help people achieve true health and healthy relationships by nutrition, exercises, mindset and lifestyle. 


Your gut, which is also known as your gastrointestinal track (GI track), is a magnificent processor with a genetic intelligence that is encoded in every one of your microbes. (Excerpt, Gut Matters, Chapter 1).


Your gut, in addition to promoting normal gastrointestinal functions, also provides protection from infection, regulates metabolism, stimulates hormone production and manufactures the majority of the neurotransmitters found in the brain.


If that doesn’t sound important enough to you, here’s something you need to know about your gut.


At least 80% of your immune system and most of your serotonin is located in your gut.


Serotonin is related to mental health, and we will talk about how your gut is related to some of the more common mental health problems later on in this series. 


Today, let’s first talk about what your gut really is, and also about the gut brain connection.

Your digestive track consists of 5 main sections:

  1. your mouth and teeth
  2. your esophagus
  3. your stomach
  4. your small intestine
  5. your large intestine


The whole digestive track is about 25 feet long. From the point that you put food into your mouth, all the way to when it comes out of your body through your colon, it takes about 12 to 48 hours. 


Your vital digestive organs are:

  1. Your pancreas, which has the important job of secreting enzymes, breaking down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, and is also the source of the hormone insulin.
  2. Your liver, which filters blood from the gut, removes toxins, metabolizes drugs, stores nutrients and synthesizes proteins and bile.
  3. Your gallbladder stores and concentrates the bile and pushes it into your small intestine, where it helps to digest fat.


Sounds pretty straight forward right? What makes our gut really amazing is that it actually communicates with your brain. The brain speaks to the gut and the gut answers back. 


To give you an example, when you feel stressed, maybe you are about to miss a deadline at work, or if you get into a minor accident, where do you feel it immediately? In your gut right? 


Researchers have discovered that the Enteric Nervous System that is in our gut serves as our second brain. And our 2 brains are connected via the vagus nerve (more on the Vagus Nerve in our e-book, Gut Matters). This marriage between our brain and our gut plays a key role in our overall health, both physical and emotional. 


For example, we know that people with gastrointestinal problems, a lot of times they also experience anxiety and stress, which can make their GI problems even worse in the future. 


The link between psychiatry and neurogastroenterology is now being studied by many scientists and as they come out with new insights and findings, we will learn more about how the gut brain connection impacts our body and mind.


In the next few episodes in this series, we will talk about microbiomes, common gut problems including mental health issues, and the 4 ways to optimize your gut health. 


If you like this blog, share this with your friends and family. Gut problem affects millions of adults and having a healthy gut will help many people. So help us reach those who needed this by sharing with them. Use the link on the right to share on either Facebook or email. 


Until next time, love what you live, and live what you love.


PS: Our ebook ‘Gut Matters’ goes deeper into the issue of our gut and the action steps that we can take to repair our gut and bring our bodies back to an optimal, healthy state.

This ebook is free for you to download and all you have to do is follow the link below and we will send you a copy.

Download the ebook now

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We are not medical doctors. This blog is not intended to diagnose medical condition, or replace your health care provider. The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your personal physician before starting any fitness or exercise program or changing dietary habits. The content of this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services or counsel provided by medical professionals. However, we do hope to inspire you to become healthier, more self sufficient, and more aware of options.