It is generally believed that the brain is the organ in charge. However, turns out that the gut sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the gut. One of the earliest beliefs, that all health starts in the gut, has encouraged scientists to thoroughly investigate intestinal flora`s health effects. The term gut flora is used to refer to the micro-organisms that reside in the gastrointestinal tract.
Your Gut Bacteria Affects Your Brain Function. How to Optimize Your Gut Flora
It has been scientifically confirmed that there is a strong link between the gut flora and the function of the immune, endocrine, and nervous system. Certain studies suggest that bacteria are likely to release signaling molecules that influence the activity of the vagus nerve, which starts from the gut and reaches the base of the brain.
According to UCLA, “Researchers have known that the brain sends signals to your gut, which is why stress and other emotions can contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms. This study shows what has been suspected but until now had been proved only in animal studies: that signals travel the opposite way as well.
‘Time and time again, we hear from patients that they never felt depressed or anxious until they started experiencing problems with their gut,’ [Dr. Kirsten] Tillisch said. ‘Our study shows that the gut–brain connection is a two-way street.’”
Back in December 2011, the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility discovered that good bacteria known as Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 has been found to help regulate anxiety-like behavior in mice with infectious colitis.
Multiple studies show that those who consume fermented food absorb iron far better than those who consume plenty of raw vegetables. They by-products of fermentation help the body break down fat, regulate the composition of blood, reduce blood pressure, serve as neuro-transmitters, and many more. Some of the bacteria that are result of fermentation act as natural antibiotic, slow down the synthesis of pathogenic bacteria, and improve the synthesis of vitamins.
5 Compelling Reasons to Include Fermented Foods In Your Diet
1. They restore a balance of bacteria in the intestine and help facilitate and reduce disease like fungal infection, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies and asthma.
2. Healthy food, abundant in digestive enzymes, increases the number of antibodies that combat infection and boost the immune system.
3. Antioxidant in fermented food allow you to remove free radicals from the body.
4. Products enriched with vitamins lead to development of nutrients like omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
5. Being packed with digestive enzymes, fermented food improves the processing of food and promotes proper absorption of the nutrients derived from it.
How to Optimize Your Gut Flora
- Avoid processed, refined foods in your diet.
- Eat fermented, unpasteurized foods like kombucha, kimchi, yoghurt, kvas, kefir, and apple cider vinegar (can be added to homemade sauces, marinades.)
You can ferment any veggie you like! The process is simple and the final product is much healthier than store-bought foods. Adding fermented products to your diet improves digestion, boosts immunity, and removes toxins.