Did you know that your gut and brain are in constant communication with each other? They're actually best friends!
This communication is made possible by the enteric nervous system, or ENS. The ENS is a network of nerve fibers that runs through the gut, pancreas, and gallbladder. This system is responsible for relaying information between the gut and brain.
For example, the ENS relays information about mechanical and chemical reactions in the gut to the brain. It also sends messages from the brain to the gut. In fact, 95% of the body's serotonin is produced in the gut!
Because of this close relationship, the gut is often referred to as the "second brain" or "gut brain." The gut is also home to 70% of the body's immune cells. This makes gut health incredibly important for overall health and well-being.
What's even cooler is that a healthy gut has been linked to better mental health, increased energy levels, improved digestion and absorption of nutrients, and even a lower risk of obesity. Conversely, an unhealthy gut has been linked to depression, anxiety, fatigue, poor digestion and absorption of nutrients, and obesity.
What's even crazier is the gut's effect on the immune system. A healthy gut has been shown to lead to a stronger immune system, while an unhealthy gut can actually weaken the immune system.
So, if Like we mentioned earlier, 70% of the body's immune cells reside there, so it's no surprise that gut health is linked to a strong immune system. In fact, gut health has been shown to play a role in everything from allergies to autoimmune diseases, and in general, improving your overall immune function.
So unto the big question:
How do we keep our children's tummies healthy?
The answer is actually pretty simple:
- Make sure they're eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fiber.
- A balance diet is important for your tummy because fiber helps keep things moving along smoothly. Fiber is found in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Plus, fiber is a prebiotic, meaning that it feeds the good gut bacteria that are so important for gut health. A
2. Eating fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi fill your tummy up with probiotics.
- HINT: Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your gut health. These are the good bacteria that help keep your gut healthy and balanced by crowding out the bad bacteria and removing toxins from your gut.
3. Avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and artificial
- These foods tend to be high in unhealthy fats, added sugars, and chemicals that can disrupt gut health. Sugar, for example, feeds bad bacteria and yeast in the gut, which can lead to gut inflammation.
4. Encourage them to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
- Water is the essence of life, and for the lives of the bacteria in our tummies too! Water helps keep things flowing smoothly through the gut and also helps to dilute any toxins that might be present.
5. Limit their exposure to gut-damaging toxins like pesticides, herbicides, preservatives and other chemicals.
- These toxins can damage the gut lining, kill good gut bacteria, and lead to gut inflammation. Plus, artificial preservatives have been shown to potentially lead to allergies, asthma, hyper activity, and even cancer.
By following these simple tips, you can keep your gut healthy and happy! And when your gut is happy, your whole body will be happier too.
What are some other ways that you take care of your gut? Share in the comments below!