Hello lovely and happy Friday!
Here’s a fun fact to end the week on – You have a second brain.
It’s called your enteric nervous system, and it is an extensive network made up of over 200 million neurons located in the walls of your gut, which spreads out in a thin mesh that travels all the way from your throat to your bottom.
If you were to clump your entire enteric system together, it would be the size of a cat’s brain. So it’s fair to say, it’s pretty decent!
Now the really cool thing about the enteric system is that it uses all those neurons to communicate directly to the rest of your body, in particular your main brain via a pathway called the gut-brain-axis, which is facilitated by a very important nerve called the ‘Vagus’ nerve.
The Vagus nerve sends messages back and forth all day, between your enteric system and your main brain. And this is where gut health comes into play, because all the little microbes in your gut make neurotransmitters as they break down food, releasing different hormones, and signalling different chemical reactions in the body, and the enteric system then gathers all of this information up and sends messages through the Vagus nerve to the brain about what is going on and what is needed.
So, if your gut health is imbalanced, if your microbiome living inside your gut isn’t serving you, then it can send dysregulated messages to the brain which affects your neurobehaviour, and you start to experience changes in your mood, ability to concentrate, ability to access certain emotions, ability to manage stress ….on and on it goes.
And this is why food plays such a big role in your mental and emotional health and is an important element to consider when working with the mind.
Have a wonderful weekend,