Our thoughts and decision-making might come from our brain, but the brain is fueled by a second brain that helps keep it healthy: the gut.
Yes, the gut is often referred to as the second brain of the body because of a connection between the two known as the gut-brain connection. Anything you put into your gut can have a positive or negative effect on your brain health. However, the connection also runs both ways. When the mind is experiencing any stress or anxiety, it’s felt in the gut. Have you ever noticed those butterflies in your stomach before a job interview or before your first date with someone you met on the internet? Those “butterflies” are the blood flowing away from the gut to the muscles as part of the body’s fight-or-flight response.
Believe it or not, your gut is filled with both good and bad bacteria that make up your gut’s microbiome. There needs to be a balance between the two for your gut to stay healthy. If the balance is thrown off by an increase in harmful bacteria or other microorganisms, it could cause some physical and mental issues. Some symptoms of an unbalanced gut are:
● Anxiety or depression
● Skin irritation
● Sugar cravings
Yes, sugar cravings can send you into a spiral of weight gain and an unbalanced gut microbiome. That’s because the more sugar you eat, the more the bad bacteria will thrive and make your body release a hunger hormone that craves more. Probiotics, live microorganisms such as good bacteria and yeasts, are found in certain foods or supplements that help bring your gut back into balance. Probiotics are found in:
● Over-the-counter supplements
● Some prescription medication
● And other fermented foods