Gut brain? I have a second brain???

Well, sort of… The gut brain is really the enteric nervous system (ENS) which in has tremendous influence over our head.  “It’s known as a “second brain” because it (has) its own reflexes, independent of the brain or spinal cord.”

Although your gut’s brain looks nothing like your head’s brain, the communication between these two areas through the vagus nerve is constant, gut-brain axis.  If you have ever experienced a “gut feeling” or “butterflies”, that is communication going on between your gut and brain.  However, there is considerably more communication that you are not aware of.  The ENS is quasi- autonomous part of the nervous system.

Areas of our life impacted by our ENS include: mood, decisions and behavior*.  Functions or systems that the ENS controls or influences include:  motor functions, local blood flow, mucosal support and secretions, and modulates both the immune and endocrine functions (adjusts, tries to balance).

Our food choices significantly impact the processing and communication ability of our bodies.
This again speaks to making wise food selections – whole foods, organic, local.  Our body’s systems can perform best when we provide the cleanest “fuel.”

There are many articles addressing ENS as we are beginning to learn and understand more about its function.  One of the books that I read which helped to create my awareness is: Brain Maker, The Power of Gut Microbiomes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life by Dr. David Perlmutter. (https://www.drperlmutter.com/about/brain-maker-by-david-perlmutter-md/)

Here are a few other sources that you may want to visit:
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gut-brain-connection
https://gut.bmj.com/content/47/suppl_4/iv15

Feeling sluggish? Have brain fog?  You may want to experiment – first jot down recent foods eaten; then for the next 3-5 days, keep a log of your more thoughtful food choices.  At the end of the experiment, see if you feel less sluggish or in a fog.

Photo credit:  Etienne Desdides, Unsplash.com

* https://biostrap.com/blog/enteric-nervous-system-our-second-brain/