Gut – Brain Connection
5 things to improve the Health of your GUT
The food we eat provides us with nourishment. Many people that visit our offices suffer with gut issues. It is not often their primary complaint, but symptoms like bloating, constipation, irritable bowel are just a few complaints we see ticked on their initial visit form.
Most are aware that our brain and nervous systems contains special cells that communicate with each other and the rest of the body. These cells are called NEURONS. Neurons also exist in the heart and also in the gastrointestinal track (GIT). There is constant communication between the gut and the brain and this communication occurs through the GUT-BRAIN-IMMUNE axis. Each system influences the other.
When looking at anxiety and depression it is important to address gut health, as this will have a positive impact on how the brain is functioning. For example, 90% of the substrates used to make the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter, serotonin.
Frank La Macchia and Dr. Lisa Smycz, chiropractor, discuss the connection between the gut and the brain and look at 5 things that we can do to improve the health of your GUT.
- Reducing stress levels
Prolonged and sustained stress places our body in a fight or fright response. When this part of our nervous system is stimulated then blood flow is diverted from the digestive system. Even when people are eating wholesome food, when they are under prolonged stress, then the digestive system is not working optimally to break down the food and extract the nutrients.
See some of our previous videos to help reduce stress levels in your life. For further help please feel free to contact Frank La Macchia (details below).
2. Making meal times special
How often do you ‘scoff’ your lunch or dinner? Eating at your desk? Are you taking you time and enjoying your meal?
Work on focussing on the following if you are not already:
- Sit comfortably and away from your work
- Set the table and use your special cutlery and crockery
- Put on some relaxing and enjoyable music
- Cut your food into small pieces and chew each mouthful 10-15 times minimum
3. Determine WHY you are eating?
Are you hungry? Is it a habit? Is food there for comfort only?
Eating well, but overeating is not a good habit. It stresses our body and extra calories will turn to fat. Being overweight predisposes us to chronic inflammatory disease, starting with an increase in blood sugar levels.
Try and ask yourself these questions about why you are eating. Frank speaks about a lady he helped with overeating by encouraging her to do what she was passionate about. Her new past-time of photography was her new focus in her life and her lack of ‘boredom’ kept her naturally away from the pantry and the fridge.
4. Avoid watching TV/netflix/youtube/etc
Watching the news generally means watching bad news, which doesn’t encourage positive thoughts and feelings, especially if you are trying to digest food. Whether in a family setting or alone, avoid watching the screen. Listen to gentle music and focus on the food in front of you. You will be less distracted to eat slowly and chew food properly when you are not watching a screen. Take that time to eat and do not rush this important part of you day.
5. Food allergies and intolerances
Even after you have improved what, when, how much and how you eat, and you find your digestion is still and issue then getting a blood test to check allergies and intolerances to some foods may be the next step.
We work with a company called Research Nutrition, where we send blood samples for such testing. Any questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frank La Macchia consults at Errol Street Chiropractic Centre each Tuesday as a mindset coach, holistic counsellor and meditation teacher.