Our gut is our second brain.
Some cultures even believe our gut is our first brain, which evolved long before the brain as we know it. Although the gut and brain communicate with each other, there are far more connections going out from the gut, giving it a huge influence over our wellbeing.
It influences our mood, energy levels, digestion, weight, and hormones. Our gut health is closely linked to our mental and physical health; studies have even found that 95% of serotonin is produced in the gut!
When our gut is imbalanced we may feel several undesirable effects like bloat, stress, brain fog and overall lack of energy.
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What is the Gut-Brain Axis and why is it important we know about it?
The gut-brain axis describes the connection between your gut and brain.
The gut-brain axis is a two-way communication network, but the gut has a far greater influence than we originally believed. While there are 100 billion neurons in the brain, there are over 500 million in the gut!
They communicate via the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve, is known as the messenger and transports signals from your digestive system and organs to your brain and vice versa working to regulate sensations, mood, heart rate, respiration, hormones and immune responses. The brain directly affects the gut and vice versa. Just think of how your stomach feels tight and bloated when anxious. And when our gut health is struggling, we may feel more depressed and pessimistic.
The Role of our Gut Microbiome
The gut’s ecosystem of bacteria, fungi, and other microscopic living things is referred to as the microbiome. A diverse gut microbiome contributes to a strong immune system, improved brain function, better sleep, healthy weight, and more.
Our mood is often a reflection of our gut.
Research has found that most of our endocrine (hormone-producing) cells are located in the gut. These cells are responsible for creating over 90% of serotonin and 50% of dopamine neurotransmitters in the body!
In other words, if you’re feeling depressed, anxious, or lacking in motivation, you need to take a good look at your gut health. The gut produces many chemicals that are vital for us to feel and function at our best.
For example, our fear and anxiety response is regulated by GABA neurotransmitters in the gut. In a study where participants took probiotics to support their gut microbiome, they found that the number of stress hormones in their bodies had significantly decreased, and without changing anything else about their lifestyle.
The gut also influences the brain’s reward center and can help you feel more energized and focused throughout the day. It plays a role in your motivation and sense of fulfillment when accomplishing a task, which can help you feel more productive.
The gut has a huge impact on your mood and mental wellbeing, and an unhealthy microbiome can take a toll on your everyday life.
Our gut acts as the first line of defense against toxins in the body.
From the moment we’re born, our gut accumulates beneficial bacteria to protect itself against threats in the world. We spend years building this bacterial fortress perfectly adapted to our diet and lifestyle. This is why it’s important to expose your gut to a variety of foods and bacteria, even the unhealthy ones to an extent!
Different bacteria serve different purposes, which is why diversity is key. When gut bacteria can’t break down toxins, they enter your bloodstream and trigger the body’s immune and inflammatory response.
Although this is necessary to fight harmful bacteria, inflammation can ultimately cause brain disorders such as depression and Alzheimer's disease. It also creates oxidative stress in the body, which drives cell damage and aging.
Research has linked a damaged gut microbiome to various diseases, such as asthma, allergies, acne, and even anxiety. It’s estimated that as much as 40% of children in the U.S. live with a chronic illness, and a great deal of this comes down to gut health.
Your gut is perfectly adjusted to your usual diet, and it has all the right bacteria to break down foods and defend against common threats.
However, if you’ve ever traveled to a new country, you’ll know this isn’t the case for all foods. It’s why tourists will often get food poisoning or be unable to eat local foods right away. Your gut just doesn’t have the bacteria to handle it.
When your gut struggles to break down certain foods, you may experience bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and indigestion. It can be pretty uncomfortable and also greatly affects your mental wellbeing.
Many food intolerances come from a poor gut microbiome, and supporting your gut with probiotics can make a huge difference. Probiotics can help promote beneficial bacteria in the gut to relieve bloating and aid digestion.
The gut also regulates your food cravings by influencing the brain’s reward response to high-energy foods. Studies have linked a lack of beneficial gut bacteria to obesity and weight issues, likely due to an increase in appetite.
How to Promote a Healthy Gut Microbiome
Eating more natural, plant-based, and diverse foods is the best thing you can do for your gut.
To support your gut, try to include more healthy fats in your diet, such as fish and olive oil. Fermented foods like kombucha nad kimchi also help supply your gut with a wide range of beneficial bacteria, as well as active yogurt and even coffee!
Your gut bacteria will thrive by just adding more variety to your usual diet, but there are also some harmful foods you should try to limit in your diet.
Processed foods, soft drinks, and many meal preservatives are terrible for your gut, as they’re difficult for bacteria to break down and digest. Studies have also found that artificial sweeteners stimulate the growth of unhealthy bacteria in the gut.
An easy way to look after your gut health is by taking daily probiotics to help enrich your gut microbiome. Probiotics contain live bacteria and can make a huge difference in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.
Detox Drops for a Healthy Gut
Our Juna’s Detox Drops are made with chlorophyll and other beneficial plant compounds to help promote a healthy gut. Chlorophyll can increase beneficial bacteria in the gut to support your immune system and aid digestion. It’s also antimicrobial, so it helps fight off harmful bacteria that can cause bloating and inflammation.
Our Detox Drops act as a natural prebiotic that can help improve your mood, energy levels, sleep, and focus throughout the day. They also help eliminate internal toxins and aid liver detoxification to boost your overall health. Our antioxidant-rich drops are perfect for daily detoxification to help you feel better from the inside out.
Just add a few drops to your morning water or try adding them to our favorite Detox Drinks for an extra boost of freshness!