Most of us have heard people say ‘trust your gut’ or ‘what does your gut tell you to do?’ when making an important decision at some point in our lives. If you are interested in the hidden meaning to these sayings, read on!
Our gut has a surprising amount of power over our daily lives. If you were to analyse all the cells in your body, you would discover that most are bacteria, not ones that your body produced. Not only this, but your gut and brain are the only organs with their own nervous system. With this in mind, it makes sense that the gut is able to control so much of how we behave, think, and feel. Have you ever noticed the drop in the pit of your stomach that accompanies a stressed out mind? Well, there is a reason for this: a highway connecting the gut and the brain, but instead of bitumen it is comprised of a network of neurons. It also explains how smelling food initiates hunger in the brain and sends a signal to the stomach to rumble, demanding that you eat.
The fact that the gut and the brain are connected by a highway means that is bidirectional – the brain influences the gut and the gut influences the brain. For example, when you feel stressed or anxious the brain releases cortisol, a stress hormone. This cortisol can weaken gut lining integrity, resulting in gaps. Yikes! I bet you’re thinking about taking up meditation or yoga now.