Handy Key Terms
With lots of scientific jargon being thrown around, the world of gut health can often be tricky to understand. That’s why we’ve outlined some of the key terms you need to understand gut health and to maximise the power of your Microbiome!
This organ is often overlooked in medical research, but the gut is something you definitely should look after. The gut begins from our mouth and ends at our back passage and is often thought of as our ‘second brain’. This is because they contain the same neurons that can be found in the brain (100 million neurons can be found in the gut!) this shows how closely linked these two organs truly are.
These are tiny living organisms that can be found in the human body and are with you from the day you are born. These guys are too small to be seen by the naked eye, and there are millions of them that call your body home. Some microbes may cause disease and others exist in the body without causing harm and may actually be beneficial. Microbes include bacteria, fungi and viruses.
The Microbiome seems to be the hottest topic in the world of gut health, as scientists are continually proving how important it truly is to our body. Your Microbiome is home to a host of microbes that can influence your weight, mood and immune system. It regulates our entire immune system and takes the bits of food our body can’t digest and converts them into a wide range of chemicals and hormones. These control our mood, our appetite and overall health. Changing your biome (by eating more prebiotic and probiotic foods) may help to reduce anxiety, lessen depression and reduce the number of coughs and colds you get.
Prebiotics feed your friendly bacteria and encourage more to grow. Having a range of healthy bacteria is important as they help to aid digestion, mood regulation, strengthening your immune system and boosting the production of valuable vitamins.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts, often known as ‘good bacteria’ that are especially good for your digestive system. Some evidence suggests that certain strains of probiotics can help to boost the immune system, maintain a balanced gut microbiome and sustain a healthy digestive system. Many people are often lacking in probiotics, due to eating large amounts of processed foods, refrigerated products and internal damage created by antibiotics that kill off the good bacteria in our bodies. The best way to repopulate your gut with probiotics is by eating fresh and fermented foods.
The vagus nerve sends messages from the gut to the brain, microbes are able to hack into this system and talk directly to your brain via the vagus nerve. These microbes have different cravings, for example, some crave sugar, and the more you feed them, the more they want. If we change the microbes in our gut, we can change our cravings! The vagus nerve also sends information from the gut to the brain, which is linked to dealing with fear, stress and anxiety. These signals help a person to recover from stressful and scary situations. Having a gut feeling has never been truer!
Stay tuned for our upcoming blog about the glorious microbiome, which will include lots of tips and tricks to keep your biome happy and healthy.