Health and Fitness,  Science

‘Listen to your gut’ and keep it healthy.

Whenever in life you are in a dilemma. You ask someone trustworthy about which way to choose? or which decision will be fruitful in the future?

I am sure very often you have heard from someone in situations like this ‘Listen to your gut’.

For most of us, it’s just a motivational line which inspires us to listen to our inner voice or feeling. Sentences such as ‘You need guts to do this’ or ‘I have a gut feeling’ are also common.

But what the hell ‘gut‘ is doing everywhere. Although expressing different emotions when used in different lines.

The actual gut or gastrointestinal tract ( The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus like esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus) in our body also fits properly in the above sentences. 

GI-Tract

Until I look deeper into the human body gut, I never bothered about the meaning of gut in different lines.

How come the same word expressing the feeling of courage, strong belief, inner voice, etc. in different lines. So let me share with you the fascinating story of our ‘gut‘.

 How many brains do you have?

What a silly question! Everyone knows it’s only one.

But what if you get to know, you have not one but two brains. The difference is that we just don’t name it as the brain (that named as gut).  

What if I say your body is less yours but more microbes which include- bacteria, viruses, archaea, and fungi–where bacteria are the most abundant.

For most of us, the first thing that comes to mind after listening to the word ‘bacteria’ is probably disease, bad for health, etc. But that’s not true.

There are indeed bad bacteria- those are called ‘pathogens‘. It has been found that bad bacteria or ‘pathogens’ make up only a tiny amount of microbes in our body.

In fact, labeling bacteria as bad is like meeting with a greedy person and generalizing it for everyone. Most of the microorganisms (including bacteria) reside in our body are actually good for our well being.

An interesting fact is there are approximately 40 trillion bacterial cells in the human body which is more in number than human cells. So for every human cell, there are 1.3 bacterial cells.

In short, our body is just their home. Now you know why our body is more about microbes than us.

But why do people call gut our second brain? 

Two human studies looked at people with major depression and found that bacteria in their feces differed from healthy volunteers.

Therefore it’s been a proven fact that our emotions do affect our microbe population in the gut. Surprisingly only in recent studies, it has been found that it is another way also, that means your gut microbes also controls your mind and body.

The two brains are in constant communication with each other through a pathway called ‘gut-brain axis’.

They send signals to each other through neurotransmitters (made of protein).

Do you know the ‘butterflies’ that tickle your stomach when you’re a little anxious?

Does your gut play up when you’re stressed?

That means you’ve felt your gut-brain communicating with the brain in your head. Not only that, but Your gut-brain also uses more than 30 types of neurotransmitters, and researchers found that gut microbes are in the process of producing new mind-altering neurochemicals all the time.

Most unique thing is that although your DNA is 99% same as any other person, your microbial DNA is only 5% same as other humans.

That means every human has a unique population of microbes in his/her gut which needs different nourishment.  

Just think about it, if everyone has different kinds of microbes (means different care is needed) then how we are generalizing the fact that the same diet is good for everyone. 

Your microbes are like armies of your body, they kill the bad ‘pathogens’ and thus protect you from falling sick. Not only that, they also help your immune cells to identify good and bad microbes so that a good microbe can win over bad.

Whenever you are taking antibiotics it is also killing the good stuff in your gut along with the bad stuff. Thus ruining the delicate balance of microbes in your gut.

Avoid antibiotics as much as possible and if it’s necessary to take then don’t forget to take probiotics along with an antibiotic, so that your gut remains balanced.

Now that you know how important our microbes are for us, it’s our responsibility to keep them healthy (so that we can be healthy). Removing sugar from your diet is probably the first thing to do, for keeping the gut healthy.

Bad microbes eat the major amount of sugar than good microbes. So if you take more sugar then you are making your enemies stronger. The obvious thing would be to avoid processed foods and include more fibers in your diet which most people know.

Moreover, no diet is perfect for everyone. So find your diet accordingly. 

One of my favorite personalities Naveen Jain, an entrepreneur recently launched a company named Viome, whose aim is to recommend people microbe based diet. You can get more details on his website

Look after your bacteria, because they are looking after you!.

Gut-microbes-The-new-frontier-in-weight-loss-iStock-628603196-Converted-500x409

And I read somewhere-

”Eat your food as medicines                                                       

Otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food”

Listen to your gut‘ is not only a piece of great advice but very scientific truth also.

Have a great week. Until next time.♥                                                                                                                                                                  -Joy

Footnote-

  1. Viome.com
  2. Healthy food guide
  3. Nature Report
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