How the Vagus Nerve Affects Gut Health

The vagus nerve delivers a variety of signals between the digestive system and the brain. It travels from the brainstem down through the neck to the abdomen, innervating areas of the face, throat, ear, and heart, as well as the whole digestive tract. 

Additionally, the vagus nerve is considered the main part of the parasympathetic nervous system. This system drives what’s often referred to as the body’s “rest and digest” state. So, for the digestive system to work at its best, the body needs to be in a relaxed state.    (more…)

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Can Your Gut Affect Your Mental Health?

Though the gut and the brain aren’t positioned near each other within the human body, the two are closely connected. Your gut can significantly impact your mental health, contributing to issues including anxiety and depression. 

Here, we’ll discuss the link between the gut and the mind, as well as strategies for promoting optimal gut health (more…)

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What Causes Constipation?

Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems in the U.S. An estimated 16 out of 100 American adults experience symptoms of constipation, and 33 out of 100 adults over the age of 60 have constipation symptoms. 

Understanding what causes constipation, to begin with, can help you avoid this digestive issue. Here, we’ll discuss constipation and the factors that most frequently cause it.  (more…)

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Top Reasons for Digestive Issues

Your digestive system plays a crucial role in your body’s overall function. Whenever you eat or drink, the organs of the digestive system break down what you consume and convert it into fuel for energy, development, and ultimately support your body’s repair processes. 

Unfortunately, digestive issues are common and can be presented in many forms. Discomfort, bloating, and gas are three common symptoms that often accompany digestive concerns. 

Understanding the possible signs of digestive issues can put you on the road towards better gastrointestinal health. These reasons include: (more…)

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What is SIBO?

In a healthy gut, there’s a balance of bacteria that’s crucial for digestion. However, if the balance of this bacteria is disrupted, it can negatively impact your health. SIBO is a condition that’s caused by excess bacteria in the small intestine, and it can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Here, we’ll discuss SIBO, what causes it, and what you can do to prevent it. 

Understanding SIBO

SIBO stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Also referred to as blind loop syndrome, SIBO occurs when bacteria, namely those that aren’t typically found in the small intestine, increase abnormally. This compromises the health of the small intestine and can interfere with digestion.  (more…)

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Benefits of Digestive Enzymes

Have you ever heard of digestive enzymes? These small proteins play a powerful role in the body’s digestive process, making them essential to the health of your gut and entire body. While digestive enzymes are produced naturally in the body, they’re also found in certain foods and supplements. 

As we age digestive enzymes decrease, particularly one called hydrochloric acid. Digestive enzymes are important for breaking down food, a decrease in the number of these enzymes makes it harder for the body to properly digest what you eat.

Digestive enzymes can provide many benefits to your overall health, including: (more…)

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Why it is Important to Take Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics and prebiotics both work to maintain gut health by supporting a beneficial colony of bacteria and microorganisms in the body. While some people assume that any bacteria in the body is harmful, healthy bacteria do exist and are essential to your digestive function. Whether taken as supplements or consumed in the food that you eat, probiotics and prebiotics are an excellent way to improve and maintain the health of your digestive system. 

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics consist of healthy live bacteria and yeasts that are found naturally in the body. While there are always both good and bad bacteria living in the body, it’s important for the bacteria to be balanced. When there’s an excess of bad bacteria, the imbalance causes an infection. Probiotics can help rid the body of excessive bad bacteria to resolve infections and promote balance.  (more…)

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The Connections Between Your Emotions and Your Health

Emotions and Your HealthMany people think of physical health and emotional health as two separate aspects of your wellbeing. But, in truth, your emotions and physical health are deeply connected. So, taking care of your emotions is as important as taking care of your body when it comes to optimal wellness. 

Aspects of your physical health that are impacted by your emotions include:

Immune Health

Stress, anxiety, depression, and poor mood can weaken the immune system, making your body more susceptible to infection and illness. Additionally, since inflammation is the immune system’s protective response, negative emotions can lead to increased inflammation in the body. When negative emotions occur frequently for a prolonged period, chronic inflammation can result. Left untreated, chronic inflammation can increase the risk of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.  (more…)

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Why the Gut Microbiome is Crucial for Your Health

One of the keys to longevity is a healthy gut microbiome, which is crucial for your health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, many people overlook this important part of their body, which can lead to sluggishness and improper nutrition.

What is the Gut Microbiome?

The gut microbiome is the totality of bacteria, microorganisms, fungi, protozoa, and fungi that make your gastrointestinal tract (GIT) their home. 

Your gut microbiome affects your immune responses, neuroendocrine system, and metabolism. A healthy microbiome helps you to absorb nutrients and minerals properly, but it also synthesizes amino acids, vitamins, and enzymes. 

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The Gut-Brain Connection

Most people don’t draw any kind of connection between their mind and their stomach, apart from listening to their body’s cues regarding hunger and fullness. In truth, the brain and the gut have a much stronger relationship than many realize. If you’ve ever felt the sensation of “butterflies in your stomach” or felt like you had a “gut feeling” about something, you’ve experienced the gut-brain connection firsthand.

The system of communication between the gut and the brain is referred to as the gut-brain axis. This connection suggests that the health of the brain may directly affect the health of the gut, and vice versa. The axis is made up of both biochemical and physical connections within the body, mostly related to the nervous system.

The Gut-Brain Axis and the Nervous System

The average person’s gut contains around 500 million neurons, which are directly connected to the brain by the nervous system. Several animal studies have shown a connection between stress and gastrointestinal issues, and human studies have also shown that those who suffer from conditions affecting the gut, such as Crohn’s disease or IBS, have reduced vagus nerve function.

(more…)

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