We have what’s comparable to a city lying in our Gut. Massive communication, strategic cooperation, a 100 trillion bacteria, all constantly “talking” to our brain on “what’s going on down here.” Our body is made up of approximately 10 trillion cells yet in our gut we have 100 trillion microorganisms or 10 times the amount of cells in our body. They do everything from digestion to forming a massive, highly organized defense system. Special Forces is a better description for this amazing survival mechanism built into us. This highly specialized protection can even detect the second we have put a pathogen (something that could harm us) into our mouth and immediately activates our defense system to protect us.
Our intestinal tract, which is often referred to as “our gut”, actually has brain cells in it. How many of us have heard or even said, “I’ve got this gut feeling” or something very close to it?
Remember getting “butterflies” in your stomach before going on stage, public speaking, a job interview or a first date? Underlying this sensation is an often overlooked network of neurons lining our guts that is so extensive the name second brain has become more and more the norm for identifying it. A big part of our emotions can be influenced by that second brain.
Scientists say if you put this intelligent mass together to give this second brain a “size,” it’s probably close to the size of that of a cat’s brain. In reality though, it’s very spread out. Technically known as the enteric system, our second brain is made up of neurons embedded in the walls of our alimentary canal (which means mouth to anus).
The length of this alimentary canal inside us averages between 30 – 35 feet in length. The surface area our food passes through, if it was opened up and all its absorption layers laid out flat, is approximately the size of a tennis court or 2700 Sq. Ft., and that’s just the small intestine! Its big responsibility is breaking down food, absorbing nutrients and expelling wastes, including all the muscle contractions that move your food completely down the entire 35 feet from chewing to expelling.
The ancient Greek Father of Medicine once said “all diseases begin in the gut.” He was way ahead of his time and right.
Your gut has a HUGE impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Even what goes on in your gut can directly affect your mood. Poor digestion can actually cause neurological and psychological changes and even disorders. How much more important it becomes to have a good healthy diet and optimal colon health! When you are constipated, the entire process of digestion comes to a screeching halt. Did you know that when our second brain in our intestinal tract gets upset, so does the brain that sits on top of your shoulders? The two brains are interconnected, almost like Siamese twins.
Taking care of your gut can mean a strong immune system and a happy heart. The way we can take care of our gut is by what we put in our mouths. Our food and our supplements can hugely determine if you live happy and healthy or sick and scared. Keeping a good balance of our friendly bacteria, the right diet and having proper elimination is the ultimate secret. It’s extremely important to understand that using antibiotics is the largest hole you can punch in your immune system as it throws off significantly the delicate balance of our friendly bacteria.