Water & Your Health – It’s all about the Brains and the Belly – Part I

Water & Your Health – It’s all about the Brains and the Belly – Part I
There’s long been debate about how best to maintain and prolong your body’s health. Now it turns out, you don’t have just one brain to take care of so it takes care of you, but two. Who knew?!

This is the case, apparently:

Brain 1 is the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) that controls almost all voluntary and involuntary activities within your body. For example, a voluntary action would be slicing your veggies, while an involuntary action would be blinking, breathing or falling in love. The involuntary actions carried out by your central nervous system are constantly at work taking care of you.

Brain 2 is in your stomach. Yup, it has a mind of its very own. Your stomach’s ‘brain’ is known as the enteric nervous system.  This system is home to 100 million neurons within your intestinal wall. These little neurons transmit important information throughout your body. They also control digestion and send status updates to the brain, letting it know how things are going in your digestive system.

Your two nervous systems have an intricate relationship that’s just now being explored by scientists through the field of neurogastroenterology (try digesting that easily). While the enteric nervous system initiates and sustains digestion on its own, signals from the brain, such as stress and anxiety, can have dramatic effects on how well it works.

About sixty to seventy percent of your immune system lives in your stomach. When pathogenic bacteria (bacteria that can cause infection) visits your GA tract via food or your environment, specialised immune structures called Peyer’s patches that are filled with immune cells, such as B cells and T cells, trigger your immune response to prevent them from passing through the gastrointestinal wall.

Before you stress out (not good for your stomach health, by the by) worrying that you now have two brains to take care of, don’t.

The important thing here is to remember that both brains are very much connected, so that by eating a balanced diet (more about this in Part II), keeping hydrated and your good bacteria levels up, this should pretty much ensure two happy, healthy and balanced brains.

Oh, and because both of my brains are pretty scattered, the blog title stems from that rather catchy ‘It’s all about that Bass’ song. Do yourself a favour and go and have a listen – I guarantee that it’s happy brain food for both regions.

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