Did you know that the relationship between your gut and your brain is bi-directional? The gut sends messages to the brain and the brain sends messages to the gut. This is one reason why when we feel stressed, we can have an upset stomach, or why digestive issues can cause us to feel stressed. If you are middle aged like me, you have probably also figured out an important connection between a poor attitude and poor health – “Stinking Thinking” is what this is typically called!
When you eat something and feel anything less than perfect, your body is talking to you. It is telling you that some type of reaction is occurring and you need to pay attention. Are you feeling tired? Do you have a headache? What is on the end of your fork can be connected to any health complaint. Every system of your body improves when your gut functions more normally. And when you fix your body, you’ll fix your brain.
We each host a completely unique microbiome (gut bacteria) that is influenced by our genetics, our antecedents (how we’ve lived our life), our environment, and our diet. Your immune cells in the gut sit on the same surface as your microbiome, and are heavily influenced by it. It takes many different parts to make your car drive down the road, but the primary control is your hands on the steering wheel right? The microbiome is the hands on the steering wheel of every body function. What foods or bacteria in your microbiome would you like to be driving your car? This next section is for my mom, who I love more and more every day and thank g-d for giving me such an amazing mother! She asks me…. What is so wrong about eating bread or wheat? Eating lots of bread products every day – toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner – you are getting large amounts of exorphins. Exorphins trigger the same response on the opiod receptors as morphine, which is highly addictive, and are capable of causing mental derangement if they make it to the brain. Over time, you eat more and more bread products and now you can begin to understand why depression is so prevalent in the United States. We are ranked third in the world for depressive disorders, just after India and China. About one in five adults in the United States experiences some form of mental illness each year according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. (1)
Interestingly enough, there are no reported enzymes in humans that can fully digest the gluten proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. These grains will cause inflammation and intestinal permeability every time they are eaten. Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD conducted his research at Harvard University and published a paper that showed that the gluten in wheat causes intestinal permeability in every human. (2) Since wheat and gluten can not be fully digested, they travel to places including the brain and prompt the immune system to attack them causing inflammation. So… feeding your gut constantly with wheat products, may cause your car to some day crash. Do you want to put wheat behind the wheel? Love you mom!!
(2) Hollon J, Puppa EL, Greenwald B, Goldberg E, Guerrerio A, Fasano A. Effect of gliadin on permeability of intestinal biopsy explants from celiac disease patients and patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Nutrients 2015 Feb 27, 7(3)1565-76.