16 Jun Nurture your cognition with 3 Powerful Gut-brain Nutrients
What weighs as much as your brain, and you can’t live without?
Your 3.5 pound microbiome! The microbiome is the bacteria that resides throughout your body–most abundantly in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The microbiome lines your entire GI tract and plays many crucial roles.
Educating your immune system
Yup, the immune system is educated and supported by a healthy microbiome! 70% of your immune system lines your gut, and as your immune system develops to support and protect YOU, your microbiome is helping it along the way to do its job.
If your immune system is constantly triggered and over active because of the foods you’re eating, or chronic stress, this could lead to excess inflammation, which is damaging to your brain. Fortunately, aside from choosing the foods best for your individual health, there are immunity system boosters that studies show can have a real and lasting benefit.
Supporting digestion and liberating nutrients from your food
An essential part of the process of the digestive system comes from the bacteria that line your GI tract. It helps to liberate and break down the vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat, which aids in the absorption and assimilation of those nutrients.
Supporting a healthy gut-brain connection
Your GI tract is often referred to as your second brain, and your microbiome has a lot to do with this. The lining of the gut includes the autonomic nervous system, which is a massive amount of nervous tissue that connects to the brain via the vagus nerve. This lining is enmeshed with both the microbiome and the immune system.
You can think of those three systems–the autonomic nervous system, the microbiome, and the immune system–as a giant mesh that lives and works together in the GI tract. The health of all three support not just healthy digestion, but keep inflammation down and support the brain in what it needs too.
Gut health is essential to brain health
When the gut is compromised, inflammation rises, and over time, those inflammatory molecules can leak out from the gut and into the bloodstream becoming chronic inflammation that can affect many body systems, including the brain and our cognition.
Besides eliminating the common food culprits when it comes to supporting a healthy gut (the usual suspects) we can also support the gut-brain connection with gut health foods and specific gut health supplements. Here are just a few nutrients that I recommend when it comes to nurturing that delicate system:
- Probiotics – A favorite probiotic by Klaire Labs “was specifically designed to influence the gut brain axis through defined mechanisms including strengthening of the gut barrier function, modulation of cytokines and inflammatory response, neuroprotective metabolite production, and HPA regulation.” The use of probiotics is supported by many robust studies. I like taking probiotics before bed, when the microbiome seems to be active.
- L-Theanine – This amino acid from Green Tea, can promote a restful and relaxed state, while not adding to drowsiness. Studies have also shown that it supports a healthy microbiome, you can learn more about that here.
- Magnesium L-Threonate – We can all use a little magnesium, since most Americans are deficient in this essential mineral that supports over 300 enzymatic processes in the body. This magnesium studied by researchers at MIT concluded that elevating brain magnesium with L-Threonate may be a useful strategy to support cognitive abilities and decrease common age-related memory decline.
Here’s to a healthy brain, a robust microbiome, and a mood that can handle whatever life throws at us!
And as always I’d love to hear what works for you! Comment below or contact me here.