We have all heard the expression “ You are what you eat”. I like to say, “ You are what gets broken down and utilized or what circulates in your blood stream.”
We have a central nervous system, or CNS, that is made up of the brain and the spinal column. And (drum roll please), we also have a second brain and nervous system called the enteric nervous system or ENS. The ENS is a vast neural network that rivals the brain and spine and communicates with it.
Just to give you some perspective on this:
There are 100 million neurons in the spinal cord and 500 million in your gut! The ENS has all the neurotransmitters of the brain. For example, it houses 90% of our serotonin along with norepinephrine acetylcholine, gamma-aminobutyric acid and other endorphins.
This explains why we can get high from eating desert as well as why a bad mood can spoil our appetite and digestion.
If we eat food that is not right for us, we can create damage inside the gut. It can alter the composition of the bacteria within the gut and the environment that is called the microbiome. With this damage comes inflammation, leaky gut, food allergies and intolerances.
Inflammation is considered the beginning of all dis-stress and disease processes.
So, it is important to be aware of what you eat. It may also be important to look at other ways to heal and support the digestive tract beyond food itself. It is quite common to need digestive enzymes, probiotics and sometimes other supplements to restore your guts proper environment.
I have always used nutritional supplementation in my practice because I believe it is impossible to get everything we need from our food sources, especially if we are trying to heal a dis-ease process. Chiropractic philosophy has always been to get to the root of the problem and correct it. I believe that healing the gut is the way to go!