Listen to Your Gut

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Have you ever had "butterflies" in your stomach when you were nervous? Or had a "gut feeling" about something? There is a strong connection between the gut and the brain. The gut, known mostly for its function in digestion, communicates with the brain via the vagus nerve. In fact, it's considered to be our "second brain."

Can food affect your mood? Researchers say that it can. Among other healthy habits such as exercise and getting plenty of sleep, diet plays an important role on how we feel... and it begins in the gut.

Maintaining a healthy gut isn't that hard. Start by adding some probiotics and prebiotics to your diet. Probiotics, live bacteria found in foods such as yogurt, kefir, fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso, can help regulate the digestive system's bacteria. Prebiotics are fibers from carbohydrates that we don't digest. This fiber becomes the food that feeds the bacteria and help it flourish. Some examples of prebiotics are garlic, onions, apples, bananas, barley, chicory and burdock. To avoid gas and bloating, go slow when adding in these foods.