FEEDING YOUR EMPTY STOMACH OR FEEDING YOUR BRAIN?
We would like to tweak this old saying “You Are What You Eat” with “You Are What You Think & Eat”. We often think about reshaping our bodies through right diet and exercise, but have we ever thought of reshaping the most important organ – our brain – a decision maker, path finder, leader, and most importantly, an energy source. Contrary to what we believe, it is not an empty stomach but the brain that decides whether to eat or not.
As a food biotechnologist, I advise my “weight conscious” clients not to worry much about their body weight but to worry about their brain. Feed it with proper thoughts, food and happiness and the body weight shall be taken care by itself. We frequently make the mistake of considering a good body shape to be equal to living a sound lifestyle. However, it’s the union of a healthy mind and a perfect body that goes into the making. Have we ever wondered what is connection between food and brain?
Let us explain this scientific phenomenon in a layman’s language as to what happens to the body when food is consumed. When we eat food, Serotonin, a neurotransmitter is produced, that regulates our sleep, appetite and also our mood swings. So, where is this Serotonin found? In brain? No. The food we consume goes to the stomach and then to intestine. So where does this Serotonin lie? Well, it is present in our gut, commonly known as Gastro intestinal Tract (GI). This finding explains one of the reasons for our Binge Eating lifestyle during stressful situations like exams, emotional trauma, depression, anxiety or when we are struck with a disease. According to a study, approximately 90% Serotonin is produced in our GI tract. Hence, it is lined with a huge network of neurons and nerve cells. Just like the brain in our head, this network of neurons in our gut can be labeled as the “brain in the gut”.
As Serotonin is produced in our GI tract, it is highly recommended to take care of the tract. Incorporating Probiotics in our daily diet is one such way to take care of ” Good Bacteria” ratio in our GI tract. So, food items rich in probiotics like curd, buttermilk and yogurt not only nourishes our GI but also our brain that works 24×7, 365 days without resting for a nanosecond.
So, next time before consuming food, think twice just like you do while making an important business deal if it is really good for your brain. It is for you to decide whether to pair up your favorite fast food with a fizzy and sugar-loaded soft drink that destroys the gut flora or Probiotic rich buttermilk that leads to a “happier gut” and ultimately a “happier brain”.