Mindful Eating. Healthy brain-gut connection
Instinct and gut are often associated one with the other to describe a gut feeling, the natural and primal instinct.
It is more than just a figure of speech: brain and gut are in constant communication and this has a precise impact on our sense of well-being. Let’s find out why!
Our body is composed of more bacteria than cells, the heritage which builds our microbiome, better known as intestinal flora.
The microbiome plays a vital role in our psycho-physical health: it interacts with the neural network, the central and enteric nervous system, also called “second brain”.
Emotional stress causes maladjustments in the brain-gut axis and alters our microflora.In this case we speak of “dysbiosis”, which can lead to different problems. Gut activity is strongly connected with emotions, so care of the gut must also include care of the emotions.
To tackle stress many people practice various meditation techniques and attend awareness courses, including Mindfulness.
To maintain mind-body-brain balance it is advisable to practice mindful eating.
Mindful eating: How and why
Eating carelessly can hinder digestion, cause hormonal alterations, weight increase and gastrointestinal difficulties.
Mindful eating reduces the release of stress hormones, avoids inflammation and facilitates digestion. What to do:
#just eat. Focus on eating during meals, unless you are having a delightful conversation with friends, and make it a special moment.
#do it slowly because it enables you to better enjoy the taste of the food and feel full faster.
#chew, chew… chew. We have heard this ever since elementary school and it is so true: “Digestion starts in the mouth”.
The enzymes produced when we chew help us digest and absorb nutritional substances more effectively.
#ask yourself why. Are you eating because you are hungry or for some other reason? Because it is something you like, it is good for you, you just want to? Think about the benefits or the consequences.
#be grateful for what you eat. No matter what belief or religion you observe, gratitude is a very positive feeling which improves mood, it protects from stress and negative emotions to the extent that it is the object of scientific studies.
#enjoy. At dinner or during the meal in which you have the most time, try to enjoy each single aroma, consistency, taste and perfume of the food.
#be mindful of the here and now. Bring your distracted mind back to what you are doing, as if you were doing authentic meditation.
Pay attention to the moment and to your breathing. Take advantage of the meal time to enjoy the rich experience of sensory stimuli.
Remember these few simple rules at every meal.
Your mindfulness will help you to have a healthier brain-gut connection.
Your microflora will thank you for it!
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