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Let’s Talk Food: Taking care of your gut - Hawaii Tribune-Herald (subscription)

Now that the holidays are behind us, we can concentrate on ourselves and eat foods that are good for our overall health, both physically and mentally.

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As you read this column, know that trillions of bacteria, mostly living in your gastrointestinal tract or GI, are working for you. Actually, they were with you since you were 5 years old and formed a microbiome. Researchers have known that there is a connection between gut microbes and allergies, heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. But recently, scientists have found our gut has a nervous system, with as many nerve cells as our spinal cord. So the bugs in our intestinal tract can affect our mood also.

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According to an article in Eating Well, November 2019, the anxious feelings we have when we are nervous can affect our tummies. A pioneer in gut-brain research, Emeran A. Mayer, Ph.D., and executive director of the G. Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience at UCLA says, “When we feel stressed, that’s your mental state affecting your gut. The stress hormones your body secretes impact the microbes and change the way they function.” The bugs in our gut also affect our mood. “It turns out that our gut bacteria-including strains you may have seen on your yogurt container or supple Read More

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