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The Gut Brain Connection

For thousands of years, Ayurveda has explained and promoted the importance of the gut brain connection. The focus on digestion, particularly digestive agni, and its connection to our emotional and physiological wellbeing has been core the Ayurvedic wellness system.
The gut bacteria affects all type of illness and physical challenges, from your state of mental health, your stress levels, and your ability to sleep, your gut bacteria plays a major role. The brain and gut have a vast network of neurons that relay vital information, including how well you feel physically, how stressed you are, and your state of mental health.

Anybody seeking to improve their gut health needs to focus on improving their digestion first. The process of Agni/digestive fire acting upon food leading to the formation of nutrients/by products and subsequent building up of body tissues is known as ‘dhatu parinama’. This process of tissue building helps us understand that the end product of proper digestion is not just nourished tissues alone, but stronger immunity and faster tissue repair.

So how does one support the gut to keep the gut and brain connection strong and promote overall wellness? Here are some tips:
Reduce Stress – for me it is nature bathing, for you it might be meditation, walking, or disengaging from any activity that triggers a stress response.
Adjust your Diet – Changing your diet can go a long way in enhancing your gut health and uplifting your mood. Ensure that your diet contains variety, shoot for 3-4 different colors for each meal. Each meal should have all six ayurvedic tastes which will then ensure that you are getting a balance of nutrients.
Consider a Detox – Consistent and regular detox are a great way to keep things in balance. Seasonal changes in the spring and fall are a great time to reboot, rejuvenate, and gear up for the next season. I practice a daily detox every two weeks, where for one day each of my three meals consists of homemade Khichdi prepared with ghee and warming spices. In between meals I hydrate with coconut water infused with a piece of ginger.

The key to keeping your gut and brain connection strong is customizing it for your body and lifestyle such that it will promote consistency.

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