Pitner Orthodontics - October 2019

Thinking With Your Gut The Amazing Connection Between Your Stomach and Your Brain

While it may seem strange to think about, the human stomach is truly a thing of wonder. Most humans only acknowledge its digestive processes, but the gut plays a much more influential role in our day-to-day lives than simply breaking down food for nutrient production; it is closely connected to our emotional states, as well. Think about it. Have you ever felt butterflies before a date, intestinal pain during moments of stress, or nausea before an important presentation? Have you ever told someone to “follow their gut” before making a big decision? These physical symptoms are not a coincidence; they are known in the scientific world as the gut-brain axis.

brain sends messages to all other organs in your body, so it’s not surprising it communicates with your stomach, too. What is

surprising, however, is that the connection goes both ways. Just as your brain can relay information to your gut about excitement and anxiety, your gut can have a direct impact on the way you feel. According to a recent study published by the National Library of Medicine, when a person’s microbiome — the diverse population of good and bad bacteria living in the GI tract — becomes significantly altered or imbalanced, psychological or neurological issues can arise. In response to these emerging findings, dietary approaches and probiotics are being explored to see how well they can modulate a person’s

microbiome and address symptoms. While research is still being conducted to determine the extent of the stomach’s influence over emotional and mental states, plenty of evidence proves the connection is real. Your stomach “talks” to you all the time, and, if you didn’t have enough reasons to pay attention to the food you eat, now you have one more thing to keep in mind. If you start thinking a bit more with your gut, your health will thank you for it!

Your gut is connected to the limbic system, the part of the brain that processes emotions. The

How to Assemble a Veggie Skeleton

Those who eat paleo may struggle to find a Halloween treat suitable to their diet. But no matter what your dietary restrictions are, everyone can enjoy some raw veggies with a healthy dip. Here are some tips for constructing your very own veggie skeleton — a spooky twist on a time-tested treat.

For the Head

Your favorite paleo-friendly dip makes a great canvas for a face. Pour it into a bowl and build features on top using different veggies.

For the Ribcage

Sliced cucumbers make for great vertebrae, and bell pepper slivers can be used to simulate ribs. Alternate between the two to give your skeleton some backbone.

For the Arms and Legs

Any long and straight vegetable will do the trick here. If you want to be anatomically accurate, consider using some spherical vegetables for joints.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and wacky with your veggie skeleton. The whole point, after all, is to have some fun and give people a reason to smile.

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