Two brains one Mind

Ever felt like eating certain foods makes you happy? You may be having one of those days wherein nothing seems to be going as you wish and suddenly you have a craving for a slice of the chocolate truffle cake that’s in your fridge at home or for the heavenly dark chocolate from the luxury delicacies store around the corner from your workplace. Then one bite in and you feel like everything seems much better already. This is because what you eat has a profound impact on your mood both short term and long term. This happens in two ways. Foods such as dark chocolate facilitate the immediate increase in levels of serotonin, the happy hormone. This has to do with the fact that our gut is our second brain, corroborated by the fact that they originate from the same tissue during fetal development. The two brains hence are connected by a nerve termed vagus. On the other hand green vegetables, fruits and probiotic agents work over a longer period of time and help modify our gut flora which facilitate digestion and at the same time release neurotransmitters which are again involved in mood modification. It is therefore paramount that healthy balanced diets are employed to maintain optimal health of the gut, both anatomically and microbiologically. This involves increasing amounts of the aforementioned foods and decreasing fructose high foods. Fructose and sugars promote growth of pathological bacteria thereby overtaking beneficial bacteria, and suppress BDNF, a key growth hormone of the brain resulting in long term instability of mood.

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