The vagus nerve

Huh, the what?  The vagus nerve is the major nerve between the brain & gut – the main highway if you like for the gut-brain axis.

It’s the queen of the parasympathetic nervous system (AKA your internal rest & digest, or if you prefer your chill out system, use whatever description works for you).  Yup, it specialises in calming the body down & allowing foods to be digested so the body can restore its energy plus numerous other functions of course but I’m interested in the food angle.

In other words, your digestion is starting before you even get the food in your mouth!  The brain is controlling contractions in the gastrointestinal tract & the secretion of gastric juices in your tummy.  Yup, it’s all on standby just waiting for the food – it is wholly designed to help us with the digestion process.  Amazing right!

However, if the brain isn’t sending the right signals (think stress), it compromises our digestion because we aren’t in rest & digest mode.  There is not enough bile to break down fats, the muscles don’t move the food along through our intestines, things just get blocked or move too fast – the end result is a lot of unhappiness.

The vagus nerve is responsible for a lot of things; however, the effect on digestion is pretty cool.  To stimulate this amazing nerve is incredibly easy, it does pass by your throat so think, humming, singing, laughing.  How easy is that – right, so put those tunes on whilst you cook & belt out a tune, sing in the car, chuckle over Dad jokes with friends!  It’s good for you & your digestion.

Photo by Thomas Le on Unsplash

#why #easypeasey #wellness #digestion #stressless #happyhealthypeople #consciouslynutritious

Published by Shân

I am incredibly passionate about food and its healing power – it is pretty amazing how what you eat affects how your body works! In fact, I was so fascinated, I went & got myself a degree in it – a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine). Now in all honesty I don’t eat or live a perfect lifestyle, nor will I ever pretend I do. Realistically I know you won’t be perfect either. And that’s OK. As a Clinical Nutritionist I focus on what we eat and how this has an impact on our health and wellness – everyday.

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