The biggest achievement of this century won’t be self-driving cars, it won’t be AI, it won’t be space travel. The biggest achievement of this century will be the learnings of and explorations into our second brain, the gut. Yes, you read that correctly. You can let us know in 100 years if we were wrong.
Although we still only know little about our first brain, we have only just scratched the surface of brain #2’s intricacies.
Three very important letters. They stand for Enteric Nervous System. The ENS responds to emotions, both sends and receives impulses, records experiences, acts independently, learns, remembers, and produces feelings. The ENS is a complex network of proteins, neurons, and support cells. The ENS produces neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, enkephalins (from the endorphins family), and more. The ENS contains over 100 million nerve cells. The ENS is also in the gut.
The gut is directly connected to the brain’s emotional and cognitive centres. So, gut feeling? That’s real. The brain and gut work as a system both educating each other on the state of your wellbeing. Both physically and mentally.
What do we know right now about the gut? Stress is bad. Processed food is bad. Gluten is bad. Probiotics are good. Sleep is good. Vegetables and fruits are good. And we need to start paying much more attention to this complex ecosystem.
There are so many important bits of information we don’t have room to put into this manual, but we encourage you to do some gut research yourselves. More is being discovered by the day.
To start, we recommend this book of lovely gut knowledge:
Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders