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What to Eat for a Healthy Gut (and a Healthy Brain)

nutrition Aug 16, 2022


Radically Sensible Eating

We've all heard expressions connecting the gut to the emotional part of the brain, but have you ever really thought about why we say these things?

  • When you follow your instinct you’re trusting your gut
  • If something is highly upsetting it's said to be gut-wrenching
  • Revealing a large amount of information is referred to as spilling your guts
  • A nervous feeling is called butterflies in the stomach
  • Spontaneous response is a gut reaction

The gut-brain connection is more than just a collection of phrases. The gut and the brain are partners and directly affect each other. But which is more influential? The gut on the brain or the brain on the gut? In truth, the brain and gut must cooperate or there is chaos in the gut and misery in the head.

New evidence has identified that nerve cells in the gut act like a second brain. This makes sense as health issues of the gut are often present in those with anxiety and depression—and those with anxiety and depression often develop gut issues. What we eat is a major contributor to good gut health, but it’s not the only factor.

In this 12-minute video, Carolyn Denton will explain more about this gut-brain connection, clarify the difference between the microbiome and microbiota, and help you learn the basics of how you can feed your second brain. Check out the show notes below the video!



  • The gut is known as the “Second Brain.” There is exquisite communication between the brain in our head and the one in our gut.
  • Although often used interchangeably, there is a difference between the gut microbiome and the microbiota.
  • What are probiotics and prebiotics and how do they help?
  • Learn what foods have probiotics and prebiotics
  • Probiotics and prebiotics have a symbiotic relationship.
  • Probiotics and prebiotics are present naturally in specific foods.
  • Besides the foods we eat, there are multiple other causes of microbiome and microbiota imbalance.
  • The stability of the gut bacteria can impact the function of the immune system, endocrine system, and central nervous system.
  • Why the Enteric Nervous System in the gut is important and how new evidence is showing it contributes to mood changes such as anxiety and depression
  • How IBS plays a role in anxiety and depression
  • Is serotonin created in your gut?
  • What are the causes of gut imbalance and can it be remedied?
  • Discover the best way to promote an optimal environment for brain health
  • What you eat is one of the most important factors influencing your health


Carolyn Denton, MA, LN
A licensed nutritionist and respected integrative nutrition expert, Carolyn has helped patients improve their mental and physical health through mindful eating for more than 25 years. She is also the co-author of The Chemistry of Joy.

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice and is not a replacement for advice and treatment from a medical professional. Consult your doctor or other qualified health professional before beginning any diet change, supplement, or lifestyle program. See our terms for more information.

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