🔑 Key Takeaways
- Proper modulation of the sense of self through nutrition and lifestyle behaviors can enhance bodily and brain health, performance, and healing. Consuming fermented foods and avoiding high fiber diets are important for gut microbiome diversity and overall well-being.
- The vagus nerve serves as a superhighway connecting the brain to bodily organs, and understanding this communication is crucial for optimal neuron and connection function. Tools and protocols exist to activate and regulate the vagus nerve for overall bodily well-being.
- Developing conscious control of skeletal muscles like the diaphragm and improving the chemistry of other organs through breathing can improve brain function, including focus, thinking, memory, and sleep. This powerful system is easily accessible without extensive breathwork practice.
- By focusing on exhales during breathing exercises, we can slow down our heart rate and promote relaxation, harnessing the automatic relationship between the diaphragm, lungs, brain, and heart.
- Our breathing patterns can either increase alertness or induce calmness. Understanding the mechanics of breathing and its impact on our state of being can help manage stress and improve performance.
- Breathing exercises can help alleviate carbon dioxide build-up and increase oxygen levels in the body, leading to improved alertness and overall health. However, caution should be taken while performing these exercises in certain situations. Understanding the relationship between breathing and internal chemistry can help maintain a healthy balance.
- By mastering your breathing patterns, you can alter your body's chemistry and tackle stress and inflammation. Understanding the mechanisms can help tailor breathing techniques to your needs, but advanced practices like free diving require expert guidance.
- Our gut communicates with our brain through neurons, influencing everything from our decision-making while underwater to our desire to eat. Understanding and nurturing this connection is crucial for overall well-being.
- Understanding when your gut is full or empty can help you avoid compulsive or subconscious eating and aid in intermittent fasting. Autophagy can also be stimulated, leading to improved cell health.
- Our gut neurons communicate with our brain to regulate hunger and food cravings. Learning how these neurons work can help us make healthier food choices.
- A small amount of glutamine mixed with full-fat cream can eliminate sugar cravings. To improve gut health and brain function, maintain proper pH balance in the gut through diet and supplements. Increasing gut acidity through supplements is better than antacids to reduce acid reflux.
- Nasal breathing, consuming fermented foods, and maintaining the appropriate pH balance can positively impact the gut microbiome, reduce inflammation, and improve overall health.
- Ingesting daily servings of fermented foods can reduce inflammation, improve gut microbiome, cognition, and even aid in healing conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. Make sure to incorporate fermented foods in your diet every day.
- Leaky gut is caused by weakened tight junctions in the gut, which allows food molecules to leak into the bloodstream and cause health issues. Adjusting gut health through supplements and fermented foods can help, but caution and healthcare consultation is essential. Microbiota diversity is the ideal goal.
- Regularly consuming fermented foods can increase gut microbiota diversity, essential for overall health. Poor gut health can lead to chronic illness and muscle loss, while a healthy gut-immune system relationship through diet is crucial.
- The area post-streamer triggers the vomit reflex in response to the chemistry of the blood and our consciousness, but there are ways to regulate it, such as adjusting neuron activity and using natural remedies like ginger, peppermint, and cannabis.
- Fever is a natural defense mechanism employed by the body to kill harmful foreign substances. Circumventricular organs like O VLT play a crucial role in this process. While CBD may have anxiety and nausea-reducing effects, it is important to seek professional advice before using it.
- Cooling the feet, hands, and face is more effective in reducing fever. Understanding the role of the vagus nerve can help recognize and respond to internal cues.
- Stress disrupts gut-brain communication but interoception, the sense of self built from gut chemistry, breathing, and more, can enhance our understanding of our own and others' internal states. Mastering stress tools is vital for a healthy gut-brain connection.
- Taking a few moments to focus on your heart rate and breath can improve your ability to connect with others, maintain focus, and boost overall mood. Tuning into your body can reap great benefits.
📝 Podcast Summary
The Importance of Interoception and Gut Health on Overall Health and Performance
Interoception or sense of self is our ability to sense our internal landscape including heartbeat and gut, and plays a crucial role in bodily and brain health, performance, and healing. Recent research shows that a high fiber diet reduces the diversity of health-promoting bacteria in the gut, while consuming fermented foods increases anti-inflammatory markers and improves gut microbiome diversity. Sense of self is as important as sleep for short-term and long-term health and sets the stage for everything we are capable of. By understanding the mechanisms of self-sensing and modulating it through nutrition, exercise, and supplementation, we can improve sleep, body composition, mental focus, mood, stress regulation, and recovery from injuries.
Understanding the Body-Brain Communication via the Vagus Nerve
The system that connects our brain to all bodily organs is the vagus nerve, which consists of a series of superhighways transmitting mechanical and chemical information to and from the brain. Our sense of self depends on the mechanical and chemical information of each organ, except the brain itself. The brain is a command center, governing changes in the body's organs and muscles, but it doesn't have senses of its own. Understanding this brain-body communication is important to ensure optimal neuron and connection function. To regulate bodily functions like heart rate, breathing, and digestion, there are protocols and tools to activate the vagus nerve and keep it working well.
How Organ Control Can Boost Brain Function
Controlling the mechanical and chemical state of your organs can improve brain function. The brain receives information about the mechanical and chemical state of organs such as the lungs and diaphragm to improve breathing, and in turn, brain function. Conscious control of the diaphragm is possible because it is a skeletal muscle. Changing the chemistry of other organs in the body, such as the gut and spleen, improves immune system function and aids healing. Developing an awareness of breathing and the ability to leverage it can shift the brain in a desired direction, improving focus, thinking, memory, and sleep. This system is powerful and easy to access, requiring no extensive breathwork practice.
The Connection Between Breathing and Heart Rate
Our breathing pattern affects our heart rate as it is controlled by mechanical changes in the diaphragm, lungs, and heart. Inhaling increases the size of the heart, thus making it pump blood slower, while exhaling makes the heart smaller and pumps blood faster. The brain registers these changes in the heart and sends signals to speed up or slow down the heart rate accordingly. By emphasizing exhales through physiological Sy two inhales, we can slow down our heart rate and become more calm. This autonomic and automatic relationship between the diaphragm, lungs, brain, and heart can be leveraged to set the conditions of our mind and promote relaxation.
The Connection Between Breathing and Brain Activity
Breathing affects our brain activity and alertness, and we can change our state of mind through the way we inhale and exhale. Inhaling deeply and exhaling less vigorously can increase alertness and heart rate, while focusing on equal inhale and exhale durations can have a calming effect. The mechanics of our internal organs and brain are fundamentally connected, and our breathing patterns reflect this. The body has Paz receptors that sense pressure in the lungs and inform the brain about their fullness, while carbon dioxide and oxygen levels also play a role in triggering the Gasper reflex that makes us inhale. Understanding the impact of breathing on our overall state of being can help us manage our stress and improve our performance in any activity.
The importance of balancing carbon dioxide and oxygen for optimal health and the role of breathing exercises in achieving this balance.
Maintaining a balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen is essential for the health of our tissues. Breathing rapidly can alleviate carbon dioxide build-up and increase levels of oxygen, leading to heightened alertness. However, it is important to be cautious and not engage in such exercises while driving or in water. Carbon dioxide build-up triggers neurons that cause a gasp reflex or the impulse to breathe, and exhaling can reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. Knowing the relationship between breathing, the heart, vascular and respiratory systems can help you keep track of your internal chemistry, and breathing exercises can help you adjust it for better health.
The Power of Breathing: Regulating Your Body and Mind
Controlling your breathing can help you achieve a state of alertness and calmness. Practicing different breathing patterns can change the chemistry of your body and help you cope with stress and inflammation. By understanding the basic mechanisms of breathing, you can design a breathing pattern that suits you instead of following a one-size-fits-all approach. One way to control your breathing is through the Herring Brewer reflex, which reduces your desire to breathe when your lungs are inflated. However, it's important to seek expert guidance if you want to explore advanced techniques like free diving as it can be dangerous without proper training.
Understanding the Connection Between Our Gut and Brain for Better Health
The hearing brewer reflex plays a crucial role in decision-making about breathing while underwater. As all systems in the body are tubes, our digestive system communicates with our brain about mechanical pressures and chemical status via neurons. The sphincter openings along the digestive tract influence the areas of the brain involved in feeding, which signal our desire to eat more. However, as the gut expands, a signal is sent to the brain to shut down the neurons responsible for driving that desire. This communication between the gut and brain can even control basic movements of the musculature to take another bite. It is crucial to understand the importance of this communication in maintaining a healthy gut and overall well-being.
Developing Gut Awareness for Better Eating Habits
Developing an awareness of how full or empty your gut is at various times can help you override signals of PSO receptors and gut fullness or emptiness, which can lead to compulsive or subconscious eating. This skill can be useful for people who are interested in intermittent fasting, as they may struggle with the sensation of an empty stomach. Autophagy, the body's ability to clear away certain dead cells, can be stimulated by fasting. Being able to sense whether your gut is full or empty and understanding the communication between your gut and brain can help override the urge to eat when not necessary.
How Our Gut Neurons Control Our Appetite & Food Preferences.
Our gut communicates with our brain through neurons like GLP one and GPR six that sense stretch, nutrients, and fatty acids. These neurons send signals to the brain to trigger hunger or satiety, depending on the state of our digestive system. The activation of GPR 65 neurons by omega-three fatty acids and amino acids also influences our food preferences towards healthier options. Understanding how these neurons work can help in regulating our hunger and cravings for sugar or unhealthy foods.
Maintaining Gut Health for Combatting Sugar Cravings and Improved Brain Function
To combat sugar cravings, ingesting a small amount of glutamine, an amino acid, mixed with full-fat cream can eliminate sugar cravings. Additionally, maintaining the proper pH balance in the gut by keeping it slightly more acidic than other tissues is essential for proper gut function as well as brain and immune system health. To reduce acid reflux, it is counterintuitive to increase gut acidity through supplements like hydrochloric acid rather than antacids. Proper gut chemistry through a balance in gut acidity and alkalinity is a scientifically backed approach to improving overall health, including brain function. This is accomplished by maintaining proper pH balance in the gut through diet and supplements.
The Importance of Gut Microbiome and How to Improve it
The gut microbiome plays a significant role in regulating immune function, mood, and brain health. The microbiota in our mucosal lining tissues depend on how alkaline or acidic they are. Nasal breathing most of the time and refraining from mouth breathing improves the nasal microbiome and immune defense against particles that could get you sick. An appropriate pH gradient along the gut is necessary to populate it with the appropriate microbiota. Consuming certain types of foods, such as fermented foods, can help adjust the gut microbiome and reduce inflammatory cytokines, like TNF-alpha and interleukin-6. A diet high in fiber or fermented foods can positively impact the gut microbiome and inflammatory markers and thus improve brain and body health.
The Power of Fermented Foods for a Healthy Gut
Ingesting fermented foods on a daily basis has more positive impacts on the gut microbiome and inflammatory markers than a high fiber diet. Two to four servings of fermented foods per day help reduce inflammatory markers and positively adjust the gut microbiome, leading to benefits in cognition, focusing abilities, sleep quality, and wound healing. Adjusting the gut microbiome has also been shown to be useful in improving symptoms of various auto-immune conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, leaky gut, Hashimoto's, and eczema. Ingesting different kinds of fermented foods also increases the ability to digest carbohydrates. Hence, all of us should aim to ingest fermented foods on a daily basis.
Understanding Leaky Gut and Ways to Alleviate It
Leaky gut occurs when the tight junctions between cells in the gut fail to function properly due to environmental factors. This can cause molecules, including food proteins, to leak out of the gut and into the bloodstream, leading to the development of food allergies and auto immune disorders. Supplementing with glutamine or adjusting the gut microbiota through fermented foods may help alleviate leaky gut. Additionally, some people ingest hydrochloric acid tablets midway through a meal to adjust gut acidity and improve symptoms. However, caution must be taken when using these supplements and consulting with a healthcare provider is essential. The goal in adjusting gut health is to promote microbiota diversity rather than increasing the number of microorganisms.
Fermented foods and gut health
Regular ingestion of fermented foods increases gut microbiota diversity which is crucial for overall health. Lack of diversity can lead to dysbiosis which is associated with chronic illness and loss of muscle tissue as we age. Tight junctions in the blood-brain barrier prevent substances from getting to the brain, but there are little spots where chemicals can sneak across and cause damage to neurons. Having a healthy relationship with the gut through diet and digestion is crucial for overall gut health and immune system function. Analyzing gut microbiota involves large-scale proteomic and genomic screenings and can be done by commercial enterprises, but regular ingestion of fermented foods and keeping the stomach slightly more acid can be done easily to improve gut health.
The Role of the Area Post-Streamer in Nausea and Vomiting
The area post-streamer (P-O-S-T-R-E-M-a) is an important area of the brainstem that triggers motor reflexes in the abdominal wall to induce vomiting when the contents of your bloodstream are pathogens or too acidic. These neurons respond to the chemistry of the blood but also respond to our consciousness, memories, and beliefs. Memories of interactions with negative things can trigger vomit reflex. Nausea can have adaptive benefits, but there are good ways to regulate it, like adjusting the activity of these neurons and area post-streamer or changing the chemistry of the blood. Ginger, peppermint and cannabis (THC and CBD) have been shown to reduce nausea and cannabis probably does that by changing the threshold for firing of these neurons.
Understanding The Role Of Fever And CBD In The Body
Fever is a mechanism of the body to kill bad foreign things or things that are in the wrong compartment of the body. Neurons in the brain are triggered by toxins, bacteria, and viruses in the bloodstream, causing an increase in body temperature. The neurons that line the cerebral spinal fluid sense the chemistry of the body and trigger fever to cook the bad thing. Circumventricular organs such as the O VLT are responsible for this mechanism. CBD has anxiety-reducing effects and can possibly reduce nausea but does not have psychoactive properties like THC. It is important to consult with a doctor before using cannabis.
Understanding the Adaptive Response of Fever and its Connection with the Vagus Nerve.
Fever is an adaptive response to fight pathogens and activating the Organum vascular system releases inflammatory cytokines that are beneficial for healing. Cooling the bottoms of the feet, palms of the hands, and upper part of the face is effective in reducing fever instead of cooling the neck or putting a cold towel on the back of the neck which can cause further heating. The vagus nerve, while popularly known for calming functions, is actually stimulatory and triggers dopamine release when activated by certain foods. The Vegas nerve is also involved in processes like feeling nauseous or having a fever. Understanding interoception and the role of different systems in our body can help us better recognize and respond to internal cues and conditions.
The Gut-Brain Connection and the Role of Interoception
Stress disrupts gut-brain communication by shutting down the vagus nerve and the neurons of the gut, leading to poor digestion, imbalance in gut chemistry and negative emotions. Interoception, the sense of self, is built from gut chemistry, spleen's immune system, autoimmune responses, and breathing. This sense of self connects gut, heart, breathing, and body chemistry, reflecting through facial expressions. Studies show that we mirror the internal state of others at a distance. Simple exercises like breathing can enhance interoceptive capacity to get a better readout of one's and others' internal state. Master stress tools, practices for dealing with short-term acute, moderate-term stress, and long-term chronic stress are essential for a healthy gut-brain connection.
Enhancing Interoceptive Awareness Through Heartbeat Counting
By focusing inward and directing your awareness towards your heart rate, you can quickly strengthen the connections between the body and the brain. This is known as interoceptive awareness, which can be enhanced easily by just taking a minute or two every once in a while to count heartbeats. This can lead to outsized positive effects on your ability to engage with other people, focus at work, and improve your overall mood and experience of life. Meditation is powerful because it helps you to stop taking in deceptive information from the outside world and pay attention to your breathing cadence and heart rate. Tuning up your interoceptive awareness can be incredibly beneficial and easy to do, and can help you tap into the incredible relationship between your viscera and your brain.
- Sonnenburg Study (Cell Press)