According to researchers, there is a connection between your gut health and how you feel. You can therefore see your intestines as a sort of second brain.

How does that work exactly? There are about one hundred trillion bacteria in your intestines. All these bacteria together are your microbiome of your intestines, also known as your intestinal flora. The intestinal flora is unique for everyone. Just as unique as a fingerprint.

Happier thanks to healthy intestines?

Various studies of well-being and the bacteria in the body show that bacteria - which therefore reside in your intestines - can influence your mental health. Research from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, for example, shows that people who feel less happy lack certain gut bacteria.

Researcher Jeroen Raes and his team have found evidence that gut microbes can 'talk' to the human nervous system by producing substances. In this way they communicate with the brain, as it were. Your gut flora therefore seems to have an actual influence on how you feel.

Food and food for thought

The intestinal flora has an important function in digesting food, but it can also influence how you feel. It is therefore extra important to take good care of your stomach.

In turn, food has an effect on the bacterial balance in the intestines. Research from the University Medical Center Groningen shows that the positive effects on the intestinal flora are greatest when you eat healthy and varied.

In addition, certain foods such as fruit, vegetables, fermented products and fibers can have a positive effect on the diversity of the intestinal flora. And this is of great importance for a healthy belly.

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