What is the connection between the gut and the brain?

What is the connection between the gut and the brain?

connection between the gut and the brain

Ever felt ‘butterflies’ in your stomach or experienced a ‘gut-wrenching’ experience?  If the answer is yes (which it probably is!) then you might be interested to know that this is because of the strong connection between your gut and your brain.

The gut is termed ‘the second brain’ for a reason.  This is because the brain and the gut are in constant communication – termed the gut-brain axis.

The gut and brain are connected both physically and biochemically, and one of the strongest connections is through the vagus nerve – the biggest nerve connecting the gut and the brain, that sends signals in both directions, both to and from the brain.

Research shows that not only does the brain affect gut health but gut health also influences the brain.  This isn’t massively surprising as ~95% of serotonin (the happy hormone) is produced in the gut and therefore, by keeping your gut in tip-top shape, it can help to improve mood and mental health.

So, that’s all well and good but what are some things that you can do to promote your gut health (and therefore potentially your mental health)?

1. Practice mindful eating – take some deep breaths before each meal to put the body into ‘rest and digest’ mode, chew each mouthful thoroughly (ideally around 30 chews per mouthful!) and remove any distractions (we spend enough time looking at screens, we don’t need them at mealtimes!).  Just sit down, enjoy and appreciate your meal!

2. Spend time in nature – the microbes in nature can help to diversify the good bacteria in our guts.  Getting out in nature also does wonders for our mental health and anxiety relief.  I think we all feel better after a little stroll outside, right? 

3. Eat a diet rich in probiotics – probiotics are the good bacteria for our guts and can be found in fermented foods and drinks like kombucha, sauerkraut, yoghurt and more!  Probiotics have been shown to relieve symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression.  Our kombucha and acv contain many strains of probiotic bacteria including acetobacter and lactobacillus. 

4. Do what makes you happy!  Stress is detrimental to both gut health and brain health so try some stress management techniques like mindfulness and meditation, practice some yoga or pilates, or simply speak to your close friends or a family member.  Do whatever it is that makes you feel good – I’m sure your brain (and gut!) will thank you for it!  Feel free to check out some of our IGTVs on Instagram (@willysacv) to help you destress, such as facial yoga or our great breath work sessions.

It’s so important to take care of your gut, not just for optimum physical wellbeing but also to support your mental health.  And as shown here, taking care of your gut health doesn’t need to be complicated, it can be as simple as taking your daily dose of Willy’s acv…!

Yours truly,


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