They say the brain is the seat of all emotions. Well, I beg to differ. Rather, the stomach is the deciding party. Recently, the word hangry has been coined due to legitimate reasons peeps. No clue? Let me give you some:
Chocolate chip muffins drizzled with hazelnut = excited
Someone else taking my cake = sad (or umm angry)
Salivating over the last piece of pizza = fear of someone else taking it
Chips (rather any type of food) = happy
No food = angry and annoyed
Now, nitpickers will say that the stomach relays the emotions to the brain and then we feel it. Well na-ah, a study proved that the human body has not one brain but two. And no, we are not talking about the cliché joke that ran across your perverted upper storey.
We are talking about the stomach or rather the ENS aka enteric nervous system. Turns out that the inside of our body beginning at the oesophagus and ending at the “back door”, is covered with millions and millions of neurons. This translates into a nervous system that is now being called the SECOND BRAIN. Most of these neurons are found inside the gut. Remember that wrenching feeling you get in your stomach at times? It is not hokum; your gut is literally talking to you and you better listen.
Besides digesting and absorbing food the second brain, along with the big one, is also responsible for the mental and physical well being of the body. Though unlike the encephalon, it does not have the capacity to wax poetry on philosophy or religion or logic. However, It does affect mood, decisions and behaviour. The little brain (as it is also called) is the reason we have spidey sense or intuition (6th Sense, if you may). It helps us sense danger.
That butterfly feeling we get before a big event? It actually happens! Why? Because once the brain activates our fight or flight response (yes, I would rather run away than give another presentation) it reroutes all the blood from the stomach to the muscles (all the better to run away, my dear). This causes those butterflies-in-my-tummy feeling. Craving cookies at three in the night or maybe hankering for a burger? It is the little brain at work again. Now, you get why feeding the monster calms us down?
No, I am not trying to sell you a beach front property in the middle of the Sahara Desert. The stomach and the brain have the same origin, sort of. They originate from one tissue and then decide to take different pathways. So, it stands to reason that they are effectively the same thing i.e. we have two brains. Also, one of the major nerves in our bodies known as Vagus Nerve, connects the gut to the brain and 90% of the information it passes is from the stomach to the brain. In layman language, the stomach tells what the brain has to do when it comes to emotions and behaviour.
To prove the existence of the Little Brain a study was conducted for four weeks. It involved more than 35 women between the ages of 18 to 55. They were divided into three groups. The first group was fed normal yogurt, the second was fed yogurt with probiotics (translation: good, healthy dahi) and the third (control group) was not given any yogurt at all. The second group, the one eating healthy yogurt, was more mentality stable and better at handling stressful situation. Hence proving that the stomach has an obvious connection to the brain. “By controlling the environment of the stomach, we can control what happens in the brain.” Another study showed that people given fatty acid tend to be less sad than those given just saline.
Well peeps, you didn’t need to conduct such elaborate scientific experiments. We could have told you this ourselves, everything we do is governed by our stomach. Breakup means food. Party means food. Bored means food. And all this translates to Happy, Happy, Happy.
This Little Brain is like that bratty cousin that requires constant attention and food to keep happy.
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