Have you thought about what’s happening in your gut recently? No? Well, we hadn’t either, until we came across the most entertaining TED Talk…

So with a few passionate and funny guides, let’s take a tour in past our mouths, to our colons and positively charming guts, and discover our—get ready for it—second brains.

But first, let’s get a little perspective: Have you noticed how much energy people are investing in choosing their food these days?

Image: Two children eating ice cream and a Popsicle. One wanting the other's treat.

Source: WikiSpaces

There are seemingly endless combinations: limiting our fat or gluten intake, keeping kosher, all organic or vegetarian, raw versus cooked, juicing, foraging, counting every calorie, reading labels, comparing sodium or sugar content, trying to drink more water, etc, but why does a lot of our commitment and research to food seem to end at our mouths?

Do you really know what goes on inside of you after you swallow?

Once our food is past our taste buds, most of us are completely in the dark about what happens next, and even “who” is involved in the process before we see the end result. (Yes, we have a lot of friendly microbes, or good bacteria, who are working hard inside of us and are critical to it all coming out okay!)

And did you know that even our mental health appears to be linked to our intestines? The old saying “out of sight, out of mind”, couldn’t be farther from the truth with what goes on in our guts, considering scientists are saying we have a “second brain” there!

12 minutes

How Cooking Made Us Human

Why do we cook? Is it just to satisfy our senses or stave off disease? Today we find out how cooking made us into modern humans with larger brains with time on our hands! Fascinating!

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If you’ve been brave enough to get this far in this article, thank you and welcome. You’ll be rewarded for your courage with a whole new perspective the next time you hear your tummy growl or misjudge a bit of flatulence.

Now, let’s dive into our charming guts with the wonderful Dr. Giulia Enders!

This is a remarkable TED Talk that we could see being missed by most, but the fearlessly curious (that’s you!) will find it delightful. Here’s Dr. Giulia Enders on the TED stage with a funny and inspiring tour of your gut. Enjoy!

Via: TED  1

Fantastic, huh? Turns out the real wonder starts when we swallow!

What a great way to shed some light on this rather taboo subject. Those are the kinds of clever, fun diagrams that we are unlikely to forget!

So about that second brain…

You’re going to want to keep an eye out for an upcoming Ever Widening Circles article wherein we celebrate the wonders related to this new insight! The best way to do that is by subscribing and receiving a notification whenever we post a new article. (Just every other day!)

For now, check out a terrific article by the renowned magazine, Scientific American called: Think Twice: How the Guts Second Brain Influence Mood. ,

21 minutes

Can Bacteria Talk to Each Other?

Can single-celled organisms like bacteria communicate, or are they blindly moving through their lifespan, like tiny organic machines? Princeton University's Bonnie Bassler has a fascinating answer.

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Have the guts for a little more?

Dr. Ender’s talk was so great that it sent us out on a search for a video that might break the whole digestive process down for us in a different way. We had only to consult one of EWC’s favorites: Hank Green of the fantastic channel, Crash Course.

If you’re as furiously curious as we think you are, you really couldn’t find a better place to spend a few minutes than with this channel. Crash Course is full of insights with the perfect edge of humor and adventure, on every subject under the sun — there’s everything there from history to literature, from statistic to media savvy, from chemistry to mythology!

So without further ado, here’s the wonderful Hank Green as our next guide through our guts…

A great bit of fun and insight there, huh?

Can you imagine those 250 square meters of small intestine inside of you? That’s the size of the surface of swimming pool! And we’ve got a system to deal with all that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that works like dish detergent? What?!

We haven’t nearly covered the scope of this topic today, but you’ll find that I sprinkled in three article suggestions that will round things out. Here’s another:

10 minutes

What Exactly is Gluten Anyway?

If you've ever scratched your head about the fuss regarding gluten in our diets, here's an entertaining way to feel like an expert, in less than 10 minutes!

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Now we can let some of the “yuck factor” go when thinking about changing a diaper, using a public bathroom or making that appointment for a colonoscopy. And maybe we can also stop fretting about sterilizing the world for our kids? Some of those “bad bugs” in our guts are actually being pretty helpful!

Like in most things, we should shoot for balance!

Stay open, curious and hopeful.

~ Dr. Lynda

Want more good news without politics?

Well, you’re in just the right place! We suggest you start out in either of these categories:

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Notes:

  1. “The Surprisingly Charming Science of Your Gut | Giulia Enders.” YouTube. TED, 24 Nov. 2017. Web. 11 May 2018. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNMQ_w7hXTA>.
  2. Crashcourse. “The Digestive System: CrashCourse Biology #28.” YouTube. Crash Course, 06 Aug. 2012. Web. 11 May 2018. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s06XzaKqELk>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.