When we think of intuition, we think that it is a magical phenomenon that cannot be explained.
We think that some people are blessed with intuition and the rest of us have no intuitive powers. What we know is that our instincts/intuition hits us first at the visceral (nervous) level such as the gut. This is what we term as ‘gut instinct’; it is a subconscious level of reaction to the specific experience. For example, how many times have we been thinking of a friend and then later they unexpectedly phone or you receive an email from them.
Many CAM practitioners believe in the link between the body and the mind and thus understand the importance of intuition. Integrative medicine doctors and alternative medicine practitioners understand the importance of intuition – it is not about paranormal powers!
Food and intuition
Complementary medicine has always emphasised that we should eat healthier and fresher foods. We all know we should eat in moderation and follow our intuition. For example, when we come across a tempting fast-food hamburger,our intuition tells us it would not be a good to eat it. If we trust our intuition we are fine, if we ignore it, this can result in indigestion or heartburn. Eating intuitively involves being able to distinguish between our physical and emotional feeling. We need to listen to our bodies to make the best food choices in the moment.
Research confirms the link
There are many sceptics who believed that the link between food and intuition is ‘new age thinking’. However, a new study published in the journal PLOS Biology has now revealed that gut bacteria can communicate with our brains to change our food choices.
Although this joint study from Champalimaud Centre, Portugal and Australia’s Monash University was only carried out in fruit flies, this sophisticated study showed that microbes in the gut affect decision-making around food intakes. While the mechanism of action is unknown, the bacteria Acetobacter pomorum and Lactobacilli was found to inhibit the fly’s brain from throwing the hunger and reproduction panic switches.
These findings basically show that bacteria directly influence the food choices of their host organism. This may further explain cravings for foods and how our ‘gut feeling’ may be our second brain;enteric nervous system (ENS).
This finding will eventually be validated by human studies and provide further confirmation that the body and the mind do not function as separate entities. In the interim, it is important to trust your intuition and listen to your gut – it could make you healthier and happier.