The brain doesn’t do its amazing work alone. Rather, it is fueled by the body’s hard work of receiving, processing and distributing necessary fuel in the form of nutrients. Neural pathways develop and function only through the transmission of neurotransmitters, chemical messengers that pass from one neuron to another and up the chain of neural pathways. Neurotransmitters come directly from the body and the nutrients the body is able to extract through the process of digestion from food it receives. And all food is not created equal. Some foods have a much greater impact on neurotransmission of healthy brain fuel than other foods. Two common neurotransmitters that contribute to a “happy brain” are serotonin and dopamine.
The health of the digestive system or "gut," with its ability to digest food, is critical to the body’s ability to get needed serotonin and dopamine to the brain for regular and consistent use. Often called the “second brain,” the gut has the ability to make or break efforts at change because it is primarily responsible for creating the neurotransmitters that form healthy new neural pathways. Thus, the body is a critical player in thinking and learning, and food is the primary fuel the body uses to play its part in the process of learning and change.