What was the last thing that you ate?
Here’s the fun part: Will what you ate help feed the “good” bacteria in your gut …Or the bad bacteria that lives in there?
Your gut is SO important to your health because it impacts everything from your digestion to your brain to your heart and even your mood!
Today I want to dive in a little and explain exactly why it’s so important to eat REAL, WHOLE foods.
So many times we just focus on how what we eat affects our weight.
But there’s SO MUCH MORE at work here! And it’s all interconnected.
The “good” bacteria that live inside your gut need to eat, just like you do.
They love to nibble on insoluble fibers (aka “prebiotics”) that are tough enough to survive the trip through your stomach. Meanwhile, the “bad” bacteria inside your gut thrive in a low-fiber environment with sugars, processed foods and grains, additives, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and fillers.
Experts theorize that when there’s not enough food for your good bacteria, they physically starve.
This gives the bad bacteria a chance to get a foothold, which can cause some major problems!
It all hinges on the lining of your gut. This lining is actually a super important part of your immune system, because it forms a barrier between the food you eat and the rest of your body.
When this lining becomes too permeable (when the bad bacteria begin to take over) …
Toxins, bacteria, and even partially digested foods can “leak out” of your digestive system and make their way into your bloodstream. (this is called Leaky Gut!)
This can lead to inflammation and even trigger an immune system response.
Over time, this can cause a whole host of problems like chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, auto-immune diseases, skin conditions and more.
This is why we always talk about eating whole, “clean” foods. Because when your gut is happy, it makes the rest of your body happy.
The key to a healthy gut microbiome is BALANCE (including exercise, sleep, diet, stress, and more).
Have you ever gotten “butterflies in your stomach” when you’re nervous or excited?
Or maybe you’ve had a go-with-your-gut moment, when you absolutely KNEW something was true?
Well, science backs up that these feelings could actually be coming from your “secret brain” inside your gut, called your enteric nervous system! It’s made up of layers of cells (more than 100 million of them) that line your gastrointestinal tract, all the way from your esophagus to your rectum.
What you eat can have a BIG impact on this entire system, and so can stress.
Your “secret brain” communicates directly back-and-forth with the brain in your head through the “gut-brain axis.”
This axis is an incredibly complex system involving hormones, nerves, body fluids, your immune system and more.
And here’s where it gets interesting … 90% of the communication goes from your gut TO YOUR brain, and only 10% from your brain to your gut.
Researchers are looking into how imbalances or irritations in your gut lining and microbiome affect not only your brain, but your overall health.
Your gut has around 100 trillion bacteria – and there are more than 1,000 known strains.
But only a handful or two of those strains make up most of the population of a healthy gut.
When these bacteria get out of balance (due to poor diet, some medications including antibiotics, stress, toxins, and more), it can throw more than just your gut out of whack.
It can make you MOODY!
That’s because your gut produces neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which have a huge impact on your mood.
And way more important than mood …
There are known links between gut issues and autism, as well as anxiety and depression, but scientists are looking into so much more.
Another example – irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is super common, with as many 45 million sufferers in the U.S. alone!
IBS is actually considered a gut-brain disorder, because not only does it affect your gastrointestinal tract, it’s associated with depression, anxiety, and imbalances in the gut microbiome.
So … what can you do to keep your “secret brain” system happy?
Live a gut-friendly lifestyle!
- Cut back on (or eliminate!) sugar and processed foods
- Eat fiber and probiotic-rich/fermented foods
- Get regular exercise
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep at night
And if you have serious or chronic gut issues, check in with your doctor.
If you’re even THINKING about making some changes in your life, wouldn’t that be worth at least a conversation?
If you’re still reading this message, that means your health is important to you! Let’s hop on a quick call to see if there’s anything I can do to help (or point you in the right direction).
If you’re ready to make a change, this is what I DO.
You’re not alone. Let me help you to reset your gut, restore your energy, hormones and mood. Book your FREE 15- minute Discovery Call HERE to see if we are a good fit together 😊