The Honest to GUT Truth
~How to Unlock Vibrant Health by Looking at the Gut~
Written By Meg Landis, W.H.E. & C.N.P.
We have all heard the saying, “listen to your gut.” And while that advice often refers to our intuition, it should also speak to our digestion. Your gut guides your overall well-being. Quite literally, your gut is the epicenter of your mental and physical health. Yet it is all too common to experience lots of digestive issues that make a huge impact on our strength and vitality. If you want better immunity, efficient digestion, improved clarity and balance, focus on rebuilding your gut health. By supporting this mighty system, you’ll see chronic health issues such as, fatigue, brain fogginess, colds, aches and pains, diminish. Furthermore, you will feel abundant energy return. In the article you will learn what your gut does and why it’s so important to keep it healthy. Then, we will cover how to care for your wonderful gut so that it continues to take care of glorious you!
What happens inside your gut? Your gut holds trillions of bacteria that help process your food, produce nutrients, and fight disease. In fact, there are ten times more bacteria in your gut than cells in your entire body! Since what you eat, drink and think affects the environment in your gut, your daily choices play a critical role in whether those trillion plus bacteria help or hinder your well-being. It is all about balance when it comes to gut health. You feel great, your body is strong and nimble, you rarely get sick, your energy is consistent, you poop like a champ, and life is good! The healthy bacteria are free to do their job with ease where they assist with digestion, produce disease-fighting antibodies, crowd out bad bacteria and produce certain hormones, vitamins and nutrients. However, when the harmful bacteria stage a revolt, all misery breaks loose. They totally gum up the works and cause painful problems like inflammation and infection, which can then lead to health issues such as constipation, candida, allergies, arthritis, headaches, depression, autoimmune diseases and more. Medications (especially antibiotics and antacids), environmental toxins and chemicals, stress and illness greatly affect the ratio of good to bad bacteria. The food you eat also affects the ratio of good to bad bacteria. Everything you consume is processed and either absorbed into your body or eliminated via your gut. Your gut completes the amazing task of digesting your food and pulling the nutrients, vitamins and minerals out of the food so that they can be absorbed into your bloodstream. Your gut also identifies invaders: toxins, microbes, viruses and allergens that could harm your health; and moves them through your digestive system so that they can be excreted.
The key to this system working in your favor is two-fold: 1) Lend your gut a hand by feeding your body whole, organic, nutrient-dense foods of which consume in their most natural state. Hint: nothing out of a box or can. 2) Consistently practice a healthy lifestyle; less stress, exercise, less exposure to environmental toxins, proper rest; that supports the good gut bacteria and keeps the harmful bacteria under control. This would also include taking PROBIOTICS daily! (Keep reading to find out which ones I recommend.)
Your mental health affects your gut health and vice versa. Did you know you have two brains? Yes, you really are THAT smart! Now guess where your second brain lives? Your gut! Yes, it actually has a mind of it very own, and science proves that your gut actually manufactures “brain cells/ neurotransmitters.” In addition your gut is also a major component of your immune system. Did you know that about 75-80 percent of your immune system lives in your gut? So heal the GUT and you will feel, think, and perform better!
W.E.L.L. GUT HEALTH TIPS:
1. Take a probiotic supplement. A daily probiotic supplement is such a ‘Game Changer” with your health. This will help boost the good bacteria in your gut, keeping the bad guys under control, boosting your immune system and easing digestive issues. This is especially helpful when you’re taking a medication, such as an antibiotic that has wiped out a large amount of gut bacteria. Some recommended brands: KLAIRE (makes a great chewable for children with 25 billion probiotics and yummy tasting); and for adults METABOLIC MAINTENANCE with 50 billion active probiotics per capsule. *Both available through WELL Consulting. (Mention you read this Wallin article to Meg and get 10% discount off your probiotic order.) Go to her E-shop and get it directly shipped to you. www.wellconsulting.org
2. Eat probiotic rich whole foods. You can also eat whole foods that are fermented and contain large amounts of good bacteria. Sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, microalgae and coconut kefir are fantastic plant-based probiotic-rich foods.
3. Eat prebiotic whole foods. These are the foods that actually feed the healthy probiotics in your gut. By eating more whole, plant-based, fiber-filled foods, you’re fueling the bacteria that support your health. Raw onions, garlic, dandelion greens, artichokes and bananas are some of the best prebiotic foods to add to your diet.
5. Stay hydrated. A good rule of thumb for staying hydrated is drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weigh 130 pounds, you should drink about 65 ounces of water. Get your number and set your daily goal!
6. Eliminate or lessen refined sugar and processed foods. When you consume processed, sugar-laden, refined foods, you’re giving bad bacteria an all-you-can-eat buffet, which increases the likelihood of all the aforementioned toxins that weigh you down and dim your shine.
7. Lessen stress. Remember when we talked about the connection between your brain and your gut? When you experience chronic stress, your brain goes into fight or flight mode, causing your digestion and blood flow in the gut to slow down, the muscles that push along waste and bacteria to freeze up and the secretions for digestion to decrease. Take care of your gut health by coping with stress through breath-work, yoga, meditation, therapy, time in the outdoors and the countless other stress reduction techniques available to you.
Meg Landis is a certified ‘Whole Health Educator’ & Clinical Nutritionist. She is founder of ‘Whole Energy Lifestyle Living’ / WELL Consulting. Her practice surrounds a holistic health approach established to help people live healthier, happier and more energetic lives through whole food nutrition, supplementation and healthy lifestyle guidance. The programs are uniquely tailored to the individual, focusing on holistically healing common chronic health concerns from the root cause, in lieu of addressing individual symptoms. Contact:firstname.lastname@example.org or www.wellconsulting.org