It All Starts With Your Gut
I frequently share with my patients that the gut is like your second brain, however, there are times I would like to reconsider that statement. If your gut isn’t healthy, nothing else is healthy. Plus, an unhealthy gut microbiome usually means an unhealthy metabolism and the rest goes downhill from there.
It truly all starts with your gut, and so in revision to my first statement, I would argue that in many ways, the gut is the first brain.
Your gut microbiome is made up of good bacteria and bad bacteria. You need to have a healthy balance of the good bacteria to make sure that the bad bacteria doesn’t overpower the good because that’s when disease can set in.
How do you know if your gut is off balance?
A good place to start is by looking for signs of an unhealthy microbiome in your body. Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Stomach Pain
- Weight Gain
An unhealthy gut can manifest through less obvious symptoms too. Often we find that patients with eczema, psoriasis, and thyroid disorders have off balance microbiomes which means again, it all starts with the gut.
So, what causes microbiome imbalance and, ultimately, an unhealthy gut?
- Stress. This is the biggest offender to your gut. Stress alters the microbiome of our gut and can play a lead role in many health conditions.
- Sugar. This yummy white stuff fuels the growth of fungus in our gastrointestinal system and can really lend to gas, bloating, and fatigue.
- Processed Food. Man-made food can sit on shelves for weeks and months at a time because of additives that actually kill bacteria. What do you think this does to your gut bacteria when those additives are consumed? It can kill your gut bacteria too.
- Other contributors to an unhealthy gut like gluten, a high carbohydrate diet, not enough vegetables, not enough food variety, and a multitude of other causes can all throw your microbiome into a tailspin.
How can you support your microbiome.
- Prebiotic foods such as onions, garlic, bananas, chicory root, and asparagus act as food for your good bacteria and can be very helpful in its growth.
- Probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, and natto can help to build different types of beneficial bacteria in the gut as well.
- Vegetables are the A-team of microbiome foods. I suggest a MINIMUM of 4 cups of a variety of vegetables daily. Not only are they great for the microbiome, but they have also been shown to increase the body’s ability to burn fat and contribute to a smaller waist size. EAT YOUR VEGGIES!
- Fruit variety is great for the microbiome as well. Specifically, focus on the berries!
- Unrefined apple cider vinegar has a number of health benefits, but for this purpose, it’s all about the digestive support.
- Pre-probiotic supplements are always a helpful tool as well.
The key is this: start slowly. Don’t wake up tomorrow and overdose on the gut biotic rich foods or you will end up blowing your family out of your house with gas. A gradual increase is important with these foods. If gas and bloating start to kick in, decrease the amount of these foods until your body learns to tolerate them more. If you continue to experience unpleasant intestinal symptoms, contact our office. The Move•ment team would love to help you with your wellness journey and