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Happy Gut = Happy You

“Listen to your gut”!!! Yes, yes, this advice normally reveres to your intuition, but it should definitely speak to our digestion as well. Afterall our gut is also known as our second brain, and it guides our overall health. Why is it known as our second brain? Easy explanation found on Google of course 😉

Because the enteric nervous system relies on the same type of neurons and neurotransmitters that are found in the central nervous system, some medical experts call it our “second brain.” The “second brain” in our gut, in communication with the brain in our head, plays a key role in certain diseases in our bodies and in our overall mental health.” With special thanks to the Cleveland Clinic.

When our gut is happy and healthy, we have 80-85% of good guy bacteria living in there but when our gut is unhappy and poorly, we have more bad guy bacteria in there as roommates, and that will not do. Nope. These visitors can cause painful problems like inflammation and infection. An unhappy gut leaves us with constipation, allergies, headaches, depression, autoimmune disease and so much more. Environmental toxins, chemicals, stress, some medications, unhealthy food choices and illness are the best friends for the bad guy bacteria, and this is then when they stage a full-on revolt and our whole body ends up paying for this gut war.

To make sure we have a system that works in our favour, we have two key steps to keep up with: Firstly - Feed your body whole, mostly plan based and nutrient dense foods.

The second way/s can sometimes be a little trickier to achieve because we live such fast-paced lives. Try to exercise regularly, make sure you get enough sleep, stress less and minimize your exposure to environmental toxins.

A few more simple steps to get our gut, happy and healthy:

*Take a daily, probiotic supplement.

* Eat pre and probiotic whole foods.

Pro= Fermented food - Kefir, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, tempeh, yogurt.

Pre= Food that support and feed the growth of good bacteria – Bananas, raw onion, garlic artichokes

*Eat enough fiber. Raspberries, broccoli, chickpeas, lentils, beans, whole grains,

*Eat regularly not constantly. Main meals should be 4 hours apart with a small healthy snack in between. You must give your intestine muscles a change (every 90 minutes to 2 hours) to move and do their job to keep bacteria and waste moving through your digestive tract.

*Stay hydrated. Your drink of choice should be water, good, clean, fresh water. An effective way of making sure you get enough water during the day, is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. If you weigh a one hundred pounds, you should drink at least fifty ounces of water.

*Limit your alcohol intake. Drinking too much alcohol may negatively affect your microbiome.

*Stay away from processed foods and stay away from refined sugar. Bad guy bacteria absolutely love sugar-ladened, processed foods.

*Do try to stress less. When you stress your brain goes into fight or flight mode, causing your digestion and blood flow to slow down, causing your muscle that push food along, to slow down, causing your bacteria to freeze up, causing you to not being able to go doo-doo properly. And as we know this causes pain in our tummy, makes us feel sick to our gut, makes us not only feel constipated but look it too and that people, leads to a very unhappy person.

*Get enough sleep. Getting enough good-quality sleep can improve mood, cognition, and gut health. Irregular sleep habits and disturbed sleep can have negative outcomes for the gut flora, which may increase the risk of inflammatory conditions Establish healthful sleep habits by going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. Adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.

Always trust your gut for heart, mind and well…. gut matters. Treat your gut well and your gut will treat you well.

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