You are probably familiar with that “gut feeling” that tells you that something is off, not just quite right, or downright creepy. It is the emotional and intuitive epicenter that can also give you guidance when something is on track, meant to be, or in the cards for your future. When I (Lore) started combining physical, emotional, and spiritual health in my counseling practice, my gut told me it was the imperative thing to do to help my clients achieve their goals. When I decided to “be my own boss”, my gut told me this was my destiny. Sometimes we don't listen to our guts, and you know how well that turns out.
What you probably don't know about your gut it its role in keeping the winter blues, sniffles, and flu away. Did you know your gut houses about 75% of your immune system? It is responsible for keeping you well, or when in distress, is the breeding ground for most diseases. And not just the colds and flu, but for nasties such as autoimmune disorders, diabetes, celiac disease, thyroid problems, PCOS, eczema or psoriasis, depression, Autism, arthritis, and more. How, you ask?
Your gut houses trillions of microorganisms. All kinds of good bacteria is supposed to live there, which help with mineral and nutrient absorption, digestion, and keeping food particles and protein molecules where they are supposed to be. However, when there is an imbalance of gut flora, and the rebel bacteria take over, then all hell breaks loose. Your body then becomes stuck in a chronic state of inflammation, and at first, you may not even feel or notice until bam! ....your body is in a full state of ________________ (name your ache, pain, or illness here). Without sounding like a scientific journal (which I really suck at anyway), here is a brief synopsis of how it gets broke and how to fix...
How does bad bacteria take over the gut?
- antibiotic and medication overuse and misuse (kills good bacteria)
- eating gluten and wheat (Gluten cannot be digested by the human body, so when your gut is already compromised, it breaks through a weakened gut lining and creates what is called 'leaky gut'. Now your immune system continuously attacks the foreign invaders that escape the gut, leading to chronic inflammation.)
- substance abuse
- neurological conditions such as stroke or brain trauma
- in babies, inheritance from a mother with an imbalanced gut flora
- environmental toxins
How do you fix your gut health?
- take a quality probiotic supplement (this may take some experimentation)
- eat more fermented foods (raw sauerkraut, for example, but not the pasteurized stuff as that kills all the good bacteria)
- eliminate wheat, grains, and gluten from your diet (at least for 6 months)
- keep your stress levels in check
- eat nutrient dense foods (grass-fed organ meats, bone broth)
- eat organic as much as possible
There is way more to healing a compromised gut, and depending on the condition you are trying to eliminate, specific dietary plans and supplements are recommended. If you think your gut is playing out Battlestar Galactica, send me an email, and let me know what ails you.
Check out our new recipe page to learn how to make a basic, raw sauerkraut. Your gut will thank you!