Cravings, slow metabolism, low energy, trouble losing weight, skin issues, trouble sleeping, mood swings, chronic colds, allergies, bloating, and constipation are among the common concerns I hear often, and they all have one thing in common.
For lots of reasons, more research is being conducted on the microbiome (also called gut flora) and its relationship to chronic diseases in recent years. These diseases — things like like eczema, psoriasis, impaired thyroid, diabetes, mental illness, autoimmune disease, and other chronic diseases — which are seemingly unrelated to the gut, might actually be initiated by gut dysfunction and inflammation.
One of the most important things to address for all health concerns is your gastrointestinal system. I know, this doesn’t sound very cute or as nice as having a smoothie every morning or eating more protein.
You might be thinking you don’t even have digestive issues so should you really care?
I’m going to break it down for you below so you can see why your gut plays such a huge role in overall health. I’ll also give you some motivation for wanting to make some changes that will make a difference for your mood, immune system, brain, skin, sleep, energy, metabolism, and digestion.
What goes on in your gut doesn’t just stay in your gut, but communicates with your immune system and even your brain. When gut bacteria is imbalanced, which happens over time and for many reasons, or you develop intestinal permeability (also known as “leaky gut”), the communication is impaired, thus why other areas of your health are affected.
Here are just a few reasons why your gut is so important.
- The health of your gastrointestinal system determines what nutrients are absorbed into your bloodstream and what bacteria, toxins, and allergens are kept out of your bloodstream.
- You can be eating the most nutrient-dense foods with a variety of proteins, carbs, and fats, but it doesn’t matter if you can’t assimilate these nutrients and use them throughout the body.
- 70 percent of your immune system is located in your gut. This is why if you get sick often, have allergies, or have an autoimmune disease, you have to look back to the gut and support it, therefore supporting your immune cells.
- 80 percent of your happy, feel-good hormone, serotonin, is produced in the gut. If your gut is out of balance, you’ll feel out of balance; without the feel-good hormone, mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety, can manifest.
Do you ever experience fatigue, get tired after meals, have food sensitivities and intolerances, or even have skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, or acne? If so, stay tuned for my Gut Health, Part 2 in two weeks (after Denise’s story on how to stay “fit” during a spouse’s deployment) for ways to fix them for good.
Happy healthy eating…