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BEING HEALTHY IS A CHOICE - Part 3

April 19, 2017

An unhealthy gut has been linked to many diseases including mental health (depression, anxiety, memory loss), obesity, high cholesterol, allergies, autism, diabetes and cardiovascular issues.

Your gut is the epicentre of your physical and mental health. The gut is not only the place where you absorb important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals & protein which are the basic building blocks needed for our health, but 80% of your immunity also houses in your gut.

 

 

 

What really fascinates me are the 100 trillion bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa which live in our gut – referred to as your gut flora, microbiota or microbiome. These tiny beings within you are able to influence your body & mind without you even noticing. They have got many important roles in our body and can communicate with our brain- they can send signals to the brain that can modulate our mood, levels of anxiety, learning performance or pain feeling.

 

Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle creates an unhealthy gut flora by destroying the good bacteria and allowing the bad ones to flourish. Responsible for our unhealthy gut flora are:

  • Diets high in refined carbohydrates

  • Sugar and processed foods and low in fibres

  • Toxins (pesticides, mercury filling)

  • Chronic stress

  • Chronic infections

  • Antibiotics and other medications like birth control and NSAIDs

 

These same factors can also create a leaky gut (proper term is intestinal permeability), which is when the lining of your intestines is damaged, letting through particles into the bloodstream that create a systemic inflammatory response, which then increases the risk for the development of problems and disease, e.g.

  • Nutrient malabsorption

  • Food intolerance

  • Immune system issues

  • Autoimmunity

  • Skin problems (psoriasis, dermatitis, acne)

  • Thyroid disease

  • Depression/Anxiety

 

It is important to understand that you don’t necessarily need to have gut symptoms to have a leaky gut. Often when I address the gut, many symptoms improve.

 

The gut may not be the only part that needs to heal, but it definitely is a very important one to look at. Due to the importance of the gut’s functions, I have designed a 6-week program, which helps you to heal your gut.

 

In the meantime, what you can do for your gut is to eat a lot of fibre which feeds your healthy bacteria. A good source of fibre is found in legumes, vegetables and fruit. Detrimental for your gut flora are processed foods and sugar – so avoid them as much as you can! Maybe knowing that sugar is a preferred food source for fungi which produce yeast infections and sinusitis will help you be reasonable when it comes to sweets. As a chocolate lover (what else do you expect from somebody who grew up in Switzerland, the country with the best chocolates :), I have lots of alternative recipes handy to stop me from craving chocolate. Check out these energy balls – they taste yummy, give you energy and do not damage your gut.

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