I am a firm believer that the two keys to a long healthy life are a clean digestive system and a strong immune system. When I am working with nutrition clients, getting the digestive system in tip top shape is always what we focus on first. There are a few important reasons as to why.
First, the only way we receive nutrients to nourish our bodies is through our digestive system. If it is not working properly, we can become low in certain vitamins and minerals and eventually become malnourished. Secondly, 70% of our immune system is created in our digestive system. If we want to fight off colds, flus, viruses and eventually chronic disease, having a strong immune system is imperative. Next, 90% of our serotonin, our feel good hormones, are created in our digestive system. There is a HUGE connection between our mental health and our gut health. Our gut health can affect mood, brain health, brain fog, stress, anxiety, and mental health disorders. And lastly, weight management – a healthy digestive system is imperative to lose weight and keep it off.
What does a healthy digestive system look like? Let’s first talk about what an unhealthy one looks like. It is full of digestive upset symptoms including gas, bloating, constipation, upset stomach, diarrhea, feeling full and sluggish after eating, IBS, brain fog, anxiety, and the list goes on. A healthy system is virtually symptom free – light, pain free, flat stomach after we eat, and feeling fresh and light in our minds.
The cause of these symptoms is usually eating foods that you may have sensitivities to. Having a sore stomach or diarrhea after eating dairy for example isn’t just a ‘pain’ but it is actually creating leaky gut and digestive health issues. Other causes include not enough good bacteria coming into your digestive system; taking antacids and therefore not allowing your body to do its job naturally; not enough digestive enzymes in your stomach; eating trans fats and fast food; over use of over the counter medications; and overuse of antibiotics.
But it’s not all gloom and doom. Because there IS a solution. And really…it comes down to one important thing:
We heal our gut by strengthening our gut flora.
How do we do that? There are three important steps:
- Remove – Remove the items that are causing digestive upset. This is where we would either do an elimination diet or use my Food Mood Journal.
- Repair – Keeping the items that are causing your digestive system to be upset out is how we repair the gut lining. This would also include avoiding antacids, fast food, trans fats, overuse of over-the-counter meds and antibiotics, and excessive alcohol and sugar.
- Reinoculate – This is the fun step! Here is where we start getting the good bacteria back into your system by adding tons of new foods and some supplements to your diet every single day. This is how we will heal your microbiome / gut health.
Interested in learning more? Check out some of my one-on-one coaching options here. I will also be hosting a 30 Day Healthy Gut Reset if you are interested in a group coaching setting. Shoot me an email and I will add you to the list!