Most of us think about food and nutrition when we want to lose weight and we know that certain foods are healthy and others are unhealthy, but there´s a lot more going on in our body with the food we eat, every food choice we make has an impact on our gut and it directly affects our brain.
You may have heard that there are trillions of microbes living in our body, there are so many different types of microbes that live in our gut, this is what gut microbiome refers to which I´m sure you´ve heard about. This gut microbiome influences our appetite, inflammation, mood, immune system and brain. It has an impact on overall health physical and mental, it can be crucial when we talk about preventing diseases, how we can manage or control diseases, what´s the best treatment and even for longevity making sure that we have the best quality of life possible.
We know that our lifestyle plays an important role on our health but most of us haven´t think about the direct impact that food has on chronic and immune diseases, we don´t even think about what everything we eat impacts the way we feel a couple of hours later. We´re not aware of our body and what it´s telling us.
How many times have you thought about gut health? Gut health means that the stomach, intestines, esophagus are working in harmony when we eat and digest food, all the microbes that live there also play an important role on making sure that our body can digest food and absorb nutrients. When one of this is out of harmony or balance then we have an unhealthy gut. The gut communicates with the brain through hormones and nerves to send different messages and information.
A healthy gut can get out of harmony for several reasons like stress, lack of sleep and also our diet. If we eat unhealthy foods that create inflammation they will take our gut out of harmony, if you eat something and some minutes or hours later you feel heartburn, constipation, bloating this are just some of the symptoms that something you ate is causing problems in your gut so you need to find out what foods are causing problems and avoid them at least for a period of time.
If you follow an unhealthy diet for a long period of time then your gut gets out of balance and this can lead to leaky gut which is when the walls of the intestine that act like barriers and controls what gets absorbed into the bloodstream is not intact, it has cracks and this allows toxins, microbes and partially digest food to go to other tissues and this can cause inflammation and trigger the immune system to react causing other problems.
Consuming whole, fresh foods and making sure that you eliminate or avoid as much as possible flours (nut flours are the exception), sugar and unhealthy seed oils is always the best option. You also need to listen to your body , be aware of how you feel, there are healthy foods that can cause problems to you, you may feel bloated or experience any other symptom after consuming grains or foods that contain gluten, you may have problems with dairy, you may have problems with legumes or a vegetable like cauliflower.
If you want to improve your health you can starts by following an elimination diet, eliminate all foods that cause inflammation like grains, corn, gluten, dairy for some weeks or months and be aware of how you feel. Then start adding some of the options you took out one by one, add one and see how you feel for a couple of weeks, then add another one, this way you can identify which foods are causing your problems so you need to avoid for a longer period of time. Remember that there are foods that will cause inflammation, we´ve already mentioned this ones a couple paragraphs before: flours (except nut flours), sugar and vegetable oils.
Following a healthy diet is important not only for weight loss and maintenance but to make sure that you maintain optimal health.
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