When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need. Ayurvedic Proverb
We can’t begin to talk about health unless we talk about our guts because health or disease begins in our guts. In fact all autoimmunity begins with a trifecta of genetic predisposition, imbalanced microbiota makeup, and permeability of the gut, commonly known as leaky gut. Notice that two of these 3 legs are in the digestive system. So when we have excessive gas, diarrhea, pain, distension, constipation, cravings, or stubborn weight holding on, we need to look to our guts and what could be the root of our discomfort. Or when we are low energy or we can’t concentrate, if we have headaches, have brain fog, anxiety, or depression, we need to look to the gut. How our guts work is the source of how our brains work and if we have high energy or not.
Why is it that the gut influences how the brain works? The vagus nerve is the nerve pathway that runs between the gut and the brain, and many more messages go toward the brain from the gut rather than the other way around. The mitochondria which are our cells’ energy factories in our brains and all over our bodies in all of our cells depend on getting the nutrients that must be broken down from our food in an efficient digestive process. Also, there are 30 neurotransmitters made in the gut, and about 90% of the body’s serotonin, a neurotransmitter that makes us happy, is produced there, where it influences gut immunity.
How do we repair our guts? The both good and bad issue about gut repair is that repairing our gut is not through a quick fix: bad because you can’t just take this pill for that problem, good because YOU CAN change it around! It is about habit change. It is about removing the foods that may possibly be irritating you, eating slowly and chewing better, paying attention to how you feel when eating and when adding back the foods you have eliminated in order to test them.
It is about thinking of your current state of health as a place it took you years to arrive at and will take a bit of work to change. It is about realizing that your microbiome is a community that actually causes you to crave certain foods. It is about being gentle with yourself as you deprive this bacterial community of the foods that are bringing discomfort or cravings and causing the unhelpful bacteria to thrive while learning to feed the ones who are on your side, the side of your health. It is about realizing that your body is not what you eat, but what you can digest of what you eat so it does matter how your digestion works.
What you eat is only the first part. How you eat, when you eat, why you eat, where you eat, with whom you eat, and how you feel about what you eat all can make an important difference in your healing. How and when you move, and how much and how well you sleep also make a huge difference.
To be continued soon..