A Healthy Gut

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A healthy gut is a beautiful thing.

You have heard the saying “Beautiful from the inside out.”?  This is what happens when you take care of and feed your gut what it wants.

What does your gut want though?

I will get to that.  First, let me tell you what it doesn’t want.

  • It doesn’t want drive thru (McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Karl Jr. etc.)
  • It doesn’t want soda pop (Coke, Pepsi, Red Bull etc.)
  • It doesn’t want potato chips (1 oz. of plain Lay’s potato chips is 160 calories and 170 mg of sodium)

This is not to say you can never have these things, just keep in mind that you are feeding the brain in your head, not the brain in your gut.

If this is a deal breaker for you, I understand if you stop reading now.  However, if you can handle cutting or limiting these “foods”, keep reading.

The brain in your head

Your brain is the CEO of your body.  It takes input from the signals sent to it through hormones (such as insulin, endorphins and dopamine) and decides what it wants to continue receiving.

Seems pretty straight forward, right?  Not really.

Processed or fast foods invariably contain additives and preservatives to make the products last longer on the shelf and are cheaper to make.  Pesticides and herbicides are used on fruits and vegetables to create a larger final product and eliminate potential blight.

The brain, as smart as it is, doesn’t know the difference between nutrient dense foods and chemicals.  It simply gets the signal that what it wants and needs (energy in the form of calories) is on the way.

The calories from these foods are basically empty calories that do not nourish the body.  The most they do is satisfy the brain in your head, spike your blood sugar and leave you craving more of the same in a few hours.

For all intents and purposes, these foods are addictive.

The second brain: The gut

The brain in your gut on the other hand can be the difference between health or illness, clear skin or acne and a lean body mass or being overweight.

The gut, also known as the microbiome, is the real brains of the operation.  The gut, when given proper foods can be the difference between thriving and just surviving.

The microbiome contains TRILLIONS of microbes (tiny organisms) that work together as a community to break down food particles, distribute the nutrients to all parts of the body and basically keep everything moving.

What happens when you feed the wrong brain?

When the only food you eat is processed, fast food the brain in your gut is literally starving.  What happens when something starves?  It dies.

Now you would think with TRILLIONS of microbes that wouldn’t be a big deal, but what if one type of microbe is no longer there.  The whole community is changed.

And finally…

What your gut wants!

Fiber • Fermented Foods • Probiotics • Prebiotics • Polyphenols • Collagen

raw sauerkraut

kimchi

kombucha

tempeh

onion

garlic

red wine

green tea

dark chocolate

blueberries

cherries

asparagus

green beans

beets (not pickled)

Bok Choy

broccoli

Brussel sprouts

cabbage

carrots

cauliflower

celery

zucchini

cucumber

eggplant

kale

leeks

lettuce

sprouts

mushrooms

radish

spinach

tomato

pomegranate

oatmeal

kefir

miso

yogurt

artichokes

Notice a common theme?  Thought so.  Final note on this list.

The more processed (the more it is changed from its natural state) the less effective it is to feed the gut.  Steam, saute and raw will give you the best benefits.

Until next time

Kate

Update:

I just found this great slideshow.

 

 

 

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