The bacteria in your stomach is known more specifically has the gut microbiome and it wasn’t until recently that scientists began to discover how greatly the health of our microbiome affects our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
Did you also know that our gut health is directly related to brain health, mood, and immune response? In fact, 80% of our immune system is directly related to our gut. The gut is often referred to as the second brain because gut health is very connected to the brain’s regulation of hormones and mood.
Weight gain and difficulty losing weight is a major sign that your gut health is out of whack. The bacteria in our gut can influence the calories extracted from food the foods we eat. Two people could eat the same meal, but the individual that has a healthy microbiome will extract fewer calories compared to an individual with an unbalance in the gut. Shockingly, it’s actually common to have poor gut health. There are several other signs that indicate your microbiome is unhealthy including:
- Intense cravings for sugar and processed food
- Digestive issues like constipation, loose stools, bad breath, gas & bloating
- Frequent colds
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
The Western influenced lifestyle filled with high sugars, processed junk food, and antibiotics can greatly damage the health of our microbiome. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine on antibiotic prescription rates across the United States found a surprisingly correlation between antibiotic usage and obesity. Dr. Martin Blaser, New York University Langone Medical Center found that antibiotic abuse not only may be contributing to the increasing incidence of obesity, but allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and gastroesophageal reflux as well. Studies show creating a healthy gut microbiome can help relieve some serious digestive problems including diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and candida.
Inflammation in the gut also greatly affects inflammation in the skin. Many skin conditions are related to gut health including acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Studies show that 79-95% of teens in Westernized societies suffer from acne, while acne is nearly nonexistent in non-industrialized communities.
Your gut is responsible for metabolizing and breaking down nutrients from your diet which signals and regulates neurotransmitters in the brain that create hormones like serotonin. Many nutrient dense foods like walnuts, tomatoes, and kiwis help raise serotonin levels in the body. But what if your daily diet (like many other Americans) is filled with bread, pasta, sugar filled lattes, and deli meats?
It’s not surprising that depression and anxiety are at an all-time high as packaged food has become a staple in many households. Our diet looks vastly different from our ancestors who relied completely on whole food sources for energy. A study on a South American hunter-gatherer tribe showed that their microbiomes had 50% more ecological diversity when compared to Americans.
So how do we get back to the strong flourishing microbiome our ancestors once had? The microbiome is a complicated yet delicate system that requires a lot of nourishment. Along with incorporating a clean, balanced diet, here are some every day essentials to incorporate into your life to attain a healthy gut:
- GI-Map Testing– At Cambiati Wellness we now offer GI-Map testing that will identify pathogenic bacteria, commensal bacteria, opportunistic pathogens, fungi, viruses, and parasites within the individual’s gut. To learn more about testing go here!
- Prebiotics- Indigestible fibers in plant-based foods that feed healthy bacteria. Sources of prebiotics include Digestion Plus, garlic, tomatoes, Jerusalem artichoke (sun chokes), asparagus, and onions
- Sleep- Studies show that lack of sleep can negatively affect your gut microbiota. Sleep also helps to reduce stress, which is another major factor that affects gut health.
- Probiotic supplements & foods- Supplements are a great place to start to get a healthy dose of gut loving bacteria. At Cambiati Wellness, we sell high quality probiotic supplements in a pill form and a powder. Probiotics can also be found in food sources like kefir, dairy-free yogurt, miso, kombucha, tempeh, and fermented veggies like sauerkraut and kimchi. In our past fermentation blog, we talk about how incorporating fermented foods in the diet is an easy and delicious way to get a dose of good bacteria that your gut will love.
- Unnecessary Antibiotics- Overusing antibiotics does some serious damage to your gut health. Research shows that even a single course of antibiotics can permanently alter the gut microbiome.
Can’t wait to try fermented foods? Find out which store-bought fermented foods are Cambiati favorites here!