What have you done for your gut lately?

kimchiWe all know how great a day it is when we feel a lightness and comfort in your gut. We also know how fleeting this feeling can be with one moment of weakness that throws us off-balance. There are a ton of things that can throw a wrench into that good feeling  – from the harmless gas from eating something that doesn’t agree with you to inflammation that inflicts suffering for days on end. It wasn’t until I became friends with my gut that I realized I was living with so much pain.

 The food that we eat can be a-holes. Nobody wants to admit it, but we regularly enjoy inflammatory foods we love that just don’t love us back. Fried foods and processed foods will cause the most damage. Wheat and dairy can also pose a challenge for many people. [Side note: I say many because not everyone is gluten or wheat intolerant, despite what it says on the internet]. Sugar is another big one and it’s dose dependent. A moderate amount of sugar is fine but the amount of sugar most people are now accustomed to eating is outrageous. These foods can cause inflammation and it’s also believed they can cause leaky gut which is believed to be when the intestine is damaged and allows undigested food and toxic wastes through the walls of the intestine.

 The food we are not eating can also contribute to our pain. Dehydration is the culprit of a lot of woes. Not having enough water can contribute to constipation and makes it challenging in moving waste from our cells. An insufficient amount of fermented foods (probiotics) in your diet means that gut bacteria can’t flourish and do its job in boosting your immune system and digestion. My favorite way to get my fermented foods is to add some sauerkraut or kim chi [favorite brand pictured above!]

 How we eat can contribute to our health. Eating quickly and on the go, can build up gas from the extra air we are taking in. It’s also easy to overeat when eating on the go which will lead to gastric distress.

 I wish there was a pill that would give people the feeling of perfect health. Then it wouldn’t be a decision between fries and pizza over feeling good. Most people don’t feel good on a daily basis and can’t imagine what it feels like to live without bloating, gas, stomach pain and the energy ups and downs that come with a less than ideal diet.

 The million dollar question though is how to reduce the harmful food and increase the helpful foods. Admittedly the foods we shouldn’t be eating are engineered to be appealing to us. Most of them are in the “sweet spot” of a sugar, fat and salt ratio that the R&D teams at most packaged foods companies have mastered. Sauerkraut and fresh veggies just don’t taste the same, admittedly. It needs to be a slow transition by tackling one snack or aspect of a meal at a time. Guaranteed you’ll get to a point where you know in your body when you dive into a bag of chips. I can personally attest that when I eat sugar and fried foods I feel crappy.

Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels!

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