Energy, Happiness, Immunity and Gut Connection

inflamed gut

inflamed gut

You Are More Than What You Eat

“You are what you eat”. Most likely you heard this statement a hundred times throughout your life. Various nutrition experts, doctors, your mom, or maybe an annoying health-obsessed foodie at work repeat this statement like a magic curse.

Whether you believe this statement or not, you are about to be surprised.

This statement is not true! You are not what you eat! You are a lot more complicated than that. But even if we were to dramatically simplify human body to a food equation, it would be:

You are what you digest, the nutrients you assimilate, and the waste that you eliminate.

You = % of nutrients assimilated X (food that you eat) – waste you eliminate

Basically, you can eat the cleanest most organic foods and still feel constipated, bloated, and fatigued if you are not digesting it well and not eliminating all the leftover material.

A healthy digestion is an essential element to a fulfilling high-quality living. Our body is an amazing vehicle that allows us to experience life and to enjoy many pleasures. When basic physiological functions work the way nature intended, we live in a blissful ignorance of the nature’s genius. However, when things go wrong and our body works at a less than perfect rate, we are forced to recognize the intricate design of our internal systems.

Our body is constantly renewing and building new cells. Skin, bones, liver, blood – our entire body renews itself on a daily basis. We change our body almost entirely every 4-5 years. New cells are being built out of the nutrients that we get from the food. If the food that we eat is not nutritious, if our body is not absorbing the nutrients, or not eliminating the waste, the new cells cannot be healthy from the very beginning.

A healthy belly is the one that digests food well, makes the entire body feel energized, light, and happy.

Unfortunately, many of us are way too familiar with the way an unhappy belly feels and looks: bloated, gassy, heavy, sluggish and irregular. To be more exact, 60 to 70 million people in the US are affected by all digestive diseases according to National Institute of Health. An incredible 63 million people are chronically constipated as reported in 2000. It costs $141.8 billion (2004) per year in medical expenses. It is estimated that some 35 million Americans suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Although some people have such mild symptoms that they don’t know they have IBS, physicians report it is still one of the most common disorders in patient visits. Females are more likely to suffer from IBS and account for 60-65% of those diagnosed.

1 in every 3 people experiences some sort of digestive un-ease or discomfort throughout the day. It can range from embarrassing gas, constipation, bloating, acid reflux, burping, or diarrhea.

When digestive system is not functioning well the effects spread to the entire body. Suddenly the world is not as bright anymore and you don’t feel that comfortable in it. The energy level goes down, there is no desire to be social or active, and all your thoughts turn into an angry self-criticizing monologue towards the body. Digestion also affects our immune system, mood, hormones, skin, body odor, and sex drive.

If you want a beautiful healthy and strong body, you owe it to yourself to understand how your digestion functions and how to keep it in a thriving optimal state.

Energy, Mood, Confidence, Immunity and Gut Connection

happybellyThere is no life without the gut. Or should I say no happy life without a healthy gut? The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is a crucial part of our physiology and its health determines our health and happiness.

Besides being responsible for nutrient absorption, our digestive system is responsible for our immune system and acts as a major source of neurotransmitters – the chemicals that determine our emotional state. Gut health has been linked to our learning capacity and memory, depression and anxiety, bone formation, neurological functions, and much more.

About 95% of the neurotransmitter serotonin is produced by neurons in the gut.

Gut brain maybe be partially responsible for your emotions, as well. Serotonin that makes us feel positive, easy-going, confident, and enthusiastic is produced predominantly in the gut. When its production is hindered due to gut inflammation, we can feel worried, pessimistic, obsessive, irritable, and sleepless. Talk about food/mood connection!

Our digestive system determines our life outlook, mood and health. Besides serotonin, other neurotransmitters are directly dependent on the health of our gut, including GABA, endorphins, dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Each of these neurotransmitters has a different effect on mood depending on the supply of amino acid fuel available.

Gut bacteria is responsible for production of multiple vitamins including Vitamin K (bone formation and blood clotting) and Biotin (converts food to energy, regulates blood sugar, hair and nails strength). It also helps to regulate cholesterol metabolism and detoxify our body while maintaining a normal PH level in the stomach.

Immune system is another function of our intricate and genius digestive system. Our internal delicate ecosystem controls the presence of harmful invaders and good bacteria that supports our immunity.

When your digestive system is not functioning properly, it can result in poor nutrient absorption/malnourishment and lead to a number of chronic problems including fatigue, IBS, constipation, bloating, acid reflux, autoimmune disorders, learning disabilities, and more.

GI is an integral part of a system of organs responsible for our defense system against bad bacteria, viruses, toxins, and infections. Lymphocytes, cells that attack harmful invaders are produced in the gut. There specific gut-lymph tissues that work with other gut immune cells to identify and kill any pathogens, toxins or other health-robbing substances we may have ingested.

In addition, good bacteria living in the gut is responsible for maintaining a healthy gut flora and preventing yeast overgrowth, parasites, and other harmful microbes. Healthy gut flora assists in digestion, manufacturing of vitamins, and assimilation of nutrients.

As a person striving to live a healthy lifestyle and to have the highest level of energy and immune system, you need to understand the way your digestive system functions. You owe it to yourself!

I invite you to embark on this exploration with me during the 6 weeks online program Happy Sexy Belly. Together we will assess the state of your digestion and learn way to balance it. You will know what foods to eat to nourish your digestive system and what foods to avoid, what herbs and tea to use to soothe bloating and encourage regular elimination.

The program starts this Wed, Jan 23rd. I hope you join me!

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