It is time to start thinking about your gut. Gut is kind of a funny word to be used in regards to healthy choices because when I hear gut I think of Randy from Trailer Park Boys (gut pictured below)
So, just so we are clear, we are not talking about that kind of gut. When you hear gut-health it is referring to your gut micro biome or the bacteria in your gut. Even if you are skinny, you might have an unhealthy gut. Science is now showing that the bacteria in your gut has an immense impact on your overall health and day to day functioning.
If you want to be fully convinced on how important having a healthy gut is, read the book Brain Maker by Dr. Perlmutter. It is really eye-opening in terms of how influential an often over-looked part of our body can be. Our gut is truly the second brain.
Here are some words from the man himself…
“Your intestinal organisms, or microbiome, participate in a wide variety of bodily systems, including immunity, detoxification, inflammation, neurotransmitter and vitamin production, nutrient absorption, whether you feel hungry or full, and how you utilize carbohydrates and fat. All of these processes factor into whether you experience chronic health problems like allergies, asthma, ADHD, cancer, type 2 diabetes, or dementia.
What you might not know is that your microbiome also affects your mood, your libido, and even your perceptions of the world and the clarity of your thoughts. A dysfunctional microbiome could be at the root of your headaches, anxiety, inability to concentrate, or even negative outlook on life.
Put simply, nearly everything about our health — how we feel both physically and emotionally — can hinge on the state of our microbiome. In fact, the connection between gut flora and the brain is so important that in 2014 the National Institute of Mental Health spent more than $1 million on a research program to study this relationship” - Dr. Perlmutter
(Full article: Dr. P- Gut Health)
Now that we are starting to learn how important gut-health is, we are also learning how the western diet and lifestyle often leads to a rather unhealthy gut microbiome. However, the silver lining here is that your gut microbiome can be repaired by your nutritional choices.
In the same article that I pulled the above quote from Dr. Perlmutter gives five tips on how to improve your gut-health with nutritional choices. You might be surprised at some of them…
-Eat foods rich in probiotics (yogourt, kombucha, kimchi, kefir)
-Go lower carb, and embrace higher fat (Aim for 40% of your calories each day to come from quality fats)
-Enjoy Chocolate, Coffee, Wine, and Tea (Woo hoo!)
-Consume foods rich in probiotics (Raw Garlic, onions, bananas, artichoke
-Drink Filtered Water (chlorinated water messes up your gut)
So, a good rule of thumb is to try to eat at-least 1-2 food items each day that are going to promote a healthy gut. For some people who have had an unhealthy gut for many years, or have taken a lot of antibiotics in their life they should consider starting things off with an over the counter pro-biotic as well. It would be a good idea to speak to your doctor about your gut-health, however, this is not a focus of mainstream medicine yet, so you may be met with a bit of resistance unfortunately.
My favourite choices for my gut are Kombucha and Black Coffee, and I have really come into liking Kimchi. For pre-biotics I have started to eat some raw garlic everyday which is admittedly not the nicest of sensations but you get used to it.
When it comes to coffee, not all brews were created equally. I would say the better quality the coffee the better it is going to be for you. And I might lose my Canadian citizenship here, but Tim Horton's does not qualify as high quality. For a little experiment try a coffee from Tim's one day on an empty stomach and notice how your stomach feels, and on another day try a coffee from a local shop which roasts its own beans and see how your stomach feels. You should notice a difference.
I take great delight in noticing synchronicity in life, Synchronicity is when a recurring theme or thing keeps popping up in your life from seemingly unconnected sources. Perhaps it can be explained by heightened awareness of something, and that can lead to you encountering it more in the world... but anyway "gut stuff" has been popping up everywhere for me. Here is the latest example....
One of my favourite groups is called Stand High Patrol which is a french dub-a-dub band, and after you listen (if you do), it won't be surprising that I was introduced to this group while backpacking in Thailand. So, they have been on my radar for a few years and on their most recent album there is a song called Dinner Time. The lyrics made me burst out laughing because they are so "woke" in terms of nutrition. He comments on gut-health, the second-brain, GMO's, industrial farming, and also the simple act of taking pleasure in eating. He hits on like three of my blog posts. Here is the song and the lyrics below... Enjoy!
Lyrics of Dinner Time Stand High Patrol
[Chorus] I’m a hedonist I love the good food I’m in a good mood Everything is cool [Verse 1] Sunday morning I put on my jacket "Where are you going ?" To the market! Bring back good food is the target Fresh vegetables in the basket Chop that, cook that in the hot pan Corkscrew open a bottle of wine Smell that, huum, having a good time Good for the belly, everything is fine Your stomach acts like a second brain Did you know that? This is insane Bacteria controls your mind What you eat influences your mood So open, a recipes book! Choose one page and start to cook Fresh fish, from the hot nook brook Cooking by crook or by Hook
[Bridge] I’m not hungry anymore. What? (x3) [Verse 2] I remember back in the days the taste of tomatoes Now it tastes like shit full of GMOs Same peas same beans same potatoes Same plants same seeds yes shit grows Everywhere in the world it’s the same shit 1000s of chickens in a dark shed I’m feeling sick I lost my appetite, I’m not hungry anymore
Local products Home-grown products I like to know where the food comes from Local products Home-grown products I like to support the people I know My good friend Jack is a champion cook Big up! Big up! To my good friend Jack My brother Tony is a market gardener Shout! Shout! To my brother Tonio
-Pupajim (Stand High Patrol)
Grit Human Performance