Yes, you did read that correctly, and I’m not talking some alien type image of a man with two brains!
I’m talking about your gut, that little place where all your food goes. Your gut is central to all your body systems, and how healthy it is, and if it’s in balance can play a dramatic part in how we feel and how we react to stress.
Remember that feeling you get when you go for an interview, waiting to go into an exam or even the dentist? How about that similar feeling you get when something doesn’t feel right, or your anxious about something you’ve done?
You’ve probably heard the phrases “I’ve got the collywobbles” or “I’m listening to my gut instinct”?
We’ve all experienced some of these, right? Well, these are great simple examples of the brain-gut connection.
A healthy gut environment is key to good mental health, and helps with our recovery from stresses once they’ve gone.
So what prompted me to share this with you? Well, if you’ve read about me, you’ll understand the journey I have been on to be where I am today. My gut had been compromised with IBS, Candida etc, and with changing what I ate I healed my gut and felt amazing. The trouble is as you’re learning now, reading this, how you feel has a huge impact on how your gut feels. So when I went through the dark period of stress & depression, even though I was eating well, my gut was being compromised by the effects of the stress hormone cortisol.
Here’s the admission (takes a deep breath)! My emotional state also clouded my thinking, and whilst I thought I was lucky having the knowledge I have, as I was eating well during this time, my mind forgot to remind me that stress can impact the balance of your gut regardless.
What was my tell tale? My skin!
Your skin is a great place to analyse what’s going on inside, and I started suffering from rosacea acne, and flare ups got worse as I had a particularly stress induced emotional day.
So, I started to focus on healing my gut – you’d think just by eating healthily, this would cure it, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Basically, when your gut is compromised it causes a state called “Leaky Gut”, this can cause a lowered immunity, enable bacteria to enter the bloodstream, and for absorption of vitamins & minerals to decrease.
Action plan in place, here’s what I decided to focus on. There is many conflicting information out there, but after lots of research I decided, these were for me:-
1. Removing foods and factors that damage the gut
– luckily for me I already don’t have gluten, dairy or processed sugar in my diet
– so in addition, omitting high sugar fruits, yeast, caffeine & alcohol (thankfully I have minimal consumption of these two anyway)
2. Eat more healing foods, including prebiotic rich foods to encourage good bacteria
– luckily I love and eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and am a huge garlic fan!
– Kefir and fermented products
– Coconut products
3. Repair the gut with supplements
I did a more research into this, and for me I decided to give this a try: –
– L-glutamine – this is an essential amino acid that is also an anti-inflammatory, and great for growth and repair of the gut lining
4. Put more beneficial probiotics in to my body
– I take a probiotic supplement daily anyway, and sometimes it’s good to change the strain, so I changed mine
My journey with healing is still ongoing, but my skin already looks so much better. Time to heal depends on how long your gut has been compromised, but mine is so much better already
Have a wonderful healthy week