I’ve noticed a trend in women lately. It’s almost as if our stomachs are revolting against us. We’re bloating and crampy. We’re low-energy, dealing with lousy moods and rough journeys in and out of menopause. We don’t get enough sleep. Half the time we don’t have the energy to exercise. And we’re not sure when our jeans went up seven sizes, but we don’t like it one bit.
When we don’t feel well, we tend to blame food first. Are we gluten intolerant? Are we allergic to dairy? We are so used to blaming our stomach issues on allergies, but chances are, there’s more at play than that cube of cheese you ate at the cocktail party.
But no matter the reason, when you’ve got a sensitive tummy that stops you in your tracks after eating certain foods…. What’s a girl to do?
You’ve heard the saying; you are what you eat. This couldn’t be truer than when we take a moment to appreciate the relationship between food and our bodies and brains.
LOVE THY GUT
Our gut has two primary roles: to break down food and to absorb nutrition from the food we eat. This means that our digestive system is responsible for nourishing our bodies, feeding our brains, and staving off disease and decline. It’s essential to choose the right foods to nourish our gut — because as the saying goes, our food choices can harm or heal!
Easier said than done, right? Our relationship with food is very confusing. These days, we want more than just nutrition from our diet. We want pleasure. Comfort. Satisfaction. We want our food to complete us like a Disney prince. We want that eggplant frittata to sweep us off our feet. Thinking of food as nutrients that help you live another day is unromantic and unsexy, so instead, we want food to be an experience.
And what do we end up with?
A stomach ache after downing a half-pound of M&Ms that you thought was going to put some sunshine into your day.
Girl, it’s just sugar in a bag. It’s not magic. In fact, it wrecks our gut health.
And when you got gut problems; you got brain problems.
Not only does our digestive system house 75 percent of our immune system — but it also feeds our brain. It’s essential to learn to treat our guts better. It can mean a better, longer life with fewer tummy aches and less stress and more.
BOOST GUT HEALTH BY AVOIDING THESE GUT-HARMING FOODS
It’s time to say goodbye to bloating, cramping, and spending half your afternoon on the toilet. It’s time to say goodbye to headaches, brain fog, and mood swings. Believe it or not, what we put in our bodies has everything to do with how we feel, how we perform, and how vital the next chapter of our life will be.
Here’s what to do:
Cut out the sugar. Table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are doing no favors for your entire body, especially your stomach and brain. It’s time to cut consumption of soft drinks, candy, chocolate, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, sweet pastries, and certain cereals. And don’t be fooled by vegan, gluten-free pastries.They’re by no means healthy. Sweets should be reserved for the right occasions, not for mindless eating in the kitchen while scrolling Instagram.
While you’re at it, Cut Out Crappy Inflammatory Fats. This means no french fries and other fried fast foods. Stop eating in cheap places that use cheap oils. Fried foods and junk will age you so fast, and will make you feel awful. They’re just not worth it.
Go easy on the Grains. I am not a believer in cutting carbohydrates out completely. But one type of carb is essentially the diet devil. Beware of SIMPLE CARBS!!
Refined carbohydrates have most of the fiber removed and they are some of the worst foods you can eat. Refined carbs create inflammation in your gut and your brain. There’s a reason why Alzheimer’s is now being classified as Type III diabetes. Go into your kitchen and throw out that white bread right this instant! Instead, opt for whole grains which are COMPLEX CARBS. Eat whole grains in moderation and a lot of whole food carbohydrates like dark leafy greens, cabbage, and all vegetables.
Carbohydrates have a bad rap, but the truth is that not all carbs are problematic.
Ancient humans consumed high-fiber, unprocessed carbs for millennia in the form of grasses, roots, and fruits. In our modern world, we have over-indulged with addicting sugars and ‘carby’ treats that might taste good going down, but leave us feeling sluggish, heavy, and foggy and in the long run, unhappy.
Eat More of THIS for Better Gut Health
EAT PREBIOTIC foods such as garlic, onions and leeks, asparagus, fennel, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, apples, bananas, flaxseeds, dandelion greens, oats, and barley. These foods are delicious AND amazing for your gut! Your gut and brain long for these fiber-rich foods.
EAT PROBIOTIC foods such as pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, and fermented whole soy foods like miso, tempeh, natto. These can promote the increase of friendly bacteria in your gut and can help with various digestive problems while boosting your immune system.
Quality yogurt is a prebiotic food. QUALITY is the keyword here because most store-bought yogurt is laden with sugar. So, don’t pick up that bright pink yogurt container. We’ve been duped thinking we are getting naturally-occurring live organisms in yogurt when instead the amount of sugar in a 6 ounce container is enough to send your tummy into a tizzy. Talk about another ‘hit’ to your gut. Opt for unflavored, straight-up yogurt with no sugar added. Be sure to read the ingredients list.
Hippocrates who died in 375 BC said “All disease begins in the gut.”
Today, this still holds true.