You are what you eat is a very common expression we all have heard at one point in our life, however, have you really stopped to think about what it could mean?
Humans think they’re the driver of their decisions, the driver of their success, the driver of their failures and to some degree they are. But did you know you’re more bacteria than human?
Over the last 20 years, scientists have come together to prove that the human gut has more responsibilities and impact on the human body, mind, emotions and reactions than we’ve ever thought.
Let’s start with the fact that the human microbiome, which is the gut bacteria, is composed of trillions of bacteria. These bacteria tell you how you feel, what to eat, what to crave, and how to respond.
I know what you’re probably thinking… “But I thought my brain did that?” … which it does to some degree. However, over the last decade, we’ve learnt that the gut communicates with the brain via the brain-gut axis and has a massive influence on it.
“A huge proportion of your immune system is actually in your GI tract,”Dan Peterson, assistant professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
For example, let’s look at serotonin. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy, it stabilizes your mood, and also helps with digestion and sleep. 90% of this neurotransmitter is produced in the gut. This is why people get “hangry” or why people get moody when they have a belly ache.
Your gut microbiome which we established was the bacteria in your gut, is impacted by your environment; you are what you eat, what you drink and even the environment you’re in.
You are what you eat, so eat something with good bacteria.
For so long we thought that the digestive system was there to just break our foods down and feed us nutrients to be able to perform our daily duties. However, an unhealthy gut microbiome also called gut dysbiosis, has resulted in a lot of autoimmune diseases, intolerances, and food sensitivities among other things!
The main reason why humans get sick is due to inflammation, and inflammation is normally caused by what you eat and drink. When you have too much inflammation in your body, it then gets developed into the traditional diseases that we know of such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, Chron’s disease etc.
A lot of geographical and social factors have impacted the development of the human microbiome including geographical location, smoking, drinking, eating junk food, genetically modified foods and stress.
75% of your immune system is in your gut, so let me ask you something. How do you think your body can perform 100% when you don’t feed it 100%? How do you think your car would perform if you put water or diesel instead of petrol? is it going to work? I’m comfortably going to say no. So why would your body, gut and brain perform 100% when you don’t treat it like it?
The problem with the human body is that it’s way too smart, it doesn’t break instantly. For example, if you put water or diesel in your car it would automatically not work, so automatically you fix it!
However, with the human body, it takes a while, years even sometimes decades to tell you it can’t take it anymore or ask for help. This is why when humans hit around their 50s or 60s things begin to break or not function as it should. This didn’t just happen due to turning 50 or 60, this is due to a lot of inflammation and damage over the years.
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So what’s a healthy human gut? Well, to be honest, no one has the answer to this. There isn’t any research or proven theories that say “this is the right bacteria ratio for a human to perform 100%”. The best gut microbiome is the one that serves you every day without inflammation, pain, discomfort and it allows you to have a high-quality life.
Having said that, we’re able to assist it daily. By implementing the following factors just to name a few, so you can help your gut and quality of life to increase.
- Eat organic fruits – Pesticides create stress on your gut microbiome
- Drink filtered water – Our water has a lot of pesticides, pollution and dust in it
- Try to avoid any antibiotics – This disrupts the human gut extensively. If you need antibiotics, make sure to take probiotics with it.
- Avoid artificial fibre – Things such as psyllium don’t help the bacteria in your gut
- Go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day – your gut has its own clock cycle which by keeping it the same, will give it consistency and help eliminate stress
Sometimes just adjusting what you’re currently doing already it can have a big impact on your health and mindset.
How to look out for an unhealthy gut:
- If you don’t go to the toilet for number 2’s – This is the body’s natural way of detoxification so if this process isn’t happening then something isn’t right
- If you suffer from reflux weekly
- If you suffer from brain fog
- If you suffer from bloating
- If you feel tired constantly even if you have enough sleep
- If you have skin rashes
- If you have a dry scalp
- If you suffer from depression or anxiety
The human microbiome is extremely extensive and scientists haven’t even really began to dig into its full potential. But what we do know is the fact that if you eat junk food and refined sugars, this will create more bacteria that likes that sort of food. This means you’re going to end up craving the wrong foods over and over again. You are what you eat. Break the cycle by providing your body with the right foods, drinks and environment.
What you do today will determine your quality of life later on in life. Today, you should choose how you want to live in your 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s etc.
The choice is yours.
Mariana has been in the health and fitness industry for over 8 years. Her passion for fitness lead her to a body building career allowing her to win Miss Universe in the international WFF championships. Ever since then she has been working on how to optimise weight loss and human performance from the inside out, leading her to help many people globally.