Gut Health Holds the Key to Unlocking Your Health Goals

June 3, 2021 / Nutrition / Source: Nutrition

Unlocking Health GoalsI’m not sure about you, but I spent many years thinking the key to weight loss was exercising…a LOT! Plus, I thought that after years of eating the standard American diet (ASD), that I could just start throwing in some healthy foods and all would be well. I honestly thought I had it all figured out. Then, I had my thyroid removed, which presented a whole different range of issues to add to the puzzle. I have to admit that there are days when I start to get bummed out that I had to have my entire thyroid removed. However, I quickly remind myself of everything that I have learned about health and hormones because of the journey I have been on. I guess you could say I have found the hidden blessing. I'm thankful that I have found the key to unlock my health goals...and I hope you will too!

Our health is all about balance! For example, we need to have the right balance of healthy nutrition, balanced hormones, a healthy work/life balance, and one that is often over-looked…a balance of both good and bad bacteria in our guts. The cool and crazy part is that we are all unique…and what is good for one person may not be for someone else. Some of us have food intolerances, and others do not. Plus, aside from food intolerances, we are each individual in which foods cause inflammation in our bodies. To give an example, one of my good friends had a blood test that showed cucumbers, lettuce, and cauliflower were high inflammation triggers for her. However, my test revealed foods like, lentils, coffee, peas, pineapple, chickpeas, and kidney beans as high inflammation culprits. So, while there might be some common food intolerance by a large number of people (e.g., gluten, dairy), we each need to take an individual approach to designing a plan that works for us.

Now, let's just take a quick look at how the diversity of our gut bacteria can have an impact on our health. We definitely want to get plenty of good bacteria to outweigh the bad. However, sometimes there are obstacles that can get in the way of our good intentions. For instance, gut issues such as leaky gut or SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) are a couple of issues related to the gut that can interfere with trying to add foods that help feed good bacteria. In both of these instances, if you try to introduce something like fermented vegetables to increase your good bacteria, it would actually end up having a negative effect. So, the key is to know what you are dealing with so that you can first tackle the issue before trying to increase good gut bacteria. Some may need to start with a gut healing protocol, where others may need to go on a low FODMAP diet to keep from feeding the overgrown bacteria in the small intestines.

So, the key to unlocking your health goals lies in your gut. Do you know if you have any food intolerances or sensitivities? Do you have any foods that may cause inflammation? Or, how about gut issues? Do you experience any of the typical signs like bloating, constipation (or the opposite), etc.? If so, you may want to consider trying an elimination diet, or even seeing a naturopath or integrative medicine doctor to help you find the answers. Did you know that your gut even has an influence on your hormone balance…and your mood? Finding the answer to your gut issues, will help you open up the path to achieve your health goals.