Yes, this is another healthy gut website. Cyberspace is flooded with them. By now, everyone should have a healthy gut, right? So why are we still talking about it? Could it be that it is too much hard work? I mean seriously, you would have to quit your job, stay home and make 3 meals a day! Or maybe, we don’t really give a flip about a healthy gut? Thanks anyway, pizza, burgers, and beer are fine for me. Or maybe, we think it is a futile endeavor. Our soil and water and air are overloaded with toxins already, so what good is eating a healthy organic diet?
The bottom line is that it’s not always easy or economical to eat a healthy diet. In addition, our eating habits and preferences are well established by the time we enter adolescence, so if a healthy diverse diet of fruits and vegetables is not already on the plate, it’s not likely to transform into a wholesome and nutritious culinary delight, especially not overnight. Margaret Mead said, “It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet.” True statement for men, women, and children.
In fact, most of us only make changes when we are forced to, as in we receive a diagnosis of diabetes, cancer, IBS, or some other disorder that compels us to make changes to improve symptoms or even prevent an untimely death. I completely understand that many people are just not motivated to make major dietary and lifestyle changes when there is no apparent problem. Why put in the work? As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The fallacy in that argument is this. It is broken, you will feel better and you might just save a life – your own.
We live in a world where people ingest Benadryl, Claritin, Tylenol, Advil, Tums, and Nexium, like they are Altoids, unaware that their skin rash and itching, sinus drainage, headaches, gas, and reflux are all symptoms of leaky gut. And if that’s not enough, they are even more clueless about the damage they are inflicting on the already compromised gut with frequent doses of those OTC products. Of course, if you ask them, they will say they don’t have gut problems! Why should they change their diet? Some of those people are truly unaware and others prefer to remain uninformed. The bad news is, just because you don’t suffer from gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation doesn’t mean you have a healthy gut. In fact, it’s probably a safe bet to assume that the majority of Americans have dysbiosis or unhealthy gut microbes because of our nutrient poor western diet.
It’s not just about feeling good and not subjecting your family and coworkers to frequent gaseous episodes, although that is one good reason to work on feeding your gut microbes. Scientific studies are indicating that many people with chronic disease have altered gut microbes or a proliferation of bad bacteria and decreased amounts of good bacteria. Increasing evidence in recent years suggests that the underlying cause of autoimmune disease is a result of a lack of beneficial gut microflora, a lack of keystone species which are essential bacteria for creating a stable microbial ecosystem, and a leaky gut which allow toxins to enter the bloodstream.
Having a healthy gut decreases your chances of heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, and fibromyalgia, to name a few. In addition, studies show that the gut microbiome impacts our mood. Anxiety and depression are prevalent in our society. The Gut-Brain connection is very real, and the food we eat can instill confidence, contentment, and increase vitality or it can make us feel anxious, angry and isolated.
If the above is not reason enough to make dietary changes in your life, think of your children and grandchildren. The food we give our children will impact their physical health, lifestyle choices, economic status, relationships, and their overall sense of well-being throughout a lifetime. Shouldn’t you do it for them?