Healthy Inside & Out | Kathryn Trudeau
What does it mean to be healthy?
That’s not a simple question nor is there one answer. In fact, the definition of “healthy” is often linked with cultural values so each culture has its own health standards. Regardless of what we hold to be healthy, many people who seek to become healthier and more beautiful focus on the outside. We look for the appearance of muscles, we look at moisturizers that make our skin healthy, and we buy shampoos that promise to make our hair healthier. All of these focus on external signs of health.
In fact, there is a huge emphasis on what we look like on the outside that we tend to forget that health begins on the inside… and it all starts in our stomach.
ALL ABOUT THE GUT
A healthy gut is more than just good digestion. In fact, the gut affects every other body system. Our gut is home to 10-100 trillion microorganisms. These “friendly” bacteria keep the bad bacteria in line. A healthy gut teeming with these good bacteria help improve our overall health.
Improve mood: Serotonin is a mood booster so it’s easy to assume it’s produced in the brain… but 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut. How? All those wonderful microorganism (aka the good bacteria) secrete serotonin. Scientists studied mice who were given probiotics, and found that those mice were much calmer. Without enough good bacteria to make serotonin, we experience a dip in mood and an increase in stress levels. So… supporting the gut also helps support mental and emotional health.
Less stomach troubles: Studies show that a properly balanced gut means less likelihood of tummy troubles like indigestion or IBS.
Better sleep: Studies have also linked probiotic intake with less disruptions in the sleep/wake cycle.
Improved skin health: Many experts who study eczema find that taking probiotics helps to ease eczema symptoms and other allergy-related conditions.
Supports the healthy immune function: The gut creates 70% of the body’s immune system. After all, the digestive system is responsible for breaking down food, extracting nutrients, and filtering out the harmful toxins. It makes sense that there would be some immune system action where there is potential for a great threat from the outside.
Better memory: So it’s true! The stomach really is a path to the brain! Studies show that participants with a healthy gut scored much better on memory tests than individuals with an imbalanced gut.
HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR GUT HEALTH
With all of those benefits of a healthy gut, you may be wondering how to improve your gut and support those good bacteria.
Water: We know water is important for our body to function, but it especially helps our digestive system.
Diet: Our diet choices can either improve the balance of our gut or send it spiraling into chaos.
>> Inflammatory foods are bad because they trigger an overgrowth of the bad bacteria. As bad bacteria take over, inflammation begins as an effort to the find the bad bacteria. This then causes weight gain. Inflammatory foods include vegetable cooking oils (sunflower oil, etc), refined sugars, trans fats, non-grass fed meats, processed meats, refined grains, and artificial flavors and additives (such as MSG.)
>> Foods rich in probiotics help replenish the good bacteria. Examples include: yogurt, kefir, kimchi, pickles and other fermented food.
Take a daily probiotic supplement: Probiotics are a daily supplement of these “live cultures.” Reap the benefits of a healthy gut by ensuring your “good guys” have strength in numbers.
So the next time you are evaluating the state of your health, don’t forget to pay a little TLC to your gut.
Kathryn is a self-proclaimed book nerd who has a passion for natural parenting and writing. As a homeschooling mother of two, Kathryn understands the dynamics of a busy family life. She is the founder of the Cor Domum project, a mission that guides families through life so that they can parent with joy.
I’d also like to invite all of your listeners to a more in-depth webinar on essential oils, probiotics, and weight loss. For any of YOUR tribe who register and attend, I’ll send them a free lavender sample. It’s a free webinar, and they can register here: http://cordomum.synduit.com/SSW0001