Improving your health through your gut

The story I want to share with you this morning is directed toward my health.  I wasn’t always a super healthy person to be quite honest with you, I went to college, I partied, I ate pizza and although I took sports seriously and used food as an edge to nutritionize my body, I didn’t have the cleanest diet.  I think early in life, before we look to ‘live a healthier lifestyle’ it’s hard to determine how much damage we actually do to our bodies.
A couple years ago I had some sort of stomach issues, crazy pains that I had no idea where they came from or what they were (nor did anyone else).  These ‘issues’ led me to more research and eating cleaner and finding ways to improve my health and heal my stomach from what I can only guess was damage that was done earlier in life.  Those pains haven’t come back for quite some time, if fact I don’t remember the last time but I do remember them clearly enough that having a stronger stomach (or gut) is always on my mind.
I’d like to give you some tips on how to:

  • avoid depression
  • increase your immune system
  • have you feeling better
  • and give you tips on how the healthiest civilizations in the world do this.

Through my research it was surprising for me to find out that serotonin levels mainly reside in the gut while most people think this is only a brain issue.  To be more direct in case I lost anyone, they give antidepressant medication to those who have low serotonin levels.  To me the correlation is easy to see, it makes perfect sense.  Your diet plays a large role in your mood and depression rate.  Have you ever heard of someone depressed that’s had a good diet?  I certainly haven’t.  So that’s #1.
#2 is immunity and our health Our immune system also resides largely in our gut, which means if you find yourself often ‘sick’ or not feeling well you should should look to your diet, what foods you are consuming and when.  And I know, most people say ‘I eat good’ (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that….then I look at their nutrition journal :)).  You can always improve in some area, so if you think you eat well, find one small thing you can improve on.
Through research they found that the healthiest civilizations in the world use some form of fermented foods in their diet on a daily basis.  That’s right ‘daily’, not once in awhile, not when they’re not feel well but every single day.  These fermented foods keep their gut acidity level down, they also promote good bacteria, balance your mood and increase your immune system.

Just about every morning I have a small glass of kefir, I recently started having a couple fork fulls of sauerkraut.  I do this the very first thing in the morning, then wait a few minutes before I have my breakfast.  For my later meal in the evening I’ve been adding kimchi which is a Korean pro-biotic which is a staple in their diet.  And finally I’ve been enjoying a cup of chicory root tea, which has tons of cleansing properties to the liver, along with fibre which is actually a prebiotic.

These are some small steps you can take today to improve your health.  You don’t need to try all of them right now, and if you’ve tried one before and you didn’t exactly favor the taste you can try something a little different.  There are tons of ways to improve our health, and a large number of different foods you can find that are fermented.  Trial by error, guess and test.  I used to really dislike sourkrout, but it’s much easier for me to ‘stomach’ food when I understand the health benefits, maybe that’ll hep you too.

Whatever you do, look to prevent and take action in small steps toward improving your health.