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  • Writer's pictureTania Cucciniello

Why Gut Health Matters

The gut! The biggest buzzword in health nowadays because the microbiome is the most important regulator in the body to achieve optimal health.


Good nutrition is so important because science shows that food is information. With 10x more bacterial cells in your gut & on your skin than there are human cells in your entire body, what we eat is directly related to health and wellness. What we choose to eat is fuel for the body, mind, and spirit.


As renowned longevity expert Dr. Mark Hyman always says:

“Do you want to be made of Doritos or grass-fed steak? Coca Cola or wild blueberries?”

Let’s look further into the effects food has on our health.


Why Gut Health Matters


Immunity

With 60-80% of our immune system found in the lining of our gut, our bodies rely on wholefoods rich in nutrients for our immune systems to function well. An important vitamin for our immunity is Vitamin D. Your body makes vitamin D when it’s exposed to sunlight, through supplementation, and natural dietary sources of vitamin D like eggs, mushrooms, and nuts. Adequate amounts of vitamin D reduces cellular growth, fights off infections or viruses, and helps regulate genes to switch on and off at the right moments.


Skin Health

Beautiful skin is an inside job! The health of your skin is directly related to what you put in your body. Rather than focusing on cleansers, lotions, and maybe even cosmetic procedures, focus instead on your gut. Eczema, psoriasis, acne, even dark circles under the eyes, may come from a diet of ultra-processed foods leading to heavy metal toxins, hormone imbalances, food allergies, and nutrient deficiencies. This almost always means excess inflammation is in the gut and showing up on the surface of your skin. Ditch the sugar, alcohol, and junk foods; opt for foods that clear your skin like fatty fish, avocados, and dark chocolate.


Mental Health

The gut-brain axis is directly how food affects our mood. Our mental health is comprised of how well we can focus, cognitive behaviours, and social behaviors. It is imperative that we eat whole foods, which can balance our chemicals and prevent mental dis-orders (simply out-of-order) such as anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s and even schizophrenia. New research shows insulin resistance, which comes from eating too many things that digest as sugar, and not enough fat, is one of the major factors that starts decline of mental health. For the first time in the mental health field, we are seeing the prevention and reversal of said conditions through the keto or carnivore diet. Data not to be ignored.


Digestion

Furthermore, what we digest goes directly to our organs and other tissues like our muscles and bones. For example, a healthy diet containing foods high in potassium may reduce the risk of heart diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attacks.


A healthy diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D, coupled with regular physical activity, helps to achieve strong bones, and may reduce the risk of osteopenia/osteoporosis.


A healthy diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables rich in polyphenols and provide many antioxidants to the body may help reduce the risk of cancers.


Sleep

Sleep is critical to maintaining a healthy balance between your circadian rhythm and your hormones. Sleeping less than 7 hours a night or getting to bed very late both have negative effects on this balance. Side effects include weight-gain, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, dementia, and an increased risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.


How well we sleep also has a direct effect on our energy the next day, I think we all know that. In fact, we’ve probably all experienced that lack of energy that comes from a bad night’s sleep. To feel energized throughout the day is possible through natural methods.


Let’s dive more into energy.


Gut Health & Energy Levels

Yes! Our gut, including all our organs, are connected to the amount of balanced energy we feel throughout the day. If energy is imbalanced, it may not be a mental or psychological issue per se; there may be an organ under stress due to poor posture, poor diet, and lack of movement. Any body part that is imbalanced will affect the chakra that is in-line or associated to that body part.


A chakra is known as an energy center of the body, and there are 7 chakras in total. Everything in the Universe has an energy field, including our body, mind, food, plants, animals. The quality of the energy in your chakras is directly linked to everything around us and everything we consume.


We are all living in a complex yet simple relationship with nature. Providing the right nutrients to our organs will support our energy centers. Since our chakras align with different groups of organs depending on the level, let’s look further at their relationships.



The 7 Chakras & Organs

  1. Root chakra (Red): houses the perineum, pelvic floor, testicles, lower spine, and kidneys.

  2. Sacral chakra (Orange): houses the bladder, prostate, ovaries, kidneys, gall bladder, bowels, spleen.

  3. Solar plexus chakra (Yellow): houses the intestines, pancreas, spleen, liver, bladder, stomach, upper spine.

  4. Heart chakra (Green): houses the heart (of course), and lungs.

  5. Throat chakra (Blue): houses the bronchial tubes, vocal cords, thyroid, esophagus, larynx, mouth, and tongue.

  6. Third eye chakra (Blue - Purple): houses the eyes, sinuses, pituitary gland, pineal gland, and the brain.

  7. Crown chakra (Purple – White): houses the brainstem, brain, and spinal cord.


You will notice some organs overlap appearing in two different chakras, simply because their position in the body can spread energetically.


Focusing on chakras # 1 - 3 that house the gut, some of their main functions include digestion, metabolism, blood pressure, hormones, and immune health.


One common example I can provide of how an unhealthy organ can cause an imbalanced chakra would be how the liver affects the solar plexus chakra. If the liver has a lot of work to do, it is under stress to function properly, and it will be directly linked to how the body and mind reacts to stress. This can lead to weight gain, digestive issues, or fatigue, and is often accompanied by feelings of agitation, aggression, and control.


This can be balanced by either observing an unhealthy behavioral pattern, which may allow one to discover an organ that may be having an issue and causing all these symptoms. Or eating the right food to stimulate the organ in question to regain balance in the chakra. Either intervention will help get to the root cause of the ailments.


How can we eat to stimulate a chakra? According to their color spectrum!


Listed above is the color spectrum for each chakra. Therefore, if you want to stimulate or balance the root chakra, you will eat red foods, such as strawberries. If you want to stimulate or balance the solar plexus chakra and regulate the example of the liver mentioned, you will eat yellow foods, such as ginger, lemons, or pineapple, which all carry anti-inflammatory properties.


I can talk endlessly on examples, but at the end of every day, the foundation of health and longevity is what we put in our mouths.


Good wholefoods, along with exercise, stress management, and proper sleep, can help you and your loved ones achieve a long, healthy life.

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