The gut has been called the second brain and for good reason. It metabolizes, produces, and regulates your hormones. The vagus nerve runs from your gut to your brain and these two send text messages back and forth all day every day. So it's important to keep your gut in tip top shape.
Your gut bugs (virus, bacteria, yeast to name a few) live in a symbiotic relationship with us. As they help us digest and absorb nutrients to feed our cells, we feed them nutrient dense foods.
The problem--our Standard American Diet is anything but nutrient dense. We typically eat the same things day after day with little to no color (fruits and veggies). To keep our hormones running optimally, we also need to keep our gut happy. Here are my top eight tips to keeping your gut happy.
Add a probiotic. A probiotic seeds your gut with good live bacteria. Unless you have a reason to take a probiotic, I suggest starting with foods like: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso, and kombucha.
Add prebiotics. A prebiotic is non-digestible foods that encourage growth of the good gut bacteria by feeding them. Here are a few common prebiotics: garlic, onions, leeks, bananas, oats, barley, flaxseed and seaweed.
Add bone broth. Bone broth is fantastic at sealing your gut lining. It's very soothing, healing, easily digested. Be sure you're reaching for a good quality pasture raised option.
Avoid pesticides and herbicides. Remember, everything has to be broken down and processed. Pesticides and herbicides are toxic and hard on the liver. Check out the list of Dirty Dozen fruits and veggies.
Eat nutrient dense foods. I've already said it but it's worth saying again. The Standard American Diet causes dis-ease in the body. Choose wholes foods and mostly plants whenever possible.
Stress less. Your gut feels everything. It's your second brain! Whatever you feel or think is going to have an impact on the health of your gut and microbiome. Spend some time in quiet meditation or prayer every day to ground down and get clear on your priorities and what's important to you.
Cut the sugar. Our Standard American Diet is loaded with sugar. Read your food labels and get rid of foods with added sugar. Sugar causes inflammation in the body and lights up the part of the brain associated with addiction making us crave more. Make a commitment to read your labels!
Drink more water. We should be drinking half our body weight in water every single day. It's not hard! Fill up a pitcher. Have a goal to finish it by the end of the day. Challenge your family and make it a game. The more water, the better digestion and elimination!
There you have it. My top eight tips for a healthy gut which can translate to healthier hormones--production, metabolizing, and regulating. Need more guidance on hormone health? Check out the Coaching tab to learn more about the Hormone Workshop and Master Class.