A Healthy Stomach Makes a Happy Body
The gut microbiome has been making a splash in recent health headlines, so today I want to talk about how a healthy stomach makes a healthy body.
We have a lot of health issues today and many of them stem from poor eating. So, let’s take a look at exactly what a healthy microbiome is and how we can “reset” the microbiome for a happier, healthier body.
SPOILER: There’s a GREAT new program from Beachbody that will help with getting and maintaining a healthy microbiome. More on that in a moment!
What Is the “Gut Microbiome”?
The gut is full of microbes and the “gut microbiome” is the term for all the microorganisms living inside the gut and intestines—most of which are housed in the cecum.
The cecum is a big pocket-like area of the large intestine.
Those microbes consist of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms. Weird, right??
Our gut microbiomes have as many as 1,000 different species of bacteria living in them!
Scientists label the gut microbiome an “extra brain” because it functions as an extra organ in our bodies.
The science of the gut is still in its infancy and has already revealed some interesting insights. There’s a link between some disease states and the microbiota of your gut.
The microbiome affects our bodies in several ways. Most importantly, it helps:
- Promote fiber digestion
- Boost the immune system
- Improve brain health
- Control blood sugar
Did you notice the two BIGGIES? The gut microbiome helps improve brain health and boost our immune systems.
In other words, a healthy stomach means a healthy body!
Link Between Gut Microbiome & Weight
Something called “gut dysbiosis” may contribute to weight gain.
Dysbiosis occurs when you have too many bad bacteria versus healthy bacteria in the microbiome.
At least one study showed that our gut microbiomes are not genetic. This is just one more reason we need to eat a healthy diet—so that our microbiomes have more good than bad bacteria.
There’s a definite link between gut bacteria and health.
Gluten and Gut Health
Gluten can have a big impact on gut health for those with an intolerance or sensitivity. And, there are many who fall into this category.
The result is increased intestinal permeability…you may have heard the term “leaky gut.” Celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome can happen when it’s super serious.
Cutting out gluten for a short period of time can give you insight on how it may be impacting you. It may be best to cut it out entirely…it’s always a good idea to eat it in moderation regardless.
Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Microbiome
There are some warning signs that point to a poor gut microbiome.
Do you suffer from chronic upset stomachs? That’s a sign that something is not right in your gut microbiome.
Also, restless sleep, persistent fatigue, autoimmune conditions, skin irritations, and food intolerances can all be signs of an unhealthy gut microbiome.
What to Eat for Good Gut Bacteria and Health
There are some foods that help if you want a healthy microbiome and a healthy stomach. In addition, diversity is key.
I’m guessing you already know what a lot of them are…
- High-fiber foods like beans and legumes
- Whole grains
- Fermented foods
We should eat as many plants as possible, as well as foods that are rich in polyphenols (green tea, olive oil, DARK chocolate, and whole grains).
Whole grains are also good because they’re full of fiber and beta-glucan. The gut bacteria digest beta-glucan and use it to lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and other disorders.
Eat fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kefir, and yogurt—the Lactobacilli in these foods reduce disease-causing species of bacteria in the gut.
You also want to limit artificial sweeteners and avoid sugar and drink alcohol in moderation.
In addition to eating right, aim to reduce stress and get enough sleep. And, only take antibiotics when absolutely necessary. Antibiotics kill all the bacteria in the gut microbiome, including the good bacterial and it can take a while to build the good bacteria back up.
You CAN build a better gut microbiome!
Beachbody’s 4-Week Gut Protocol and 4 Weeks for Every Body
The 4-Week Gut Protocol is a nutrition program designed by Beachbody’s Super Trainer and creator of Portion Fix, Autumn Calabrese.
This program helps you isolate foods causing gastric distress that are undermining your healthy gut and overall health.
You’ll remove seven foods from your diet that tend to give people the most trouble in order to rebalance your gut microbiome.
Autumn offers step-by-step directions, recipe videos and PDFs making it super EASY to follow the program.
Optimize, Revitalize, and Vegan Shakeology also offer great supplement support for this program.
Since exercise is such an important part of gut health and overall health, the 4 Weeks for Every Body is a great program to complement the 4-Week Gut Protocol.
Four Weeks for Every Body is a simple program, but it’s very effective in helping with strength and mobility. It’s no-impact and all you need is a pair of dumbbells and a core ball is recommended, but not required.
Get a Healthy Stomach with Beachbody’s 4-Week Gut Protocol
If you want a healthy stomach with a healthy microbiome, Beachbody’s 4 Week Gut Protocol is for you!
Let’s take charge of our health and feel better TOGETHER by learning how gut bacteria and health are linked.