Here is a dose of truth: You can run eight miles a day and practice mindfulness but if you prefer fast food over a home-cooked meal, then you’re always going to be standing in the shadow of your grief. I know that can be hard to hear. You might even be thinking that you’re doing everything right. What harm can a couple of fries and a burger do? Not a lot if it’s a once in a while indulgence but weekly? A lot more than you think.
When you eat a diet high in processed foods it decreases the number of good bacteria in your gut. This imbalance can cause increased sugar cravings, which in turn promotes the growth of harmful gut bacteria and the cycle repeats itself. Now before we dive in any further, let’s explore a little bit about the microbiota.
Living inside your gut is a colony of 300 to 500 different kinds of bacteria containing nearly 2 million genes. When paired with other tiny organisms likes viruses and fungi, they make what is known as the microbiota or the microbiome. Like your social security number, each person’s microbiota is unique to them since no one person has the same mix of bacteria. Fun fact: your bacteria is partly determined by your mother’s microbiota along with diet and lifestyle.
The bacteria live throughout your body but the ones that line your digestive system have the biggest impact on your wellbeing. Now, do you see why it is so important to skip the drive-through line on your way home from work?
Five Signs of an Unhealthy Gut
You might be currently struggling and not even know it. There are a few signs to watch out for when it comes to an unbalanced gut.
- Bloating after meals
- Skin problems such as eczema or rosacea
- Sugar cravings
- Bad breath
If any of the signs above resonate with you, you’re not alone. Most of my clients who to came me seeking help for their grief have an unbalanced microbiota.
Get Your Gut Back in Balance
So what can you do to get your gut back in balance? Add foods high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids into your diet and focus on digestion.