Why Gut Health Should Be New Years Resolution #1
Written by Teya Kepila, Certified Holistic Health Coach
New Year does not equal a new gut, BUT! There are many things you should know before your health journey kicks in. At the root of it: your gut.
The approach of a new year brings joy for some and hesitancy for others. Health is a monumental part of everyone's lives; no matter where you are in your health journey at this time, there are ways to help you optimize and nourish your body, empowering any nutrition path you choose.
There’s always big talk about what magic pill, diet, or detox will help thoroughly cleanse us from the previous year and set us up for health success in the new year. Gently put, there is no such thing.
The reason for this is because our bio individuality (or, our health’s uniqueness) is not one-size-fits-all. This is a very special element of life that we have to our advantage; what might work for some, might not work for others. That is why we must go straight for the gut: Heal the one epicenter we all have within us that helps absorb, breakdown, and distinguish the health or harm that's activated in the body.
Humans are sensitive, vulnerable, and easily influenced beings. It is in our nature! If we consume bad thoughts, processed or inflammatory foods, etc., we are communicating to our body clear that those are the types of bacteria we want to activate for inner-to-outer health. Our health works from the very core: the gut.
From the moment you are born, the gut is set up with 40 trillion bacteria, all waiting for attackers to come so they can defend you. The way we were born (vaginally or via C-section) determines what immunity you were set up with as a child. Some have stronger immune systems than others because of the vaginal delivery and breastfeeding. The bacteria are both good and bad that live within us. This is to show you how equipped our body really is when it comes to activation and communication. If there is a virus invader, the body will send good bacteria troops (a.k.a. the immune system) to combat and defend. The key to gut health is maintenance and consistent care. We have to communicate to our body the health we want by the diet and lifestyles we choose to live.
Here are some clean, easy, and accessible ways to prime the gut with whole plant foods that communicate love, optimization, and healing to the body.
Stay away from potential inflammatory foods.
Dairy, eggs, corn, soy, alcohol, coffee, gluten, and sugar can cause major sensitivities and can lead to detrimental harm to the gut if not limited or avoided. Once we eliminate distractions of inflammatory foods, our gut can focus on absorbing and healing.
Practice mindfulness in the foods you eat and tune in to what your body is telling you.
We often dismiss all of our own messages. Some of which can look like headache, bloating, low energy, puffiness, irregular bowel movements, weak immune system, dizziness, brain fog, and more. Normalize body messages! We are not meant to be ill.
Look for foods rich in both prebiotics and probiotics.
Prebiotics are a special type of fiber that feeds the good bacteria living in our gut. Some foods rich in prebiotics include onions, garlic, leeks, chicory root, green banana, and Jerusalem artichoke.
Fermented plants such as kimchi, sauerkraut, olives, vinegars, pickles, kombucha, and apple cider vinegar are rich in probiotics--the actual bacteria. So, by eating these foods, we can potentially replenish our stock of good bacteria.
Look for the long term benefits.
In the long run a healthy gut will promote hair growth, nail growth, glowing skin, natural weight loss, a boost to energy levels, proper digestion, healthy stools, good mood, and on the spiritual side, a more intuitive connection with your mind and body. This journey is not about how to just solve the issue. It's about meeting our body for the first time and trusting that it knows us better than we think. It is about introducing real food both on and off the plate and giving it the love it needs to heal. We are finally giving ourselves a chance for health in the deepest, purest way.
By integrating healthful foods such as malua balls, fermented foods, and whole plants, we are communicating to our body the type of bacteria we want to activate and therefore the health we want. The beauty of our bodies is that they will forgive us for mistreatment. Our gut is ready for the good stuff at all times. This new year is the gut’s year. Let's communicate love, health, sustainability, trust, bio individuality, optimization, and healing to the root of our existence, the gut.
Let’s get to the gut of it.