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Gut-Brain Axis?! What it all Means!

You hear the words microbiome, gut health, brain and gut axis frequently these days but do you know what it really means. I am warning you, it is a bit nasty but it’s true!
The microbiome is basically a community of bacteria that live within every one of us. Each one of us has trillions of microbes living inside of them. The number of bacteria within us actually outnumbers the numbers of cells and DNA that we are made up of. So technically as disguising as it sounds, but we are mostly made up of bacteria!
As we grow, we acquire more and more bacteria from our exposure to food, water, people and the environment that we are exposed to. Bacteria can be either friendly, unfriendly or a mix a both. A healthy person, mainly has friendly bacteria.
There are lots of ways to negatively affect the balance of the healthy and unhealthy bacteria within us such as eating too many sweets, starches, unhealthy fats like trans fats from processed foods (in packets), artificial sweeteners, toxins, stress, lack of sleep, medications and most importantly antibiotics which we are popping every time we sneeze or have the flu! Which basically describes what almost everyone does on a daily basis.
When our microbiomes are out of balance, our gut can suffer, we can produce low serotonin (happy hormone) which can leave us vulnerable to depression, anxiety and sleep problems. We also don’t metabolize our food properly or absorb nutrients efficiently, which can affect our immunity, energy levels and even experience frequent colds, allergies, joint pains, acne or even more serious disorders.
There are several things to do to protect your microbiome’s balance:
Avoid sweets and sugary foods
Avoid junk food and processed food
Avoid gluten
Avoid preservatives and artificial ingredients
Avoid farmed fish, chicken =m dairy or eggs
Avoid GMOs (genetically modified food)
Avoid antibiotics as much as possible
Avoid artificial sweeteners
Include a high quality probiotic supplement especially if you took lots of antibiotics or have recently finished a course
Include prebiotics which is basically the fiber that probiotics feed on like garlic, tomatoes, onions, radishes, Jerusalem artichokes and asparagus
Find effective ways to cope with stress
Lastly get enough high quality sleep!
By Nadine El Alaily
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