Facts, Fads, Fiction and Fluff: Mysteries of the Gut
70% of your immunity (and some scientists argue more than that) is in your gut. So it's one of those simple things really: what you put in your mouth affects how healthy your immune system is by at least 3/4. How many other things do you do in your day-to-day that can have such a huge impact on your well being?
Becoming choosy with what you put down the cake hole is a good start. And here's the big question: what's good, what's bad, what's best? From veganism to full meat eater and everything in between, a discussion on food and nutrition is always bound to cause a heated debate. Official guidelines are at best lukewarm and at worst, well, let's not go there. So' it's left up to you...
The talk I gave at the beginning of February at Emerson College was a start at separating the facts from all the fiction and the fads surrounding eating and gut health. From the responses I had, it hit home with a bang. So, here is a summary of what we talked about. And if you become a member of my website you can have a free copy of the presentation, too!
• Gut problems are treatable and reversible
• It is important to remember that one size does not fit all and we are all individuals with individual needs
• Source organic, local, seasonal food
• Chew well
• Avoid drinking water with meals
• Take a good friendly bacteria supplement (probiotic) or better still, eat fermented foods
• Include plenty of good fats and oils
• Avoid sugar in all its forms, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, preservatives, additives and toxins
• Test for food intolerances and toxic burden (tests like hair mineral analysis and urine organic acids can be very informative)
• Eat a varied diet and don't fall for food myths/fads/advertising - better still:
If it has a TV commercial, don't buy it
If it has more than three ingredients on the packet, especially if you can't pronounce them, leave it on the shelf
"Natural", "farm-fresh", "home-made" and other such unclear terms mean absolutely nothing; they are designed to evoke warm, fuzzy feelings and obscure the quality (or not) of what you're buying
Anything "lite", low-fat, fat-free, "toothkind", low-sugar, sugar-free: all these mean highly processed, nutrient poor, bad-value-for-money items masquerading as food
• Address stress
So what to make of all that? Simply put: