Did you know that bacteria, collectively known as Microbiome outnumber our own human cells 10 to one, and majority call home in our guts!
Crazy to think that we are less human than bacteria, this is why it’s so incredibly, super-duper important that we are mindful of what we eat! We are feeding these little monsters! Research has shown, that alternating the balance between beneficial and disease-causing bacteria in an animal's gut can alter its brain chemistry and lead it to become either more risk taking or more anxious.
Basically eating shitty foods = Shitty moods!
So “Good Mood Food” is more than your hippy friend/ sister/ insta famous blogger carrying on about how much they love Kale, Brussels or Broccoli. These foods feed the healthy bacteria that contribute to making you feel AMAZING! Ever wonder why you feel so light and happy after a good solid poop?
I eat broccoli for breakfast and I know that I feel much better, and poop regularly, like every day!
When was the last poop you did? How frequent are you?
My gut bacterium is fueled with fibre, nutrients that allow the beneficial microbes to thrive and the disease-illness inflicting ones to shrivel and die.
Through our human evolution, the gut has evolved a complex neural system that nourishes both physical and psychological well-being through this bacterial Eco-system. Research reveals how the gut microbes influence our weight, immune systems, and mental health. PLUS, Studies provide new understandings to modern epidemic diseases such as obesity, autism, mental health problems, gut disorders, allergies, auto-immune and even cancer.
Mental health issues directly linked to malnutrition or poor diet, starting to see the correlation? It’s a hot topic in the media and for good reason.
It all comes back to what we put in our mouth, are you growing disease or fighting it?
On the flip side, if you’re stressed out and anxious, the brain will wield a powerful influence on gut bacteria; as many studies have shown, even mild stress can alter the microbial balance in the gut, making you more vulnerable to infectious disease and triggering a torrent of reactions on a cellular level, directly affecting the central nervous system. This all means what?
Ever been so stressed that you get the runs? Diarrhoea when you’re anxious? This is why!
Research like this is exciting with the possibility of using beneficial, or probiotic, bacteria to treat mood and anxiety disorders—either by administering beneficial microbes themselves (poop implant- YES they do that now) or by developing drugs that mimic their metabolic functions ( Big Pharma not my favourite avenue for answers - insert thumbs down emoji).
So, I’m hoping you’re still with me... He are the nitty gritty of how and what to do to make beneficial bacteria your bestie!
For optimal pooping level, you’ll need 30+ grams of fibre per day. The best way to consume this is through plant based diet that is as close to its original state as possible. Think minimal cooking. No packaging. No labels. No peeling, did you know this is where you will find most nutrients and fibre in vegetables and fruit?
Fibre creates a BIG, bulky gel that bind and pushes through the products of digestions through to end of your digestive tract, your anus. Essentially the more fibre, the bulkier the poop, bigger urge to go and results in an easier transition into the bowl! ** No need to sit for 15mins and pushing. Any mums out there will understand when we say we don’t have this kind time!?!
Fibre will also keep you fuller for longer and slows down the absorption of sugars and release of glucose into your bloodstream.
What to eat: Vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, seeds and nuts
RECIPE: Mexican Sweet Potato
Lack of time leads to lack of fibre so ensure that you are mindful of your activities and commitments for the week and help yourself out with a little meal prep.
Set aside a few hours a week to shop, prep and cook a few meal for the week ahead to set you up for success. Having ready meals and portioned snacks makes it easy to stick to a healthy eating lifestyle that reaching for the closet snack when you have skipped meals or not created a little thought out plan.
With 3 kids, this is my Sunday afternoon or alternate time if I'm busy on Sunday. However, I always make sure that I have my meals prepped and easy to grab and go.
Food can play an emotional part in our lives and at times its difficult to distinguish between what we need and what we want to eat. Next time, before you reach for that Tim Tam ask yourself the following questions;
What do I really want and am I going to get it from this particular food?
Can you eat just a little of it?
Are you addicted to it?
Can you not eat this and just be aware that this is a thought or feeling?
Applying mindfulness to eating creates better habits and allows you to deal with cravings for what they are.
Stress effects our microbiome so why not take a hike in Nature and reap the benefits mentally and physically?
Plants and insects communicate through releasing chemicals that are then transported through the wind. When we are walking in nature we breathe in these chemicals and the subsequent reaction in our bodies is the equivalent of anti-oxidants in the plants we eat.
The chemicals on the wind are messages to fight the free radicals, the disease fungi and natures predators. Inhaling these chemicals boost your immune system, increase NK (natural killer) cells and activity within our bodies. Physical activity that focusses on Natural stress release with benefit the mind and gut, why not book a hike today!
"You can't stop the waves but you can learn to surf"- Jon Kabat-Zinn
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