Paleo has been creating a huge buzz in the health and fitness community for the last couple of years now. Paleo is short for Palaeolithic Diet; also commonly known as the Caveman diet. The philosophy is based around the principles of eating the way our early ancestors did in the Palaeolithic era, before farming and industrialization. The foods you eat are the only ones that would have been available through hunting and gathering; specifically meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds; excluding dairy, grains, legumes and any foods grown through modern day farming or processing practices. There is a myriad of resources available these days to set you on the path to this style of clean eating, but what happens when these resources become so overwhelming you just don’t know where to start? Questions start running around your head like – Why would I choose to eat like this? Do I have to give up foods I love? What are the benefits of eating this way? Fear not and read on, I’m about to give you 3 benefits of the Paleo diet that can help you decide if this eating style is right for you: [read more....…]
Stress is something that we all experience to varying degrees throughout our life. One type of stress, known as eustress, is actually a positive type of stress and is used to help us achieve our goals in a positive and productive way. But what happens when the pressure and worry of everyday life starts to get on top of you? For some it might be work, for others finances; assignments, family, health – you name it, it is probably on someone’s list as a source of worry and frustration. The stress response that our bodies go through was designed millions of years ago to prepare ourselves for what is known as “fight or flight” – as in, do we stay and fight the dinosaur that’s about to attack or do we run away from it and hide in our cave? Now these days there are no dinosaurs stalking us but there are plenty of situations that can trigger the nervous system to prepare for this “fight or flight” response. And it’s when this survival system is triggered on a daily, weekly and monthly basis that our minds, bodies and spirits start to suffer and break down. [read more....…]
Every time I turn around there is more research being published which shows the impact, therefore importance, of the microbes (let’s call them bugs from now on) in your body. It’s not surprising when it is thought that the genes of bugs outnumber our own genes by 10 to 1 – i.e. there’s a lot more of them than us in our body. Much of the research has been on the impact of bugs on our immune system but now there is a wave looking at the role of bugs in food choices and weight management.
A paper published in the journal Bioessays in 2014 entitled “Is eating behavior manipulated by the gastrointestinal microbiota? Evolutionary pressures and potential mechanisms”* suggests that our gut bugs can drive our food choices as a way to help them stay strong with the goal to conquest and take over the gut. It’s suggested that they may do it in two ways: [read more....…]
The gut and brain talk and sometimes it’s not pretty
For years Naturopaths have talked of the gut-brain connection. How the health of the gut health will influence mood and mood will influence the gut.
With the increase in research into the interplay between humans and bugs – the human microbiome – comes some really exciting findings that back this traditional concept.
Though more research is required to get all health care professionals on board, it may not surprise you that many people have made this connection for themselves. They work to set their gut and mind up to talk nicely to each other for happiness and best of health.
The balance of the bugs
It is said that our body has 10 times the number of bugs than human cells and 150 times as many genes – wow that’s a lot of bugs. Now before you start scratching and head for the shower, know that when the bugs play nicely together they support our health in a wide range of ways. It is only when the bugs are out of balance that things go array, including negatively impacting your mood.
Research has shown the link between the overgrowth of specific bugs and an increased prevalence of anxiety, an increased sensitivity to pain, memory dysfunction, autism, IBS – irritable bowel syndrome – and IBD – more serious inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. This list melds both conditions of the mind and of the gut and supports the gut-brain link.
Make a happy gut home to support your mood
If it’s not just about the bugs, but the balance of the bugs in the gut that’s important. Here’s what can you do to make a happy, balanced bug home.