June 22, 2015
America is one of the most powerful and successful countries in the world, yet when it comes to diet, we rank among the worst for eating habits. It’s no surprise to learn that there are more fast food restaurants in the U.S. than any other country in the world. Even when we do cook at home, we’re still not eating the right kind of meals despite having access to affordable healthy food. The American diet, laden with saturated fats, carbohydrates and refined sugars, is definitely bad for our health and while we’re starting to become a lot more health conscience, we still don’t understand how poor dietary choices affect our overall health.
A Healthy Gut
There’ve been a number of experiments over the years on how fast food affects the human body. A 2004 documentary, Super-Size Me, followed a young man who ate only at the Golden Arches for 30-days. Two days into the experiment, he began to experience increasing stomach discomfort. Less than half way through the experiment he had lost most of his energy. His friends and family were very concerned and it was doubtful he’d complete the full 30-days. A more recent 10-day experiment was conducted to find out what effects too much fast food would have on gut bacteria. After eating everything on the menu, the young man reported that he really felt unwell, became more lethargic, and his friends thought he had turned a strange gray color! Perhaps most importantly, his gut microbes were literally devastated. Analysis of his gut bacteria showed that they were definitely affected by the junk food. We certainly aren’t realizing the cumulative effect that a bad diet has on our overall wellbeing and our gut health. We rely on a healthy gut since it’s our first line of defense against intrusive invaders, viruses and bacteria that makes us ill.
Your Internal Ecosystem
The gut is a very complex ecosystem that contains hundreds of different species of bacteria, or gut microbes, that are responsible for maintaining a healthy immune system, regulating digestion, and even regulating our mood. Most of these are our friendly little helpers and they assist us with living healthy lives. Our gut acts as a shelter for these friendly bacteria, but once they feel threatened by unfriendly pathogens, or whenever we eat too much fast-food, take too much prescription medication or don’t get enough exercise, the delicate internal ecosystem becomes disturbed and the results can definitely be harmful to our health.
Principles to Healthy Living
There are a few guiding principles that serve as the foundation to maintaining excellent health. Firstly, be aware that what you put in your mouth fuels not only your waistline but also your entire way of being. Our food contains everything that our body needs to promote healthy cell growth, and optimize the speed and efficiency of our metabolism. What we eat can either harm us or heal us. Secondly, live a healthy lifestyle by making sure you get plenty of exercise, reduce stress levels and don’t skimp out on getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to a host of problems, including emotional eating. Another factor to consider is seeking alternative solutions when it comes to medications. When you gain a better understanding of your body you’ll begin to notice an overall improvement in how you feel. Read more here. The fourth guiding principle to maintaining good health is to supplement with a daily probiotic. Taking a high quality probiotic, or “good” bacteria, promotes a healthy environment of microorganisms in the digestive tract, aids in digestion and promotes good gastrointestinal health. Natren’s flagship probiotic, Healthy Trinity, is an excellent choice for your gut care needs. Research has shown that up to 70% of the immune system is in our gut so it’s an extremely important part of our body to take care of. Probiotics help keep the engine running smoothly, but you still need to make sure the all the other parts of the machine are supporting the effort. Probiotics are wonderful, but nothing can be a substitute for a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
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