Well, thanks again for following along, and I hope you are starting to understand that our bodies, minds, spirits, and environments are simply NOT in synch! And now…, we find out our gut bugs, of which there are trillions, are not in synch either!
Well, let’s see what we can do about this.
Without getting into a number of heavy discussions or possibly even arguments, let’s say the natural world was created and those life or living elements on this planet were imbued with this simple command…, SURVIVE!
And that was it. It’s all we’ve been trying to do ever since! Survive.
In an effort to survive better, many of these life forms made adaptations and evolved- many did not and are now extinct. Consider the dinosaurs.
Our species, man, is still standing, so we must have been able to evolve along the lines of the natural world, agree?
Fortunately or unfortunately these evolutionary changes occur very slowly, and I read, take somewhere on the order of 40,000 to 70,000 years to occur.
Our bodies today, are still those bodies that evolved around 10,000 years ago as hunter/gatherers.
The environment we live in today is not the same that existed 10,000 years ago.
Regardless of what science tells us, there is no way our bodies will be able to adapt to this plastic, fantastic world of 24/7 light, processed foods, and constant stimulation. We won’t survive. We must change the environment we live in to align with our genetic design.
And why? Because our genes are not aligned with the environment we live in, there is no real way to make them so.
With this in mind, the environment has to be changed. Not the natural world, but the environment. This can mean your surrounding area, workspace, and even your own body in which you the being reside.
This is why I have spent so much time telling you about circadian rhythm, the importance of 7-9 hours of sleep each night, eating in a time-restricted eating window, getting plenty of natural sunlight, exercising, and turning off the electronics an hour or so before bed.
All of these steps allow for the best chance at reparative and rejuvenating sleep each night.
Now, I understand that our Paleo ancestors did not live as long as we do, but archeologic discoveries and anthropologic studies show that he was certainly healthier and that his life span and health span nearly mirrored each other.
In fact, studies of traditional societies that exist today show that they do not suffer from any of the metabolic diseases that we have today. They led a circadian lifestyle with a diet full of nutritious, high-fiber foods, plenty of outdoor activity, and no nighttime electronics.
So, to answer the opening question; Yes, I do love bugs!
And so should you, and hopefully, you will after these next few blogs.
This Ted Talk should really get you to thinking about how important our gut bugs are, how you can make sure you are cultivating a great diversity of those bugs that will do the most for you, and how they can keep our brain neurotransmitters in balance.
As with the earlier Ted Talk given by Warren Peters, I’ll discuss a few highlights, but you really should watch both of these presentations for yourself.
The bacteria in our guts are in direct communication with our brains and are responsible for the creation of such neurotransmitters as serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin to name a few.
Ninety percent of our serotonin, which helps us feel happy is made by the bacteria in our guts and is the precursor to melatonin which we need to fall asleep at night.
Fifty percent of our dopamine, which motivates us to do stuff is also made by our gut bacteria.
Most of our immune system is in our guts, as well.
Imbalances in neurotransmitters can have an adverse effect on not only our physiologic health but mental health as well. This will be seen in the next couple of blogs.
Low levels of neurotransmitters make us feel depressed, and cause constipation, while high levels can lead to anxiety, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea.
Knowing this, one can get his or her gut bugs and gut microbiome in balance and change their emotional composition, physical function, and well-being.
So What to Do?
Those who have the most diverse diet, have the most diverse gut bugs and the gut microbiome.
The best way to improve the diversity of bugs is to increase the diversity of one’s diet to include MANY more vegetables and fruits. In fact, the focus of every meal should be vegetables, and great diversity- more so than making the meat protein the focus.
The best gut bugs, the ones that do the most for us, LOVE fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, and kombucha. So much so that their “progeny” will teach all of the other bacteria in your system how to digest food properly!
When one considers that the gut bug-derived neurotransmitters have a significant influence on our mental well-being and happiness, it would be best to eat those foods that will either increase neurotransmitters or decrease them- especially for breakfast.
If one is depressed, and/or constipated it is believed that the neurotransmitter serotonin is low. Eating starchy foods such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, steel-cut oats, fibrous foods, root vegetables, and quinoa will increase serotonin levels by 10%.
On the other hand, if one is anxious and suffering from cramping or diarrhea, a more protein-based diet will lower serotonin by nearly 35%.
One can see that a protein diet for someone who is depressed and/or constipated would only make things worse- even though we are told that all must eat protein-rich diets.
So what’s the take-home message?
As always pay attention to yourself, and discover what is true for you, and what works best, and if you need help, this is what we do at Paragon Chiropractic!
Until next blog!
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