Digestive health is key to our overall well-being, no doubt about it. But why is it exactly that experts keep saying this?
Picture this: digestive health is so important that we talk unconsciously about it all the time, even to the point of entertainment. Why is it that most people find it hilarious to talk about poop, farts and anything related? Why is it that we all love that emoji?
Because our brain knows even when we think we don’t. It’s not only natural but essential to health.
Parameters of healthy poop (and pee) have been discussed largely, whether among professionals, among friends, and all throughout the web.
Well, to an amazing extent beyond our basic knowledge, there is scientific proof all over the place on how our digestive health is highly connected to the brain. And not only are they connected but they work together in ways we can’t even imagine as for how our bodies perform on daily basis.
★ Did you know that a good portion of our defences (immune system) is produced in the guts?
★ Did you know that there’s in fact a term that entitles the gut to its own “brain”? The gut brain. Due to it’s immense connection, self-control and effects all over the body. Yes, it’s scientifically proven.
★ You know those times when you’re nervous-happy, feeling “butterflies in your stomach”? Or when you’re nervous-stressed before an important event (i.e. exam, interview) and you feel like going on an emergency toilette visit?
★ Did you know that a healthy digestive tracks means, generally, going to the toilette (for #2) without great efforts? And not necessarily every single day?
★ Did you know drinking water daily (between 1,5-2,5 litres depending on your body size) will basically put everything to work normally after a few days and weeks of keeping up with the good habit?
★ Did you know that dairy and sugar products can initiate an inflammation effect on the body at times, causing bloatedness, belly cramps, pain, diarrhoea, even skin rashes or redness, depending on the person’s tendency?
★ Did you know that basic digestive health is based on liquids and fibre (30 grams/day aprox), no matter how much you’ve struggled with it your entire life? Trust me, I know this one, even after travelling the world to find my ideal gut health.
Well, this is how connected our digestive track and brains are, in quite a personal way. Another essential reason to become more aware of how our own body works.
We all know and have heard the endless facts out there on how we need breakfast or not, on how we should avoid dairy products or not, on how we should become vegans or go on paleo diets, on how we should drink 8 vs. 12 glasses of water daily or more, and so on…
Turns out all these facts are myths in the end.
Why? Because one who choose to follow a specific diet (probably after attempts of trying other things) has learned that their digestive track agrees with it, which doesn’t mean that yours will agree to the same choice of others. Just like someone who becomes vegetarian, or vegan, or someone who chooses to eat meat, they all share one thing: they learned how their body simply agrees.
Here’s a common story:
You were a kid, visiting grandma’s house during the weekend. She had her always special chocolate milk waiting for you. After hugging and kissing her hello you’d drink the glass in one go, just to feel weird, and dizzy on the stomach after a little while.
Have you ever tried that same chocolate milk recently?
Have you tried that same chocolate milk…with lactose-free milk? If you have, then you’ll know what I mean. And if you know, then you’re also lactose-intolerant like I am (as I discovered just recently).
But this doesn’t mean it applies to everyone.
Maybe to you is something else: say tacos, or beer, or chilli con carne, or chorizo, or a big chunk of Edam cheese. You name it.
Our bodies are unique and we are missing the part where we should understand our own before following anyone else’s habits, just to end up exhausted and frustrated after a while.
Can you imagine how great it would be if you could predict your body’s reactions at times so you can prevent an uncomfortable moment?
It is possible, no doubt.
It’s true we all share one anatomic structure, but it’s also true there are differences on the way our bodies work individually. And that’s the key to preventing illness, pain and more in our far, and not-so-far, future.
Prevention is better than cure.
And the way to prevention is healthy habits.
We all know this. But we struggle sticking to them.
Love, Dr. Mariana