by Heidi Toy and Becky Streeter
We’ve all heard the phrase “New year, new you!” Most of us have tried it. The diets that stick for a few weeks, or if you’re lucky, a couple months. The lofty exercising resolutions that we all love to hate, but never seem to last.
But what if this year you choose to focus on something a little more basic? Let’s fix your gut from the inside out. Cue the microbiome.
Never heard of it? An article in The Nutrition Source from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health puts it this way: “Picture a bustling city on a weekday morning, the sidewalks flooded with people rushing to get to work or to appointments. Now imagine this at a microscopic level and you have an idea of what the microbiome looks like inside our bodies, consisting of trillions of microorganisms (also called microbiota or microbes) of thousands of different species” . Though measurably tiny, the health of your microbiome is huge!
The microbiome in your gut affects the body from birth and throughout life by controlling many different processes. If your resolution is to lose weight, a healthy microbiome can aid in the digestion of food. If your resolution is to be happier, the microbiome directly relates to the central nervous system and can regulate anxiety, mood, cognition and pain .
January is not just a time for resolutions, it also tends to be one of the peak months for flu season. Improve the health of your microbiome, and your immune system and central nervous system will get a boost. When all your body’s systems can talk to each other with ease, you will be more resistant to disease and inflammation.
A healthy microbiome can also aid in regulating sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen). Now it might not be quite as helpful if your resolution was to liven things up behind closed doors, but normalizing sex hormones does help prevent against autoimmune diseases for those with high genetic risk .
Microbiome is a bit of a buzzword in Functional Medicine right now. More and more studies are compiling fascinating information about the connection between the gut and the rest of the body. If you’ve tried all the typical resolutions, stuck to them, and still haven’t seen results, contact Heidi Toy, NTP to find out if you have a healthy microbiome. A true DNA/PCR based stool testcalled GI-MAP™ will provide answers and a good start to your better health. Contact Heidi today to set up an appointment and kick-start your 2019 New Year’s resolution by listening to your gut.
Heidi Toy is a functional nutritionist and can be contacted via phone (715-869-3793) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).