No one has symptoms to a food because of food itself. Let me repeat that! No one has symptoms to a FOOD because of the food itself.
In the early stages of my IBD diagnosis, I knew nothing about digestion or my body for that matter. It wasn’t until years later, that I decided to dive into the human anatomy – specifically the gut. This topic fascinates me, and learning all about the gut has inspired me to take back control of my health. As a Gut Health Nutritionist I am passionate about helping others optimize their digestion because I know what’s it like to suffer from bloating, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, gas, anxiety, mood swings, depression. Years leading up to my diagnosis and for a great deal of living with my disease, I was contributing to those symptoms mentioned above. [I would say, I actually developed a very unhealthy relationship with food, which I’ll save for another blog post].
You eat food, followed by an unpleasant experience right? It is not causation here; it is correlation. There is a third confounding variable. Below is a list of the 4 possible causes of food reactions with the condition of your microbiome being the main one!
You have trillions of bacteria in and on your body. These bacteria regulate and prime the immune system, support brain function, protect us from infection along with many other vital functions.
The microbiome describes the genetic capability of microbiota. By the age of 2-3 years old, the intestinal microbiota acquires adult characteristics and is fully formed – called ‘residential bacteria’ This is driven by epigenetic factors and dependent on the extent of diversity in the diet. As we age, the residential bacteria can be altered (the good to bad bacteria ratio) which can lead to food sensitivities among other issues.
Alright, so you’ve heard all this and now what? Well, there are many ways you can show your gut more love while trying to balance your microbiota. Here are a few that can help you improve the condition of your microbiome.
Written by Tania Christina Scavone from www.yourwaytobliss.com
How many of you thought that digestion began in the mouth?!
I remember as a kid growing up, I would inhale my meals without pause. My family would repeatedly remind me to slow down but I loved food so much that it went in one ear and out the other.
Well, if I knew then what I know now, I would have been a lot better off because as a kid I suffered from digestive issues all the way through high school and university. First year university was when I finally received an official diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I wasn’t a kid, but still, nothing made sense. It all makes sense now.
Rushing through my meals, improper chewing was very easily one factor that greatly contributed to my unhealthy gut.
Up until a few years ago, I believed that digestion began in the stomach. Then I learned that it began in the mouth and now I know it begins in the BRAIN! Yes, brain! Who knows what research will reveal a few more years from now.
The digestive system comprises the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine (colon) but did you know there are also accessory digestive organs ? These are outside of the digestive tract and include our teeth, tongue, salivary glands, gall bladder, pancreas and liver. Basically, the digestive tract begins in the mouth and ends at the anus but really begins somewhere else….
Here is the part you’ve been waiting to hear. Well first let me ask you this? How do you feel when you see food? Exactly! You tap into your senses and get ready to dive into that meal so even before that food goes into your mouth, any sound, sight, taste, odor that you associate with food can trigger your body to prepare for the arrival of the food. Your body “pumps up”. This is why it is so important to be relaxed while eating the food you are about to eat – known as ‘Mindful Eating’. If you’re stressed the body will not be able to focus on digestion. Being present with the food, bringing it close to your nose and taking an inhale, listening attentively to any sounds made will help prepare your body for digestion.
Interesting, isn’t it? So the next time you sit down for your meal before lifting that utensil, notice how your body feels. Our brain talks to our gut; our gut talks to our brain.
Eating mindfully can be a simple easy way to enhance our total digestive function so chew your food at least 30 times and avoid eating while stressed!!
Written by Tania Christina Scavone
Lipski, Elizabeth. Digestive Wellness 4th Edition, 2012.