Do you have a healthy gut?

They are finding digestion and gut health is critical to your overall health. You might think that your gut health just is related to your stomach and digestion, but symptoms often show up in both mind and body. Do you have some unexplained health problems that the doctor just can’t diagnose? Did you know the health of your gut is connected to everything from indigestion to depression and anxiety? Gut issues are often caused by overgrowth of yeast, or candida. Candida can show up in a number of ways, in the gut, but also can be systemic, showing up as Crohn’s disease, colitis, or depression (just to name a few.) It can also show up in your body cavities, in the form of yeast infections, sinus infections, thrush, and asthma.

Candida is an overgrowth of fungus/yeast. It is a natural occurring fungus in the system, but becomes a problem, when there are not enough bacteria to balance the system. Experts say that candida issues have been more prevalent in recent years partially because of the overuse of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill good bacteria that help balance candida. But diets high in sugar and carbohydrates, lack of exercise, and a weakened immune system can also add to the overgrowth of yeast. A weakened immune system frequently comes from high stress and not enough sleep.

How do we conquer candida overgrowth? We all react differently to different foods and diets. Some foods throw off the balance of proper candida levels, including processed foods, sugar, gluten, dairy, saturated fat, soy, yeast, corn, and caffeine. Eliminating or reducing these food items may help issues related to candida. Probiotics are important to keep your system balanced. There are probiotic supplements, but fermented foods, such as kefir can also help. Donna Gates, a health consultant and author, has been studying candida and its effect on health for 20+ years. What surprised me were how many connections she has found to other diseases such as autism, ADHD, eating disorders, and others. She developed "The Body Ecology Diet," a successful diet for many people. Her diet is fairly simple in some aspects, lots of vegetables, a little meat, and some non-gluten grains, but she also includes fermented foods. Fermented foods are starting to be more accessible, plus you can make your own. Kombucha, a fizzy tea which is often flavored, and non processed sauerkraut are just a few foods that will improve your gut health.

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