Source: Asbury Park Press
Trust me, if you told me that a certain food was causing me to have health issues, I wouldn’t have believed you – I probably would have laughed. I didn’t understand the connection between what we put in our mouths and what manifested as yucky symptoms in our bodies.
In my 20s, I started suffering from sinus pressure, seasonal allergies, reoccurring colds, dark circles under my eyes, hormonal and thyroid issues and exhaustion, which was the start to my journey of 10 years of chronic illness.
Little did I know, many these symptoms were connected to my microbiome. Each of us has a unique eco-system in our bodies, also known as the “microbiome” that houses more than 100 trillion microbes. What many people don’t realize is that the number of microbes we have outnumbers the amount of cells we have in our body.
These tiny microbes support our immune system, and keep our weight in check. The majority of these microbes are located in our “gut,” helping us detox from every toxin we are bombarded with on a daily basis (from car exhaust to chemicals in our tap water and toothpaste to pesticides in fruits and veggies as well as growth hormones in factory-farmed animal products).
We have a mix of good and bad bacteria in our guts, and it’s important to keep our gut flora balanced so that these microbes can help control inflammation in our body and keep us from gaining weight.
This is why probiotics have recently become so popular, because they are good bacteria for our guts and since the majority of our immune system is located in our gut, a healthy gut means a healthy body. A healthy and balanced microbiome helps fight off inflammation, unwanted symptoms of everything from Lyme disease to C-diff colitis to hypothyroidism to candida — and more.
As I explain in my cookbook, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body, the gut is at the root of our health. It’s home to a microbiome that is filled with both good and bad bacteria (hopefully yours has more good bacteria than bad).
Many of my clients don’t realize how bad they actually felt until they start healing their gut and changing the way they are eating. The main goal is to balance your gut flora, eliminate inflammatory foods, heal your gut lining and reduce environmental toxins as much as possible.
It’s important to work with a Functional M.D. (visit my website TheHealthyApple.com to find one in your area), someone who will address the root cause of your symptoms to understand the underlying imbalances in your gut to support your immune system and overall health.
By Amie Valpone, a celebrity chef, culinary nutritionist and motivational speaker specializing in clean eating recipes free of gluten, dairy, soy and refined sugar. She is the author of the best-selling book “Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body” and the founder of TheHealthyApple.com. Visit her on social media @TheHealthyApple.