Before getting into the subject I want to ask you a question, can you add value to your work, society and /or the world, but do you feel that you lack motivation for the decisions made by others, for example, your bosses? Well, the same happens with your body.
You are their leader, the decisions you make influence the motivation of their internal functions. Always, those who achieve some success are those who cooperate best with others. The same happens with your body. Separating brain, intestine and your consciousness can lead to having an illness ahead of time.
And if you have to cooperate with someone, it’s with your intestinal microbiota. As I spoke in the first part of this article, if there is an imbalance in your functions, it can lead you to various diseases more and more common in the 21st century.
In case you have not been clear about what this is about the gut microbiota, I’ll leave you a very educational video, with subtitles in Spanish, that will help you understand what the microbiota means for our health.
How do we cooperate to make our microbiota happy?
In this article, I summarize the 7 essential tips to keep your gut microbiota healthy. They are the ones that have helped me to have good intestinal health.
A poor diet alters our intestinal microbiota. Whether you like it or not, we are not prepared to eat processed foods. If you have a diet that alters your intestinal microbiota, it can start to form a union, altering your biological functions. That is to say, it does not matter to have these little figures unmotivated.
Avoid having a proinflammatory diet :
- Refined vegetable oils
- Pasteurized dairy products.
- Refined carbohydrates and processed grain products.
- Conventional meat, poultry, and eggs (“cheap” meat options).
- Added sugars
- Trans fats / hydrogenated fats.
And start consuming healthier products, such as:
- Fresh vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, green leafy vegetables, beets, carrots, salad
- greens, etc.
- Fresh fruit.
- Herbs, spices, and teas.
- Probiotic foods Fermented foods: yogurt (more than three ingredients is not yogurt),
- kefir, white cabbage fermentation, kombucha.
- Prebiotic foods Foods with resistant starch: legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas, and
- peas), rice and oats, tubers (potatoes and cassava). And others like garlic, onion, leek,
- asparagus, honey, seeds, and nuts.
- Fish caught wild.
- Poultry eggs.
- Meat fed with grass.
- Healthy Fats
From an evolutionary approach, intermittent fasting is to stop eating for a short period of time. This is what we have done throughout history: eating when there was food and not doing it when there was not. As simple as that.
In recent years, review studies have appeared on the benefits of intermittent fasting and how myths fall like slowing down your metabolism or losing muscle mass. Chorradas not sleep. Science tends to end up supporting evolution.
Among the proven benefits of intermittent fasting are:
- It helps prevent intestinal inflammation.
- Reduces triglycerides.
- Improves insulin sensitivity.
- It promotes the regeneration of healthy cells and the autophagy of precancerous cells.
- Increase growth hormone
- It can improve brain health.
Take it as a non-miraculous protocol that will help you maintain, along with the other tips, your intestinal health in perfect conditions.
What is intermittent fasting?
Although we all do fasts of 8-10 hours when we sleep, it consists in extending it until 24 hours. There are different protocols such as:
- 12/12, that is, 12 hours without eating and 12 hours of intake.
- 16/8, or what is the same, 16 hours without eating and 8 hours of ingestion.
- Fast 24 hours.
I do not recommend doing it for more than 24 hours. I think that with this time you will get all the benefits of fasting and after 48 hours, it is true that it can be counterproductive.
In my case, I have been using a 16/8 protocol three times a week and a couple of times a month a 24-hour protocol. For the one of 16/8, I usually have breakfast at 11-12 in the morning and I have just eaten on the day at 7-8 in the afternoon.
As I say, it’s not miraculous. It is better to eat 6 times varied food, real and seasonal than to make intermittent fasts with junk food.
However, I recommend that you first order food, movement, rest and mentality to start with these protocols. In this sense, if you want to go deeper and see in which populations this protocol is contraindicated, I leave you this article.
Stress control with mindfulness
When the mechanisms of stress are activated sporadically, there is no problem. For that, we are designed. Fight or flee.
Do you remember the movie ‘Legends of the Passion’, in which a very young Brad Pitt appeared?
At the end of the movie he is killed by a bear, but he decided to fight. Big Brad!
If we decide to flee, our hormones and neurons send signals to the body to quickly exit legs. The stored energy is mobilized, the heart rate and blood pressure increase to transport that energy, the blood vessels, and pupils dilate, and the non-fundamental processes in the escape of the hungry bear, such as digestion, are inhibited.
Imagine being always stressed for reasons of day to day and above, these things do not have a high caloric expenditure. Your digestions will begin to be dire. In today’s society is one of the causes that alter your intestinal microbiota.
Everything is connected.
And right now, you’ve stayed in the energy of your thoughts, possibly asked about why Brad Pitt died at the hands of a bear. When we get stuck in the energy of our thoughts, we begin to confuse it with a representation of ourselves. And if they are negative thoughts, we get into a virtual reality that does not help to face the true reality of your life.
If we realize that we are not what we think, our stress can be reduced considerably. But how can you solve it? With something not mystical and well studied, following the parameters of mindfulness or mindfulness.
What benefits does mindfulness have?
It is extremely challenging to be in the here and now. Therefore, the benefits of mindfulness can:
- Improve blood pressure, immune function and cortisol levels.
- Reduces anxiety, depression, and stress.
- Improves the quality of sleep.
- It helps change harmful eating behavior and lose weight.
- Help recover from training by activating the parasympathetic system.
- Improving concentration.
In short, meditate trains your brain. And I think it’s clear to you the connection that exists between this and your intestinal health.
Also, I leave you some app to start practicing mindfulness: 10% happier and Bambú.
Control the intake of antibiotics without a prescription
Obviously, antibiotics were a very important advance to reduce the cases of infectious diseases of the past, such as smallpox or measles. Nowadays, they are only necessary when you are really sick.
The problem is that antibiotics wipe out both the good microbiota and the bad one. Who does not know someone who has a pharmacy in their home and they are doctors without a career? At the slightest symptom, you take a pill to know what.
The goal is to get sick as little as possible to use antibiotics on rare occasions. For this, what you have to change are your life habits.
And if you are taking an antibiotic, consult your doctor, if possible updated, about the possibility of supplementing with probiotics after leaving the medication.
By the way, an anti-inflammatory like paracetamol also damages the intestinal barrier.
Adjustments of the circadian rhythm
Related to stress are our circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are our internal clock, which produces physical, mental and behavioral changes in a 24-hour period. For example, sleep at night and be awake during the day. All living beings have a circadian rhythm.
That of the human being is altered, for example, when we travel from one end of the world to another with different schedules.
This change in circadian rhythms not only influences the sleep and wake cycles but also modifies the secretion of your hormones, eating habits and digestion. For example, these are also deregulated when you are in front of a screen all day. Especially at night.
Why? Because through the eye you are sending the signal to the brain that it is always daytime. If you add that very late dinner, hormones are released, such as insulin, which causes others to block such as leptin (hormone of inhibition of appetite, which releases substances that help the processes of relaxation and digestion).
That is, when you should be finishing the process of digestion and ready to sleep, stimulating the sleep hormone ( melatonin ), you lead your body to stimulate hormones that do the opposite.
In short, our signals to our biological clock begin with the light that enters our eyes. The lack of natural light and overexposure to artificial light make our circadian rhythms of sleep, hunger, satiety and digestion processes do not know if they are traveling to the north or south pole.
Therefore, eat good food when you have to eat it, that is, long before going to sleep, reducing overexposure to artificial light and being more in contact with natural light.
Contact with nature
Being in touch with nature makes a difference. Think that if human existence were one day, we have been living in cities for 14 minutes. Imagine what it means for our bodies to live in cities: it is full of emotion, innovation, and energy. But do not leave, stress and contaminate us and our microbiota.
We are built to live in nature. Everything that keeps us away from her makes us sick.
In 1990, Japanese researchers began to measure the physiological changes that people had with forest baths. Or in Japanese, shinrin-yoku. The idea was that you would walk through the forest, without distractions, observing all the sights, sounds and smells. In other words, pay attention to what is around you or practice mindfulness.
The results on the forest baths showed that the time that the subjects spent in nature were measurable, in parameters such as the decrease of the stress hormone (cortisol), blood pressure, blood sugar, cardiovascular health, improve the concentration and mental health and the strengthening of the immune system.
With two hours of contact, twice a month, with nature, you will be able to feel the benefits. And for that, you do not have to go to the forests of Japan.
With the book The power of the forest: Shinrin-Yoku, you can go deeper into the subject and see the maps of the world’s forests and also those of Spain that, due to the type of vegetation, can give you more benefits.
For example, in Scotland, the Cairngorms National Park. In the Canary Islands, the Garajonay National Park, on the island of La Gomera and the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, on the island of La Palma.
The movement also improves the intestinal microbiota. And practice it in nature, much better. Poor kids today playing at home while watching a screen.
It’s simple: we are moving. Start with the basics and if you can, take it to the complex.
And I think I’ve lengthened quite a bit for what I had in mind. I begin to express myself, to give my vision of health, to reflect, to connect one thing with another and everything I see the relationship. In this case, the gut microbiota with the brain, sunlight with hormones and being in contact with nature with common sense.
In the end, science usually relates very well with common sense that our evolution has given us. Hence, these tips, if you put them into practice, are beneficial for intestinal microbiota, weight loss, and mental health.
And remember that, for this Christmas, you do not have to worry about how you lead your body. So do not punish yourself and enjoy. These tips take them to practice the rest of the year. This is where the difference between a good leader and a nefarious one is made.
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