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I know that many of us are concerned with our weight. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, for many of us, weight loss is more than just a desire. It is a necessity. I know that I, for one, actually do NEED to lose weight in order to improve my health and reduce my risks for medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease (both of which are present in my family’s medical history). However, weight is only a part of the puzzle. Your overall health is the big picture.

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Did you know that your gut plays a large role in your overall health? Yep! If your entire body is like a row of dominoes, then your gut is often the place where the first domino falls. And you feel the effect throughout the rest of your body. Let’s look at a few facts about your gut that I have found during my research.

  1. Most of your immune system is in your gut

Over 70% of it, actually (according to Johns Hopkins). The gut is usually the entry point for pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. Your gut contains specialized immune cells called gastrointestinal immune cells. Their primary job is to produce lymphocyte cells that play a huge role in fighting invaders and protecting from infection. Then you have the gut flora (think of them as good bacteria) which are like allies for the immune cells.

 

When your gut’s immune system is compromised, you can suffer from a host of chronic health issues, including but not limited to Thyroiditis, Crohn’s Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Type 1 Diabetes, Graves’ Disease, Addison’s Disease, Arthritis, Eczema, Psoriasis, Depression, Heachaches & Migraines, Chronic Fatigue, Multiple Sclerosis, and Scleroderma. There is even believed to be a link between gut bacteria and food allergies!

  1. It is a large part of the digestive process

Your digestive system plays a huge part in your body’s defenses. The organs making up this system all work together to ensure that essential minerals, vitamins, and nutrients are being absorbed and used by your body. And most of this process takes place in the gut. When your digestive system is not running smoothly, you can suffer from problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Celiac Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Diverticular Disease, and Diarrhea.

  1. It affects your brain (and vice versa)

Have you ever thought that your gut has a mind of its own? If so, you are kind of right. The lining of your gut actually has hundreds of millions of neurons (more than the spinal cord!) that make up the Enteric Nervous System (ENS). It is like having a brain in your gut! In fact, much like your actual brain, it sends messages between neurons, supports cells, learns, and remembers (yeah, those “gut feelings” that you have actually arise from a physical source).

  1. It affects your emotions

Speaking of the ENS, did you know it plays a role in happiness and sadness? It contains serotonin (related to depression, anxiety, migraines, etc), dopamine (sometimes called the love hormone), and benzodiazepines (which you might know about if you have ever been prescribed drugs such as Valium and Xanax).

  1. It affects your weight

Remember when I talked about good bacteria in your gut? Your gut NEEDS this bacteria in order to function properly and it needs it in the right amounts. When the types of bacteria in our gut are out of balance, it can lead to serious problems such as metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes. All of which are linked to weight in varying degrees.

So what can we do to improve our gut health?

  1. Adopt a diet that limits sugars and fat

Some bacteria actually flourish in your gut when you eat high-sugar and high-fat foods. These bacteria encourage the growth of endotoxins, which causes your body to think it is under attack. This means it triggers inflammation as a protective measure – effectively redirecting your metabolic energy, throwing your metabolism into a state of imbalance. When this happens, your body stores too much fat, produces too much insulin, and interferes with your brain’s ability to understand when your body is full. Which means you overeat without even realizing it.

  1. Invest in a good probiotic

In this age, we have a huge reliance on two things that wreak havoc on our guts – junk food and antibiotics.  We just covered what junk food can do to your body, but did you know that antibiotics kill of good bacteria as well as bad bacteria. If you recall, there needs to be a balance! Probiotics have been shown to go a long way towards restoring this balance. You should definitely consider a probiotic if you have symptoms of conditions like IBS. Look for probiotics that contain either Lactobacillum or Bifidobacterium.

  1. Take a digestive aid

As we have discussed, having digestive problems can lead to a whole host of chronic health conditions. Finding and using an effective digestive aid that helps keep thing s running smoothly can help you to improve your gut health significantly.

  1. Take a dietary supplement for cravings

If your body craves sugars and fats, you might benefit from taking a supplement that will help you to resist them.

  1. Avoid unnecessary medications

Unless absolutely necessary, try to avoid taking the following:

  1. Laxatives (use a healthy digestive aid instead, so that you don’t even get to the point of needing one)
  2. Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Examples are ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen.
  3. Broad-spectrum antibiotics such as amoxicillin and tetracycline. If you DO have to take them, use a good probiotic for TWICE as long as you used the antibiotic
  4. Limit your alcohol intake

Even one drink a day can lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your gut. So if you have symptoms of GI distress, try cutting back a bit.

  1. Exercise 30 minutes a day

Our gut responds to our emotions. Our bodies respond to our gut. So managing your emotions (especially feelings of stress) can be beneficial. And exercise is a great stress buster.

 

My Recommendations

These are all products that I personally use and love. I have also seen countless people use them to achieve great results.

Probiotic

probio5_0017This is a top notch probiotic blend that has added enzymes, B6 Grape Seed extract and Vitamin C. It is designed to help restore bacterial balance to your gut.

Digestive Aid

biocleanse_0019

Bio Cleanse is designed to cleanse your GI tract and arteries, energize and oxygenate your body, relieve occasional constipation, and enhance weight loss. This is my absolute FAVORITE product. Feel free to message me to find out why.

Cravings

plexusslim_0017

Did you know that there is a connection between blood sugar and cravings? Among other things, Plexus Slim helps to keep blood sugar at healthy levels. It also helps you to avoid binge eating and increases your willpower over food. And it is soooo easy to use. You just add it to water and drink it about 30 minutes before you eat.

Full disclosure: I am a Plexus ambassador.  However, my health and wellness journey started well before I found out about Plexus and the reason I share about the products is because they have been working for me and the people I know. If you have any questions, I would love to chat with you. Feel free to comment below or send me a message via my fan page. You can also always check out the products on my website.

 

***I also do want to say that Plexus is not intended to treat or cure any diseases. Please do feel free to ask your physician for their opinion if you are concerned about any health problems. I’m not a doctor and just know what has worked for me, my family, and my friends. :)***

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