Have you ever wondered why you get "butterflies" in your stomach when you are nervous? Or why you develop a stomach ache or nausea when you're stressed or angry? This is because of a crazy cool connection between our brain and our guts. Hippocrates, a greek physician known as the father of medicine, is quoted saying "all disease begins in the gut". He said this over 2,000 years ago and most are still struggling with creating a healthy gut today.
We have all felt the reaction that our stress and worry can have on our digestive system, but now it is time to understand that that path works both ways. The food you eat is not simply, "good for you" or "bad for you", or simply food that will make you fat or food that will make you skinny. The food you decide to eat each day is information for your body. Our bodies begin breaking down the food and send the necessary components, such as protein or vitamins and minerals, to their appropriate places to be used, while waste is sent in another direction.
This process works great when you are choosing to eat real fresh organic foods, because your body knows exactly what do with that information. When you eat fruits and veggies, the vitamins and minerals found in these foods are sent to be used for many metabolic processes, the phytonutrients are sent to be used to fight inflammation in the body, and the fiber is sent to assist in digestion and to trigger the feeling of being full.
The trouble arises when you start to replace fresh organic foods with processed, hormone filled foods with fake, laboratory-made ingredients. Your body has no freaking clue what to do with artificial colors and flavors, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate (msg), high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and most other ingredients in processed foods. If the ingredient list looks like a science experiment that is because it is. Studies on these foods long term are few and far between. High consumption of these foods will give your body the wrong information and cause malfunction in some way, shape or form. You are giving your body the wrong information.
Now before you get all stressed out about what you should be eating, I want you to simply start to witness how frequently these processed and fake foods are in your diet. Take notice of how often a restaurant is in charge of what you're eating. Start to look at the food labels of the foods you are regularly eating and see if you can possibly find a more natural version to take its place. This will be a slow process and will require an open mind. Most of these fake, foreign-to-our-body ingredients are in the foods for a reason. They make food super sweet or super salty without the need for real ingredients, saving them money and altering your taste buds to only like really sweet or really salty things. Are you someone that always needs to add salt or sweeteners to your food? This may be due to consistently eating foods that are hyper salty/sweet. Your taste buds can change back if you start to remove the processed junk.
Companies use hormones and antibiotics to make animals really big so they can make more money (despite the health of the animal and the quality of the product). They add artificial colors to appeal to kids that like to eat things that make their tongues turn blue. Unfortunately, this is not an accident. The people responsible for our mass food production are more interested in getting people hooked and increasing their profits than they are in caring for the health and wellness of the people that eat it. Not cool man.
That is why it is imperative to start to witness and educate yourself on what you are regularly consuming. Understand that your food choices will affect more than how you look in a bathing suit, they will affect your sleep, your moods (depression and anxiety), your energy levels, your ability to focus, your motivation to stick to your wellness goals, your entire body and therefore your entire life. Your food is information. What messages are you sending your body?
“If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't.” - Michael Pollan