You may have heard that “you are what you eat” and “you are what you digest and absorb.” While both of these offer truth — as the food we eat is transformed into energy to function, to rebuild and regenerate cells and tissues, and to fuel the brain — it’s not the whole story. We are comprised of more than just cells of ourselves; we are also host to millions and even trillions of bacterial cells. In terms of a percentage, we are actually comprised of more bacterial cells than self cells. While the ratio is just about 1.3 to 1, it’s quite perplexing to imagine more cells (in number not mass) of another species in and on our bodies, then cells of our own.
With this in mind, you might be able to consider why the health of your microbiome (gut bacterial population) is essential to your overall health. When gut bacteria are out of balance, several factors and components of health can be affected including digestion, mood, brain function, immune function, and sleep, just to name a few. How are these all connected? Not only is the gut home to trillions of bacteria, but it is also the home of the enteric nervous system. A branch of the autonomic nervous system, the enteric nervous system is responsible for the majority of gut function and can actually act independently of the central nervous system. Suffice it to say, there is a lot going on down there in your belly! Add in the fact that over 90% of your serotonin is produced there, and you can start to see how imbalance of the bacteria can have ripple effects on all the aforementioned areas of health. For more on creating a healthy gut through lifestyle and diet support check out this article.
One entity to which we are a host that is commonly out of balance is Candida. While it is important in the processes of nutrient absorption and digestion, it can cause some serious symptoms when out of balance if it has overproduced and overpopulated in the gut. This can lead to damage in the delicate cells of the intestinal tract and toxins flowing through the bloodstream to other vulnerable areas of the body, as Ayurveda explains the spread of the disease process to occur. You can learn more about the specifics of Candida, its symptoms and some treatment options here, as we’ll focus on gut health and restoration of balance in the case of Candida, once diet has been addressed on some level.
Once you’ve integrated healing foods rich in fiber, healthful fats, and amino acids and eliminated processed, refined carbohydrates, sugars, and other irritants from your diet, you might consider adding some additional supplemental support to aid in the body’s healing process. Repopulating the gut with beneficial bacterial, and utilizing a digestive enzyme to properly break down and absorb food nutrients will support ongoing gut health. Both a probiotic and a digestive enzyme, in addition to several other tridoshic (suitable for all doshas, or body types) herbal blends are included in the My Healthy Digestion Formula.
My Healthy Mood is another wonderful tool for support with emotional health and mood support if you have experienced those side effects from intestinal dysbiosis caused by Candida. Pair both of these herbal ally blends with mindful attention to sufficient sleep, daily exercise, and mindfulness or meditation as ground level support for overall gut, body, and spirit health.