You may have heard that “you are what you eat” and “you are what you digest and absorb.” While both of these offer truth — like 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. Our body comprises of more than just cells of ourselves; we also host to millions and even trillions of bacterial cells. In terms of a percentage, we are composed 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 act independently of the central nervous system. Suffice it to say a lot is going on in your belly! Add in the fact that over 90% of your serotonin is produced there, and you can start to see how an imbalance of the bacteria can have ripple effects on all the health areas mentioned earlier. 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 Candida is essential for nutrient absorption and digestion, it can also cause severe symptoms if 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 the health of your gut and restoration of balance in the case of Candida once the diet gets addressed on some level.
Integrate healing foods that are rich in fiber, healthful fats, and amino acids. Eliminate processed, refined carbohydrates, sugars, and other irritants from your diet. Once you have done that, you may 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 break down and absorb food nutrients properly 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 excellent 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.