A Healthy Perspective Is Often A Gut Instinct

August 19, 2016

As most of us know, experiencing a healthy lifestyle is an essential part of living a happy and vigorous life. Although challenging at times, eating right, staying active and having a positive outlook are important factors that contribute to longevity. Additionally, proper heart health, bone health and brain health are essential, but what about proper gut health? As it turns out, taking the time to treasure your tummy, and what goes into it, also has a huge impact on your overall health and wellness.

Just ten years ago, only 1 in 10,000 people was diagnosed with digestive disorders, such as, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, celiac disease, IBS, and constipation. Today that number is 1 in every 500. Why the increase, you ask? Like all ecosystems, various toxins, including antibiotics and other drugs commonly prescribed for various ailments, can easily alter the delicate balance of the digestive tract. Furthermore, chemicals like chlorine and fluoride in our water, food additives and preservatives, stimulants like coffee, and an overabundance of difficult-to-digest foods can change this microbial balance.

The gastrointestinal tract is loaded with billions of neurons that release the same neurotransmitters found in the brain. This is why we experience ‘butterflies in your stomach’ or have those ‘gut feelings’ when experiencing certain emotions. Any upset to this brain-gut equilibrium can throw your body, and mood, into chaos. Moreover, recent microbiome-based brain research shows a link between certain conditions, such as autism and depression, and the gut’s bacteria.

Involved in so many different processes, the digestive system is really the cornerstone of our well-being and plays a key role in our natural immunity to diseases. This is because your gut is actually an entire ecosystem of bacteria and yeast — some beneficial to you, others toxic. Just like any other ecosystem, the many toxins that make their way into the digestive tract can alter its delicate balance.

Poor food choices, viruses, parasites, caffeine, alcohol consumption, antibiotics, NSAIDs, and bad bacteria can cause damage to the gastrointestinal tract. When gut health is unbalanced, this ‘bad bacteria’ can weaken immune response, impairing immune and nervous systems and wreaking havoc on hormonal function throughout the body. This disruption causes intolerances that then initiate an inflammatory response in the body, which release stress hormones, further taxing the body and impairing the body’s immune system

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to keep your gut health in check. Namely, nourish your body with the foods it needs, get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and stay active. In addition to maintaining a resilient heart, strong bones and a sharp brain, add tough tummy to the list of ‘must haves’ when keeping your health in perspective.

While excellent nourishment is a top priority, The Merion’s exquisite dining services go well beyond. We provide five-star quality dining, with careful attention to fresh and health-conscious offerings. Take a look at our fabulous menus which are changed daily.