For the greater part of the past 2.6 million years, our ancestors’ diets consisted of wild animals and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Today most people’s diets are centred on grains and carbs — many of which contain gut-blasting, microbiome-damaging gluten whose downstream effects have serious impacts to our health. The fact that preventable, non-communicable diseases account for more deaths worldwide today than all other diseases combined is unacceptable (see part 1). How can that be? We’re living longer than previous generations, but not necessarily better. We’ve failed at averting and curing illnesses that we’re susceptible to when we’re older. I don’t know anyone who wants to live to be 100 if their last twenty years are spent in misery?
Theodosius Dobzhansky, evolutionary biologist, said, “Nothing in biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution.” What did he mean by this? All organisms adapted to thrive and survive in a particular environment, if that environment changes faster than the organism can adapt, mismatch occurs. This fundamental biology principle applies as much to humans as it applies to any other organism in nature.
In our first step in a healthy nutrition plan post we talked about the importance of gut health and the two main areas that impact it; the intestinal microbiota, or “gut flora”, and the gut barrier. We also touched on the impacts of gluten and a leaky gut. But was does “leaky gut” actually means? What causes it? What are some of the symptoms? How does it impact your immune system?
Scientific research is bringing more and more credence to the notion that up to 90% of all known human illness can be traced back to an unhealthy gut (Brain Maker, David Perlmutter). And we can say for sure that just as disease begins in the gut, so too does health and vitality. Ongoing research continues to uncover a strong case that gut health is critical to immune system functioning, detoxification, inflammation, neurotransmitter and vitamin production, nutrient absorption, signaling being hungry or full, and utilizing carbohydrates and fat. The gut extracts vitamins, minerals and energy from the food we eat, and it produces more than twenty different hormones. An unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of diseases including diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, autism spectrum disorder, depression, alzheimer's, ADHD, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Most doctors learn very little about gut function and gut health, should they honestly be giving anyone nutritional advice?
Your body is like a delicate little flower. How you take care of your body dictate whether it wilts and die or if flourishes and blossom. The rapid pace of our society takes our focus away from the simple things that our body still appreciates and longs for: rhythm, movement, nourishment. Don’t underestimate the importance of the basics when it comes to reaching the results you are working for.
We say insulin and people think: diabetes. And yes, it’s true that insulin is very important to diabetics because their pancreas no longer makes enough of it (and so they must inject it) but in fact, anybody interested in looking good, feeling good and living longer should educate themselves about how insulin functions in the body.
For those who have been following me on Instagram (@stretch_rayner) you might have seen me measuring my blood glucose levels and ketone level during my KetoDiet experiments.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, and just by taking a supplement you can never balance out a bad diet, your nutrition is important, just like exercise and sleep. We’ve spent years learning about health, fitness and nutrition by listening to experts, continued the study, asking questions, reading and researching to build our own opinions, you should do the same. There are many conflicting views in the nutrition industry, and we need to find what works for us. We like to practice what we preach, and we never take one person's word as fact. Do the research, and everything you hear is bullshit until you can prove otherwise….