December 29, 2018

Relax and Just Breathe: Your Microbiomes and Stress

There's no way to completely avoid the stressors, obligations, and responsibilities life launches at us. The combination of it all can leave your stomach feeling twisted in knots. Did you know that there's a good reason for feeling that way? When we get overwhelmed and become plagued with added stress, it affects the balance of our microbiomes. 

We become exposed to microbiomes the moment we enter the environment at birth. Although microbiomes can be found anywhere and everywhere, the majority of the bacterial species live in our digestive system. These "genetic footprints" can be confusing because they aren't just located in one location like other organs. 

Stress and Microbiomes
It's a well known fact that processed foods make up the majority of most American's diets. We don't realize just how negatively these foods affect our system's balance. While certain foods can have an unhealthy impact, stress can compromise our body in the same way, or worse. The combination of the two can wreak havoc specifically on our digestive system. 

Recent studies have also shown that constant stress has a significant impact on our gut flora. Maintaining a healthy balance helps to keep the unhealthy prowlers at a distance. 

Diet and Enzymes
Our diet plays a big role in establishing gut health and supporting the microbiome's good bacteria. It's important to avoid foods that cause inflammation. No one wants an angry gut. Instead, seek out foods that offer support to keep your system functioning properly and happily. Besides diet, wellness coaching is another approach that provides the tools and support to begin or maintain your healthy choices. 

So what are enzymes? Why are they important? Simply put, enzymes are proteins comprised of amino acids. These proteins are powerful in assisting with every chemical reaction that occurs in our body.

Since the focus of our discussion is digestion, we'll discuss the digestive enzyme. This is what helps us break down and utilize the important nutrients in what we consume. It decides what food gets turned into energy and what is used for detoxification. It distributes nutrients to the proper parts of our body. Below is a further breakdown of the digestive enzymes:

  • Proteases: aids in digesting protein
  • Amylases: aids in digesting carbohydrates
  • Lipases: aids in digesting fats

Digestive Enzymes and Gut health
The older we get, the poorer our diet, or the more stress we take on all play a key role in reducing the ability of our digestive enzymes to break down food. There are steps you can take to keep from missing out on important nutrients your body needs. 

There's a huge variety of foods that assist with gut health and microbiome balance. Here are a few of the most popular favorites:

Kimchi
Olives
Yogurt
Saurkraut
Kombucha

Bananas
Blueberries
Cruciferous Vegetables
Tempeh
Miso

In a perfect world, everyone would live a lifestyle free of stress and eat healthy foods for every meal. Our gut would be applauding! Realistically, we all live busy lives and can't always take the time to eat properly. Not to mention squeezing in time for ourselves to relax and de-stress. By keeping the above information in mind, and implementing wellness coaching, we can promote peaceful coexistence within our system and all of its functions.

About the author 

Vilmos Bond

Hi, my name is Vilmos, a Nutrition Coach for busy moms, and a wellness implementation consultant for private practice. I help moms overcome feelings of self-doubt and frustration with weight loss.

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