“Your Genes Don’t Matter, But Your Gut Microbiome’s Genes Do!”
That’s the headline from a recent blog post by Dr. Christiane Northrup, a leading authority in women’s health and wellness. She states “as a society, we have been quick to place the blame for everything from our weight to our moods on our genes.”
According to Northrup, people who are able to eat whatever they want without weight or health consequences aren’t all that genetically different than the rest of us.
“The truth is human beings all have similar DNA. So why is it that some people are healthy when they consume chocolate every day while others maintain a strict Paleo diet and struggle with digestive symptoms or worse? It’s because, unlike our genes, our microbiome’s genes are vastly different.”
Dr. Northrup has good news though. She says you can actually improve the health of your gut microbiome rather quickly. The average lifespan of a bacterium in your microbiome is 20 minutes which means every meal is an opportunity to change the population of your gut microbiome for the better.
Dr. Northrup has some great suggestions to get started:
- Eat the right foods: Eating a variety of healthy, non-processed foods programs your microbiome to work for you. The more varied your diet, the more flexible your microbiome becomes, allowing for that occasional dessert.
- Take a high-quality probiotic: A probiotic supplement helps maintain your gut’s ecosystem as well as the ecosystem of your respiratory tract and urogenital tract.
- Support your digestion: Unless you know you have high stomach acid, stop taking antacids! Many people have low stomach acid but think they have too much and take antacids. Supplement with a digestive enzyme. This can help you digest your food better and get rid of your symptoms, such as gas, bloating and heartburn. Glutamine, an amino acid (a building block of protein), can also help to rebuild and maintain your digestive tract and support proper digestion. You may also want to try HCL if you know you have low stomach acid. Or, you could simply try drinking lemon and water or 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a little water before each meal to see if your symptoms improve.
- Get into a relaxed state: Make sure you’re eating in a calm, relaxing environment. Surround yourself with comforting, positive people when you eat socially and avoid people who bring you down.
Start changing your gut microbiome (and thus its genes) the next time you eat and experience the far-reaching health benefits a healthy gut provides!