The Energy Trifecta: Why What You Eat Impacts Everything
- Written By:Dr. Amy Shah
Ok I get it, you are tired. I was too. My blood tests were normal and my check up was fine, so what the hell was going on with me? The more I talked to other women, the more I heard the same complaint: I’m tired. In fact it’s the most common complaint women have and they complain of it almost twice as often as men (according to the CDC). So what gives?
Did you know that so much of your energy is dependent on the state of your gut, hormones, and immune system? I call this concept the energy trifecta.
It’s All Connected
Everything is connected in the human body and as you know, there are thousands of individual parts that have to work together as one. A malfunction in one area can cause other areas in the body to malfunction as well. It is not surprising at all that the digestive system is linked to both the immune system and the balance of our hormones.
Funny enough, your immune system is at its peak when your digestive tract is in its best form. Your digestive system is truly responsible for your overall well being because it breaks down the food you eat into the most essential nutrients that help repair cells, stimulate cell growth, and give your body energy. The digestive system also protects your body from harmful bacteria or germs that will disrupt your overall health.
Balance is Key
An imbalance of bad to good bacteria in your gut will lead your small intestine to leak food particles and toxins into your bloodstream. The immune system immediately perceives these invaders as negative bacteria and will activate the body’s immune response by releasing large amounts of the histamine compound. Typically, the body will respond with symptoms such as bloating, cramps, stomach ache, indigestion, irritable bowels, and food sensitivities. The inflammation in your gut causes a cortisol spike and also gets to the brain, making you feel tired.
Bad Digestion = Bad Mood
This bowel imbalance may also lead to mood fluctuation, fatigue, eczema, and joint discomfort. Gut irritation truly impacts all parts of the body, as your GI tract has one of the largest amounts of neurotransmitters in the body. Serotonin, one of the primary hormones and neurotransmitters that influences mood, is actually concentrated and housed in your gut! It is no surprise that bad digestion can truly impact your mood.
It is important to be mindful of what you are consuming because so many bodily processes start and stop with your digestion. Be kind to your gut by eating foods that are high in prebiotics (legumes, asparagus, bananas), make time for rest, reduce stress, avoid large amounts of alcohol, refrain from smoking, and consume more probiotics (fermented vegetables and kombucha are my personal favorites). Also, remember to give your gut a rest from time to time by intermittent fasting, not eating too late, and staying very hydrated.
Lastly remember that energy trifecta will only be in its best shape with your thoughts and the people you surround yourself with match the improvements you are making internally.