Are you familiar with Keto?
Wellness and Keto are great partners. Self-care and wellness start with what you put INTO your body.
- Joints hurt?
- Brain fog?
- Food cravings?
- Issues with your digestion?
- Blood sugar problems?
Well, I pretty much checked off each one of those challenges. So, for me, a Keto diet is the answer (with a Mediterranean leaning). It might be hard to believe, but what goes on in your stomach can impact mental health as well as your physical health. When it comes to taking care of your total self, it is important to consider the connection between your gut, your body, and your brain – it affects almost every area of your life!
The Gut-Brain Connection for Wellness
They may seem far apart, and totally unrelated, but recent studies have proven a significant connection between the microbiome of bacteria in our digestive systems and our brains. In fact, 90% of your body’s serotonin (the happiness neurotransmitter) is produced in your gut!
Our brains and the bacteria in our gut have a two-way communication system that is mutually beneficial as well as unique to each individual. Genetics, health, and psychological states can influence how our brains react to the bacteria in our systems.
With over 40,000 types of flora making up the microbial “2nd brain” in our bellies, there are more ways that your coffee and bagel at breakfast can interact in your body than we can count.
What Does This Mean?
While this field of study is fairly new, scientists do know that our microbiomes have a significant impact on three systems: the immune system, the nervous system, and the endocrine system. Balancing the bacteria in our gut can improve mood, decrease anxiety, lower inflammation, increase motivation, and improve sleep – just to name a few benefits.
Consider this nervous system example:
Eating a sugary donut can make a type of bacteria produce dopamine as a biproduct, creating a cycle that leads to sugary cravings for a quick happy fix. This continues to get worse as the bacteria continue to be fed and produce more bacteria. The only way to break the cycle is to balance out your microbiome through diet and supplements that meet your body’s individual needs.
The Science of Keto
The key for me has been the Keto diet. I don’t doubt that you’ve heard of it – it became very popular on social media a few years ago. But what makes it different from a fad diet in that case? What makes it so different that doctors and nutritionists are recommending it? Let’s talk about the science behind it.
The name Keto, or Ketogenic, comes from a process called ketosis. Ketosis happens when there is not enough glucose in your blood for cells to use as fuels. Your body then switches into ketosis and starts transforming fat stores into ketones that can be used to power your body instead. Wellness and Keto are complementary.
With the Keto diet, ketosis is simulated by targeted dietary choices, not starvation. Instead, the foods that generate easy-to-access glucose in the blood are avoided, like sugars and carbohydrates. Even though the diet is high fat, your body resorts to using its fat stores in the absence of glucose, not the fats you are putting in. Focusing on replacing carbs with fats also ensures that you avoid any negative side effects of cutting them out by providing your body with the right macronutrients to keep functioning well.
There are many different versions of the Keto diet because it simply requires your body to enter ketosis. Like I previously mentioned, my own is Mediterranean leaning. The main focus for whichever style you choose is that it is the right one for your body. I strongly encourage you to talk with a nutritionist before jumping on the Keto train – what works for someone else might not be the best for you!
The Moral of the Story is This
It’s never too late to start making changes. Those changes can make a huge difference in your quality of life. You just have to make yourself a priority. And remember, it’s not selfish. There are people in your life that need you. There are people you have yet to meet whose lives will be better because they crossed your path. So, get some help, figure out your plan, and start taking care of YOU.
There are many destinations that offer menu options to support a Keto or low carb diet. Reach out to me to book a complimentary consultation to get some ideas. CONTACT ME