I’m a big fan of teaching intuition. I don’t want to tell you want to think….I want you to LEAN IN. I want you to trust yourself. To tap into your intuition. Your body’s own unique ability to tell you what you need to know.
Call it body wisdom, call it intuition, call it psychic knowledge or cues from source. Whatever it is, it’s magic. Learning self trust has been pivotal in my own journey. Learning to lean into my intuition and away from outside pressure to conform has always led me to the right roads.
And if you’re still here (after 2 years of bold honesty, controversial conversations and radical authenticity) I know you know this too. Your health, your intuition, your gut……is essential for standing in your sacred ground.
Once upon a time I couldn’t trust my gut because my gut was in such a bad place. I was sick. I was in pain. I was bloated, tired, anxious and depressed. I was in so much pain in fact that I was getting scopes and unpleasant tests to see if I had stomach cancer (a whole other story about western medicine).
This body wisdom, it’s subtle. It requires something of you. It requires deep presence, awareness and the health of your gut. If your gut is unhealthy and drowning in symptoms of dis-ease……how will you tap into those subtle signs?
Your gut is your second central nervous system. You are not separate parts but an incredible system of organs, nerves, chemicals, energy, emotions and spirit. You cannot separate these parts.
Today I want to show you the incredible science behind your gut and how it relates to your mental and physical health as a whole. I want to help you investigate where you might find an upgrade to your mental and physical health and I want to give you some practical tools for doing this beyond just “knowledge” because learning things without action isn’t wisdom. It’s just knowledge and we’re all about taking action here.
The Gut-Brain Axis
Your gut hosts your enteric nervous system (ENS). It is made of two thin layers containing 100 million nerve cells. This pathway starts at your esophagus and goes all the way down to your rectum.
The parts of the gut include:
- Small and large intestines
Your ENS communicates directly with the brain. The ENS communicates with your brain both physically and chemically. These connections that go back and forth travel along a pathway called the gut-brain axis.
The Vagus Nerve
Your gut’s main connection to the brain is the vagus nerve. The Vagus nerve also sends messages to the heart, lungs and organs. It uses hormones and neurotransmitters to send these chemical messages.
As a yogi by the way, we do a lot of things to stimulate the Vagus nerve like various asanas, breathing techniques and chanting because it has a huge impact on our mental and physical health.
The vagus nerve, the longest nerve in the body, originates in the brainstem and extends down into the abdomen. It monitors and receives information about the functioning of the heart, lungs, and other internal organs so that you can focus attention on other matters.
The vagus nerve controls the bodily responses that tell you you are safe or to warn you about danger (even before you have had a chance to think about it.) Without your awareness, the brain scans the environment for cues of danger, pitching you into high alert to fight or flee or, in extreme situations, shutting you down. It also scans for cues of safety, which allow you enough calm to open you up to socially engage with others
The vagus nerve reacts to chemical messages. These chemical messages of the gut are affected by your gut’s microbiome. The microbiome is made up of fungi, viruses, and bacteria that live inside your gut. These bacteria can be beneficial, harmful and neutral to your health.
What makes up the Gut/Brain Axis
The gut/brain axis is also made up of your
- Endocrine system
- Immune system
- Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis
The health of your gut can impact both your physical and mental health. Your gut microbiota contains trillions of micro-organisms that help to regulate the function of the gut-brain axis.
These chemicals released by the gut communicate with each other through the ENS, vagus nerve, and other pathways which help to regulate your immune system’s response to viruses and pathogens.
Currently being researched is the role they play in the neurological conditions:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
We know now that various GI conditions influence the brain and vice versa. We also know that age and high levels of stress influence the gut/brain microbiome.
The more stressed you are, the more likely you are to have a weak microbiome. The older you are, the less healthy gut bacteria you have as well.
Stress, emotions and GI response
I’m sure you’ve heard of flight or fight before. In the presence of stress humans (and animals) have an evolutionary response built into us that allows us to flee from danger. It sends waves of chemicals to our bodies and brains that help us stay and fight……or run for the hills.
The problem of course is our bodies don’t know what the stressor is. Is it a bear behind that bush? Or a presentation? It doesn’t distinguish between real life or death danger and social pressure.
So we may have intense chemicals and emotions rise to the surface for seemingly insignificant life events. And if these systems are not regulated we may overuse them. If we’re constantly engaging in stress producing activities or have daily stress triggering habits (ahem caffeine addiction plus anxiety provoking news) we put this system into overdrive.
We feel this flight or fight and nervousness in the gut and with perpetual activation this might start manifesting as anxiety or depression or GI distress.
So our daily bad stress habits can lead to bad gut health but also bad gut health can lead to increased levels of stress and poor moods. It can go both ways but recently more doctors are seeing the effects of bad gut health affecting mental health. It’s not uncommon for people to experience daily:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
So we have stressful lifestyles that contribute to bad gut health but we also have a secret chemical killer that we are all consuming daily which isn’t helping this scenario.
“Glyphosate has been around initially, believe it or not, since 1980. At that time, things like autism, Alzheimer’s, and obesity were really low on the radar but year by year, they have increased as we continued to use this chemical. How could one chemical cause such a diversity of diseases? It is because it destroys our immune system, digestive system, and even our mood. Glyphosate is literally a depressant as it destroys our ability to produce hormones that control our emotions.” – Dave Sandoval
If you don’t know who Monsanto is yet I invite you to take a journey down that rabbit hole. Monsanto is certainly not a conspiracy but a real monster in our world. Their products are polluting the world, destroying natural farming practices, soil and our seeds and are having a detrimental effect on the health of every single person on this planet. They are closely in bed with big pharma as well. This is a whole other blog post but if you’d like more you can read materials from Zach Bush MD or Vandana Shiva the “seed saver.”
For almost 50 years, conventional farmers have used glyphosate on their crops to kill weeds and pests. They spray it on their fields between plantings in order to reduce weed populations and use it as a drying agent on grain and bean crops.
Monsanto is the original creator of the glyphosate-containing Roundup. They have claimed for years that this product is safe and non-toxic for humans. But, as with most things previously deemed “safe,” we’re now learning that we didn’t understand the entire story.
Human epidemiological studies (studies of health trends over time) have found correlations between glyphosate exposure and a variety of health concerns. Correlation does not mean causation however the evidence is stacking up at this point.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weed killer, Roundup. It’s used to kill weeds that interfere with agricultural crops like soy, canola, corn, and wheat. Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide meaning it doesn’t discriminate on the plants (or organisms) it affects . It works by disrupting certain enzyme activity that plants need for growth.
Because glyphosate is non-selective, Monsanto developed the first “Roundup Resistant” soy crop in 1996. This crop was genetically engineered to be resistant to the effects of glyphosate. By 2014, glyphosate application reached 240 million pounds worldwide
Glyphosate works by disrupting what’s called the shikimate pathway in plants, fungi, and bacteria. It will inhibit the plant enzyme EPSP synthase
without that enzyme, the plants cannot produce other proteins essential to their growth.
Glyphosate was originally deemed non-toxic for humans because humans bodies don’t contain this enzymatic pathway. But this was short sided as the human body doesn’t just consist of human cells. Our gut is home to hundreds of thousands of bacteria that help to keep us healthy and thriving.
Gut micro-organisms that inhabit our intestines ARE susceptible to glyphosate exposure, resulting in possible negative effects on our gut health.
Baby rats who were exposed to these “safe” levels of glyphosate had significant disruptions in the health of their microbiome. Scientists found that beneficial gut bacteria like Enterococcus, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus were very susceptible to damage from glyphosate exposure.
And it gets worse
Glyphosate doesn’t just disturb the delicate gut microbiome, glyphosate exposure can result in an increase in intestinal permeability, also known as “leaky gut.” Leaky gut develops when the integrity of our intestinal lining is compromised. This allows contents of the gut to actually “leak” into our bloodstream.
Proteins are what maintain our gut lining integrity. When these proteins are working properly, they act as a barrier between our gut and our bloodstream. They keep food particles and bacteria in the digestive tract, and out of the rest of our body. When they’re not working well, the contents of the intestines can sneak into our bloodstream. This can cause health issues like food allergies, inflammation, and IBS.
Zonulin is one of these proteins. Our lining starts to “leak” when too much zonulin is released into our gut. The higher the glyphosate levels in your gut, the more zonulin that is released. The more inflammation and leaky gut you may experience.
How are things moving along down there??
Glyphosate causes slowed motility. Migrating Motor Complex (MMC) consists of movements which send waves through your gut. These waves move undigested food, other particles, and bacteria through your GI tract. We need things to move along or it sits and stagnates causing bloating, gas and GI issues.
Glyphosate exposure can affect the proteins in the smooth muscles of your gut. This impairs the ability of the Migrating Motor Complex to work properly. Without proper gut motility, you can become more susceptible to conditions like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), constipation, and acid reflux.
I thought I was just gluten intolerant?
Everyone seems to be gluten intolerant these days. Is it gluten, or is it Zonulin release? Zonulin release may feel very similar to negative gluten reactions.
Farmers have recently started to apply an extra dose of glyphosate to their wheat crops right before harvest so it’s no surprise that this crop in particular is causing so many issues in north america (europe has different standards of practice).
Celiac is a reaction to a protein in gluten but poor GI health, leaky gut, inflammation and the bodies ability to move food through the digestive lining can all trigger the same symptoms.
Can glyphosate make you fat?
An emerging body of evidence shows a strong link between eating foods sprayed with commercial herbicides and eating meats from livestock fed on commercial inorganic farms and obesity.
After years of eating highly processed and chemically laden fruits, vegetables and meats, the bacteria in our guts shift radically towards a species that emit what are called endotoxins.
These endotoxin releasing bacteria create inflammation, which then shifts a series of biochemical pathways that favour fat storage as a protective and reaction to the chemicals coming from our diet and the lack of nutrients contained within these foods. Short answer is your fat is protecting you from these chemicals.
The constant state of inflammation many of us find ourselves in is the body’s way of trying to clear those toxins and this chronic inflammation and disease may lead to cancers.
How to avoid
It’s impossible to eliminate all chemicals from our food but we can reduce our exposure and add in habits that help to move things through our system faster.
#1: Avoid Genetically modified (GMO) foods
Avoiding manufactured seed oils and processed foods can help mitigate glyphosate exposure
#2: Buy Organic When You Can
(Look up Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists to see when you should choose definitely choose organic)
Crops that are commonly saturated with glyphosate include:
- Rye and Buckwheat
- Sugar beets
#3: Grow Your Own Vegetables
The only real way you’ll know if you’re veggies are safe and chemical free is to grow them yourself. Make sure you buy organic non-gmo seeds!
#4: Eat whole food that is locally grown and get to know your farmers
Ask your local farmers how they grow their food and don’t be shy to get into this conversation.
My favourite seasonal cleanse:
I use products from Purium and I do get paid from them when someone uses my link. I would still use them even I didn’t get paid because this company is pure, honest and the products are science backed (real science, not scienceTM).
This cleanse can help you push food through the GI tract, decrease inflammation in the body, fill your body with healthy gut bacteria and even helps you shed some of that toxin filled fat.
(Note that often cleansing is necessary before weight loss can really happen).
This is a gentle cleanse and does require that you eat healthy whole clean foods and avoid the normal alcohol, sugar, dairy, seed oils, gluten and any processed foods for the most benefits.
The cleanse uses superfood green shakes, amino acids, inflammation reducing sour cherry juice, fibre and this miracle product to help you get glyphosate out of your body.
The miracle product:
Biomedic uses prebiotics and probiotics to help flush out bad bacteria from the gut microbiome, allowing the good bacteria to flourish
- digestive wheat germ extract
- chicory root fiber
- fulvic and humic acid
- bacillus coagulans (probiotic)
In one double-blind, pilot study, Biome Medic use was linked with a 74% decrease in glyphosate levels. What’s more, participants in the study experienced a 75% decrease in C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is a major biomarker of inflammation. Inflammation is seen as a precursor for other diseases as well. You can read the Biome Medic study here.
So far, Biome Medic is the only product in the world that has reduced glyphosate levels in a pre-clinical trial.
Biome Medic may also support overall mood by supporting the production of a critical hormone generated in our gut: serotonin, the hormone that creates feelings of happiness. Overall gut health restoration may lead to both higher serotonin levels and also greater stem cell production, which translates to feeling younger and healthier.
Epi-Genius (for kids and dogs) is a daily supplement and nutritional drink that has a daily dose of Biome Medic in it.
For the full list of health products that come in Purium’s 30 day ultimate transformation see this link. Save 25% using code JOY25