Thermo Diet Podcast Episode 26 - Quick Tips For Better Gut Health
In this episode of The Thermo Diet Podcast Jayton Miller sits down and talks about some quick tips on how to optimize the health of your gut.
Check it out and let us know what you think!
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How's it going, guys? Welcome back to the Thermo Diet Podcast. This is a solo podcast today, so I'm going to talk a little bit about digestion. This is a problem that I've seen consistently throughout the Thermo Diet Group that people tend to struggle with, especially as they're coming from different kind of extremist type of diets, whether it's being strictly plant-based or maybe extremely carnivore. This is something that is very consistent that a lot of people tend to struggle with, so I think I will talk a little bit about that today.
So whenever it comes to digestive problems, usually the root cause is going to be a low metabolic state. This is usually a underperforming thyroid that leads to the inability for the digestive system to function optimally simply because a lack of energy production is going to lead to sympathetic dominance. Then, that sympathetic dominance is going to revert a lot of the priority to survival, mainly expediting blood to the muscles and the brain and not allowing it to go to certain areas of the body that are necessary to promote the progression of longer term life. So it's more of an immediate survival mechanism rather than a long-term survival mechanism.
So whenever we have blood reverted away from the digestive system, then we begin to have less nutrient availability to the digestive system and the functioning of the digestive system begins to degrade. So whenever we have an underperforming thyroid, we have the inability to produce energy, and then we're also more susceptible to the effects of the stress hormones, specifically estrogen, cortisol, and adrenaline. The main thing that we need to focus on whenever we're looking to increase the health of the digestive system is to make sure that our thyroid is functioning optimally and that we have proper metabolic functioning.
But whenever it comes to the digestive system and how it works, I think that we need to start with the psychology of eating. This is very interesting because the psyche plays a crucial role in our ability to properly digest a lot of the food that we come into contact with. So whenever we're looking at ... For instance, if you don't look forward to the meal that you're about to eat, then it hinders our body's ability to produce certain enzymes and begin to produce stomach acid and things like this. Instead, whenever you look forward to the meal that you're eating, you begin to have an increase in saliva production, which is going to allow for more salivary enzyme production, things like amylase, which is going to break down larger chain molecules and then things like lysozymes, which actually breaks down bad bacteria in the mouth before it actually gets into the system. This is very important.
Then, whenever you look forward to the meal that you're about to be eating, you begin to increase the amount of stomach acid that is in the stomach, which leads to better breakdown of proteins and things like that. So making sure that we sit down, that we take a deep breath before we actually begin eating, and look forward to our eating, and begin to practice positive emotions, that's going to have a direct response on our physiological ability to actually break that meal down properly and assimilate it into the body.
After you've gotten the psychology of eating right, then we need to pay attention to mastication. Mastication is very important, otherwise known as chewing, because one of the things that a lot of people struggle with is stress eating. This is basically just the rushing of eating to get through a meal so you can move on to something else. This leads to larger molecules going into the system and then puts more stress on the digestive tract because it has to break down larger molecules in areas where it's not supposed to break down molecules that are that large. So making sure that we chew to entirety, so making sure that we chew food until it is liquid or as close to liquid as possible, number one, it's going to allow for all the enzymes, like amylase and lysozymes, to come into contact with that food. So whenever it comes into contact with that food, then we can begin to have the proper breaking down process.
Then, whenever we actually swallow that food, it then enters into the stomach. Then, the stomach has mainly pepsin and HCL, which is hydrochloric acid. Then, that hydrochloric acid and pepsin as well as ... I think there's a little bit of trypsin in there as well. That helps break down the protein molecules into amino acids. Then, from the stomach, it goes into the small intestine. So the small intestine releases sodium bicarbonate to inactivate the hydrochloric acid. From there we have where this is actually where most of the nutrient assimilation comes into play. So whenever you enter into the small intestine, you have some more enzymatic reactions that happen. You also have ... So you have the release of different kinds of pancreatic enzymes. You have the release of different kinds of bio salts and emulsifiers that help make fat water-soluble so it can enter into the bloodstream and be carried around to the tissues in the body and be carried to the liver so it can be metabolized properly.
But then, also, we began to ... So we have inside of the small intestine we have villi and microvilli, which are the little finger-like cells that line the inside of the intestine that hold different enzymes and different molecules that allow for the assimilation through the gap junctions, which are ... Basically, this is one of the reasons that intestinal inflammation causes a lot of problems with people is because the gap junctions actually begin to open up more whenever we have intestinal inflammation. Then, this excessive gap within these gap junctions leads to larger molecules being released into the bloodstream, and then we have an autoimmune response. This is why a lot of people tend to be intolerant to things like gluten, for instance, is because gluten is a very large molecule. And whenever it gets into the system, it causes an autoimmune response because the body thinks that it's under attack. In order to prevent that, we need to decrease the amount of intestinal inflammation that is happening specifically within the small intestine so we can mitigate the amount of larger molecules that are getting into the body. So making sure that we downregulate intestinal inflammation by eating things that are high in glycine, high in proline, and other pro metabolic amino acids from sources such as collagen, bone broth, gelatin, those are all going to have a significant impact on our ability to basically bring those gap junctions back together.
But anyways, so most of the nutrient assimilation happens in the small intestine and after and then. So from the small intestine, we have the portal vein. The portal vein carries most of the nutrients to the liver to where it can be metabolized and basically shuttled around the body properly. Then from the small intestine, we enter into the large intestine where the microbiome is. The microbiome is basically like the bacterial makeup of the species of bacteria that are within the large intestine. These bacteria are very important for things like vitamin K production, different fat-soluble vitamins, different kinds of important nutrients like butyric acid, acetic acid, things like that that are necessary for optimal metabolic health.
So if we don't have the proper ratio of positive Gram bacteria and negative Gram bacteria, then the microbiome is going to be thrown into dysfunction, and then our ability to create a lot of those different nutrients within that are going to be downregulated. Then, we're also going to have an excess of different kinds of neurotransmitter production because things like serotonin are actually produced inside of the gut. So, 90% of serotonin is actually produced inside of the gut, and so we need to make sure that whenever we look at the balance of bacteria within the microbiome, it's we want it to be more favorable towards the positive Gram bacteria because the negative Gram bacteria within the outer shell of the Gram-negative bacteria we produce or those bacteria produce what is known as lipopolysaccharide. This is also known as endotoxin.
Whenever we have an excess of endotoxin, it can get into the peripheral tissues. Then, it also tends to lead to an excessive production of serotonin, which also gets into the peripheral tissues. Then we see things like an increase in insulin resistance, an increase in diabetes and increase in waist circumference. People have also noted anxiety, sometimes even depression because of the intimacy of those neurotransmitters and the endotoxin in the peripheral tissues. Then, that can also lead to an imbalance of neurotransmitter production within the brain, too, because the serotonin in the brain are connected via the vagus nerve, and so they're constantly getting feedback from each other. And if we have an excess of something, the feedback loop is going to downregulate the amount of production in the brain, and then the serotonin that's in the peripheral tissues is going to be carried to the brain, and then we're going to get too much in there. So we need to make sure that we mitigate that as much as possible.
Another benefit of the positive Gram bacteria is that it can actually deactivate endotoxin before it gets into the system, and it tends to produce less serotonin. So if we can get rid of the Gram-negative bacteria, that's going to be more favorable. So some of the things that we can do in order to mitigate that is a raw carrot salad. Carrots, whenever they're in the ground, they have to have these antifungal and antibacterial properties that allow them to fight off bacteria that's trying to attack them within the soil, and so it has this same mechanism within the digestive tract. So the fibers within the carrot, specifically whenever the carrot is raw, you can also use the fiber from well-cooked bamboo shoots, this is going to not only attach to different stress hormones like estrogen that are secreted into the digestive tract and prevent them from being reabsorbed, but it's also going to attach to some of the Gram-negative bacteria and help pass it through the system.
It also helps with transit time. Eating a raw carrot a day, or a couple raw carrots a day, or even some well-cooked bamboo shoots is going to allow for a higher rate of transit time. This is very important because we want to mitigate the amount of reabsorption of those stress hormones. Then, if the transit time is not timed properly, then we can begin to reabsorb endotoxin and things like that towards the end of the large intestine. So it's very important that we make sure that we have regularity within the system as well.
Coconut oil actually has some really cool antiviral and antibacterial benefits. Then, things like ACV, apple cider vinegar, is going to be very good for helping eliminate some of the endotoxin and promote a more favorable microbiome composition.
Activated charcoal is actually another really good chelator. So activated charcoal can attach to a lot of the different heavy metals that are in the system, things like mercury, aluminum, and pass them from the system so we have less toxic buildup from heavy metals. But then also, it tends to attach to the Gram-negative bacteria and help pass that from the system, and then it downregulates the amount of endotoxin production and serotonin that's going to be produced in the gut.
Then, outside of that, things that you can do to promote regularity are walking. Walking for around 60 minutes a day actually allows for the sensors that are within the body to promote peristaltic contraction. Peristaltic contraction is simply the contraction of the digestive tract to push the waste in the digestive tract through in its entirety.
There's actually a study that shows that ... So, most Americans have an average transit time of three days, which is absolutely asurd. Or, absolutely absurd. I guess that would make a lot more sense, but ... So usually, you want an average transit time of around 12 hours. This is going to allow for not only the less buildup of toxic waste within the system, but then you're also going to have the alleviation of pressure within the intestinal wall, which is going to lead to things like ... If you have too much pressure on the intestinal wall, you're typically going to experience things like headaches, bloating, and just overall discomfort within the system, which can degrade overall well-being. So we want to make sure that our transit time is optimal because of that. But then we also want to make sure that we're preventing the reabsorption of a lot of these toxins.
So walking can help promote regularity, and then making sure that you eat the raw carrot a day is also going to promote regularity. Then, optimizing thyroid function is going to promote regularity. Because whenever we have an underperforming thyroid, we don't have the ability to properly regulate water within the system, and so we're constantly passing water. That's why we tend to pee a lot more often whenever the thyroid is underperforming. So this inability to hold on to water or to retain water leads to less water availability to the digestive tract. So if we have less water availability in the digestive tract, it tends to dry up and it tends to basically back up the system, and so you have constipation in a lot of cases.
Or you can have an excess of water in the digestive tract, and then this leads to excessive diarrhea, and then we don't have the ability to properly assimilate the nutrients that we're supposed to be taking in. So this can lean to micronutrient deficiencies over time. So you either have the passing of nutrients too quickly from the system or you have the reabsorption of toxins from the system because of the inability for water to kind of soothe that process.
I would say that those are probably the biggest ideas whenever it comes to digestion, is just making sure that the microbiome composition is optimal, making sure that you are regular. So if you're not going at least one time a day, one good time a day, then I would start taking the steps to kind of set up a regular pattern, and so making sure that you're getting around 60 minutes of walking a day to promote the peristaltic contraction, making sure that you're getting in a raw carrot a day or some well-cooked bamboo shoots, making sure that you supplement with a little bit of activated charcoal for around one to two weeks. You don't want to do it for a prolonged amount of time. Because if you do it for a prolonged amount of time, it can lead to micronutrient deficiencies because it also tends to attach different minerals in the system.
But then also, making sure that you chew your food thoroughly, making sure that whenever you look ... before you begin eating a meal that you look forward to that meal so you can begin to properly produce different kinds of enzymes and stomach acid, and then making sure that you're not doing anything that is going to promote intestinal inflammation, so making sure that you avoid polyunsaturated fatty acids, making sure that you avoid foods that are very fibrous, so foods that are very high in fiber.
The human body lacks the ability to produce the enzyme cellulase, which is used to break down cellulose, which makes up the cell wall within these very fibrous plants. So making sure that we avoid that, or if we do eat them that we cooked them very thoroughly to break down that cellulose that is within them so we can kind of prevent the fermentation process that happens within the gut, and promotes Gram-negative bacteria, and helps to promote regularity as well. It also tends to break the goitrogen content within a lot of those different plants. But, we can also avoid them in their entirety and still be perfectly okay.
That's really all I got. This one was kind of a rambling, but I hope you got some tips in there. If you have any questions, make sure to hit me up in the Thermo group. Make sure to follow us on YouTube, Spotify. Pretty much anywhere that you can find podcasts we're on there, So make sure to check it out. And I'll talk to you next time. Have a good one.