As daylight gets shorter and temperatures get colder, we tend to hibernate inside, huddled under a blanket, reading a good book or binge-watching Netflix. What better way to enjoy that than with some fresh baked vegan brownies or a bag of Kettle chips to much on? While that may be part of our comfort food routine, the salty-sweet seesaw can become an endless cycle that is never fully satisfied, and we may not realize that it’s making us sick.
Cravings are a sign of imbalance, or what is known as “dysbiosis” from a holistic health perspective. It is a term for a microbial imbalance or maladaptation on or inside the body, specifically the gastrointestinal tract.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the “microbiome,” which is the community of microorganisms which reside in our bodies that help keep our immune systems functioning efficiently. When the “good bacteria” is flourishing, our digestion is strong and we’re able to absorb vitamins and minerals for optional health. However, when there is a proliferation of “bad bacteria,” our health can be compromised.
Symptoms of dysbiosis may include food cravings as well as gas, bloating, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, skin rashes, sinus congestion, and a myriad other responses essentially due to inflammation throughout the body.
Why does this happen? This condition can be caused by poor diet, such as eating overly sweet and salty processed foods or food sensitivities and intolerances to such foods as wheat, soy, and corn, and flareups can be triggered by stress, lack of sleep, and overuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which weaken the gut lining.
How can we stop it? A comprehensive health history analysis is essential to pinpoint the exact cause, since every body is different. However, everyone can benefit by eating more whole foods, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables which are anti-inflammatory and high in anti-oxidants.
Balancing salty and sweet with sour and bitter is also important. Try adding dark leafy greens and spices like turmeric and ginger to your diet. In addition, consider your beverage of choice filtered water with a squeeze of lemon. To aid in digestion, try drinking mint or ginger tea and take bitters with each meal. These little tweaks can make a big difference in your overall health and wellbeing.
For a comprehensive list of strategies for killing cravings and treating the underlying causes of dysbiosis, contact me for a free consultation.