When we eat food, we rarely question the feeling that we get after eating. Unless it's extremely uncomfortable, we tend to brush it off and move on with our lives. Once we ignore our body's signals enough, we become more and more deaf to what our bodies have to say.
I've definitely been there myself. I thought that bloating and gas after meals was totally normal (even funny, when you're a teenager). I never questioned it, because food is food, that's something you do and everybody's gotta eat something, right? I never thought that 'something' can and SHOULD be different for everyone. I've noticed the same thing working with clients. They say that bloating after meals is okay and some gut irritability has become a norm.
Let me tell you something - it's definitely NOT normal.
Last couple of years I've closely familiarized myself with the concept of nutritional biochemical individuality, aka that all of us react to different foods differently, based on our genetics, environment (epigenetics), microbial diversity in our gut and other factors.
It's funny to think that I considered myself healthy drinking low-fat milk in college and chucking egg yolks away... Without having any data to back it up.
I keep repeating myself: WHAT WORKS FOR YOUR FRIEND, NEIGHBOR OR SISTER'S-IN-LAW BOYFRIEND DOES NOT NECESSARILY WORK FOR YOU. My superfood might be your kryptonite and there are no universal "healthy" foods...
Unfortunately, growing up, I was sick pretty often and I was CONSTANTLY taking antibiotics. The consequences of that are still lingering in my present, what I would call completely optimized, lifestyle.
Anyway, that was a long intro, let's get into the weeds of me taking a VIOME test - an easy, take-home consumer gut microbiome analysis.
After running the test here's what I found out:
My microbial diversity in the gut is average (I'm guessing those are the repercussions of antibiotics)
I'm extremely sensitive to high GI (glycemic index) carbohydrates, meaning that carbs that are digested rapidly spike up my blood sugar significantly
I've probably been eating too much coconut and certain nuts/seeds
Those are the key takeaways and these are the foods that I should avoid due to negative interaction with my microbial diversity:
And these are my "superfoods":
Finally, a lengthy list of foods that I should minimize (a lot of them I've been overindulging on...)
It's obvious that I will not be able to NEVER eat these foods again... If I end up having some brown rice at a dinner party or chickpeas in hummus, it's not the end of the world. Food quality and proper preparation is one thing that I've been extremely vigilant about. Regardless, I still experience some gut distress from time to time. Digestive enzymes, coconut charcoal and blood-sugar regulating substances (ACV, Ceylon cinnamon, bitter melon extract...) will help me mitigate the effects of these foods. It's always interesting to figure out something new about your health and I encourage you to do so as well!