Learn to lis­ten to your body.

Good - - CONTENTS - with Ben Warren Ben Warren is a nu­tri­tion and holis­tic health ex­pert. BePure – Ben Warren

Learn­ing to lis­ten to your body’s sig­nals

Sci­ence is be­gin­ning to come to grips with just how com­plex the hu­man body is – from feed­back loops in­volv­ing mul­ti­ple hormones for ap­petite con­trol, to how the bac­te­ria in our gut mod­u­lates our im­mune re­sponse and con­trib­utes to how we think and feel. The re­ally ex­cit­ing part is that most of this in­for­ma­tion can now be gath­ered through var­i­ous lab­o­ra­to­ries (and some­times wear­ables) through­out the world – the prob­lem be­ing it’s very ex­pen­sive!

The great news is you don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to spend thou­sands of dol­lars on test­ing, as of­ten there are lots of clues if we tune in to our bod­ies.

Take main­tain­ing your weight, for ex­am­ple. You can cer­tainly get tested to see how many copies of the AMY1 gene you may hold (low copies are as­so­ci­ated with an in­creased risk of obe­sity and type 2 di­a­betes from starchy car­bo­hy­drate con­sump­tion – think pota­toes, or ce­real). I gen­er­ally class these in­di­vid­u­als as “car­bo­hy­drate sen­si­tive” mean­ing they gain weight very read­ily from eat­ing these kinds of foods. But, you don’t nec­es­sar­ily need to test your ge­net­ics to find out if this is you… Do you get a short burst of en­ergy from this food and then crash? Or, are you hun­gry within a cou­ple of hours of eat­ing this food? Do you find you gain weight eas­ily when eat­ing this kind of food? If you an­swered “yes” to any of these, you may well be get­ting un­sta­ble blood su­gar lev­els and you’ll most likely do bet­ter avoid­ing starchy and sim­ple car­bo­hy­drates, such as pro­cessed grains and pota­toes.

Food in­tol­er­ances are low-level im­mune re­sponses to the foods we are eat­ing. They can cause di­ges­tive sys­tem prob­lems, im­mune is­sues as well as a host of other is­sues.

The num­ber one thing you want to be look­ing out for is bloat­ing. Bloat­ing can oc­cur when our di­ges­tive sys­tem shuts down for any rea­son, which most of­ten leads to fer­men­ta­tion of the car­bo­hy­drates, caus­ing in­creased gas pro­duc­tion and bloat­ing. An­other in­di­ca­tor your im­mune sys­tem doesn’t like the food would be if it causes you acid re­flux, or heart­burn. Ob­vi­ously there are a num­ber of things that can drive this, but if you find you keep get­ting heart­burn af­ter eat­ing a par­tic­u­lar food, then it may be ben­e­fi­cial to elim­i­nate it. The num­ber one food (which is ac­tu­ally a type of pro­tein) we find peo­ple strug­gle with is gluten, found in wheat, barley and rye. Sec­ondly, we find many peo­ple have is­sues with dairy and, in third place, eggs.

For women an­other way to lis­ten to what’s go­ing on in your body is through your men­strual cy­cle. The re­search is clear that diet and lifestyle fac­tors can have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on hor­monal bal­ance. So, the men­strual cy­cle should be used more as an over­all gauge of hor­monal bal­ance.

The BePure lab does a lot of test­ing of women’s hormones and we gen­er­ally see one of three is­sues: if the client is putting more weight on hips and thighs and gen­er­ally has a heav­ier flow, most of­ten their test re­sults come back oe­stro­gen-dom­i­nant; I’d rec­om­mend eat­ing more cru­cif­er­ous veg­eta­bles (think broc­coli, cabbage, kale) and rose­mary, as there are mol­e­cules in these foods that help the liver metabolise oe­stro­gens. The sec­ond is­sue we see is pre-men­strual syn­drome (PMS). We of­ten find this as­so­ci­ated with lower pro­ges­terone in the later stages of the cy­cle and this could be an in­di­ca­tor of too much stress, as your body steals the pre­cur­sor of pro­ges­terone to build your body’s stress hormones. The third is­sue we see is ex­cess testos­terone; this of­ten ex­presses as no men­stru­a­tion or in­creased body fat around the mid­dle from in­sulin re­sis­tance. Plenty of ex­er­cise and a low-carb diet can help. Of course, if you have a se­ri­ous con­cern, you should al­ways seek ex­pert med­i­cal ad­vice. But the take-home mes­sage is start lis­ten­ing to your body, chances are it’s try­ing to tell you some­thing.

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