Gut health is something that’s cropped up a lot in the wellness sector. I had no idea how important it was until I started reading up more about it. In my research, I’ve realised that the gut is like a second brain. A healthy gut also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which helps maintain general health and well-being. Our body’s are marvelous things, aren’t they?
Let’s geek out a little… You have many bacteria in your body. In fact, you have more bacteria than you have cells. Most are good for you. The ones found in your gut not only help you digest foods, they work all over your body and can be good for your physical and mental health.
The Gut Microbiome is a home base for the bacteria in your digestive tract. Here, they help you break down food and turn nutrients into things your body can use. They stop growing when they run out of food, so you’ll only have what you need. In the gut microbiome, the “good” bacteria do more than just help with digestion. They help keep your “bad” bacteria in check. They multiply so often that the unhealthy kind don’t have space to grow. When you have a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, it’s called equilibrium.
If you have too much of a certain kind of bad bacteria in your gut microbiome, it leads to all sorts of problems like IBS, Crohn’s disease, bloating, gas, weight issues, skin issues, fatigue/poor sleep, diabetes, and our immune system. In fact, our gut health is said to be responsible for 75% of our health and well-being. That’s pretty damn significant.
So, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I am a big fan of the mantra: Knowledge is power.
I discovered a company called Viome, through some girls I follow on Instagram and it immediately piqued my interest.
Viome is a company that supplies the Viome Gut Intelligence™ test
This test analyses the activity of the microbes in your microbiome in order to provide you with personalised food recommendations that allow your body to function at peak performance.
Every living organism produces RNA molecules from its DNA. Their technology sequences the RNA in your sample to identify and quantify all the living microorganisms in your gut. This is the highest resolution of a person’s gut microbiome available!
I absolutely LOVE this because now you can KNOW exactly what works for your body and what does not. Over the years I’ve really been on a journey of figuring out what works for my body and what doesn’t. I’ve been to dieticians, personal trainers, I’ve tried various eating plans and trends and it’s taken me years to figure out what works for me specifically. I’ve always believed that what is healthy for one person, isn’t necessarily healthy for someone else. Our bodies are not one-size-fits-all.
Over the years, we’ve been conditioned to know what is labelled as healthy and what isn’t. Yet, some of those health foods have made me incredibly bloated or I’ve felt awful eating them.
When I discovered the Banting lifestyle, which has been the only thing to truly work for me, I had to turn everything I knew upside down. I went from eating an almost no fat/low fat diet to a good, high fat one. Instead of steaming my broccoli and boiling chicken breasts, I could now stir-fry them in coconut oil or even butter, and I really had to get my head around it.
So when this test came along, I must admit I was completely intrigued and also a little apprehensive. I’d already changed so much in my diet, would this upheave everything even more?
Well, instead of being an ostrich and sticking my head in the sand, I figured I should find out what foods really are Superfoods for me and what are harmful. If I want longevity and health, I’d better find out so that I can tweak what I eat even further.
The test arrived in a classy, modern box with very simple, clear instructions.
Now don’t be grossed out by the fact that you need to give a stool sample. It’s so easy.
- Use the tape measure to take your waist and hip measurements. You will be asked to enter this information into the app in the Questionnaires section.
- There are two stool collection papers of different sizes. Use the one that best fits your toilet.
- Attach the stool collection paper to your toilet by lifting the toilet seat and adhering it to the top edge of the bowl.
- Ensure that the collection paper sags slightly. Carefully deposit your stool onto the paper.
Honestly, in my years of blogging and creating content, I never expected to ever take a photo of a toilet nor did I ever expect to post it.
- Uncap the brown-capped tube (be careful not to spill the solution inside).
- Use the attached scoop to transfer ONE small scoop (NOT heaping) of your stool to the brown cap tube and close the tube tightly. Overloading the tube will cause problems with the analysis.
- Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Allow the tube to rest for 30 seconds. Repeat this shake/rest steps 2 more times.
- Deposit what remains of your stool into the toilet bowel and flush. Wrap up the collection paper and throw it away in the bin.
- Place the brown-capped tube in the Rigid Safetybag, and seal the bag.
- Email email@example.com or by phone on 011 697 2900, so they can arrange collection of your sample. You must do this the same day you collected your sample.
- Store at room temperature until the courier arrives.
You then fill out a questionaire, which is important to do right after you’ve done sample.
My results came in a 3-4 weeks later and I poured over them via the VIOME App. I was fascinated!
Thank goodness they are all things that I really enjoy and some things that I actually haven’t eaten in a while, like artichokes, papaya, pumpkin seeds, grapefruit and salmon etc… so it was a great reminder to bring these back into my life. I was thrilled to see oregano there too, since it’s a herb I use often (very popular in Greek dishes.)
It was my Foods to Avoid and Minimise that surprised me the most!
Foods to Avoid and Minimise:
Things that I have always eaten because they were dubbed as healthy, apparently works against me. Things that I snack on constantly are things that I need to avoid.
I’ve been roasting Brussels sprouts because I thought they were healthy. I’ve been making my own cabbage coleslaw. I’ve been eating loads of broccoli (in the salad I posted the recipe for a few weeks ago) and roasted too, because it’s healthy. I’ve been chopping up bell peppers and dipping them in guacamole and I snack on roasted, salted cashews as my alternative to crisps.
Go figure that it’s all wrong for me.
Damn, no more Lobster for me 😉 Haha.
I’ve never really been a coffee drinker, until I moved to Cape Town, which has a huge coffee culture. I’ve really enjoyed my coffees, but now I know I should avoid it
I was pretty devastated seeing that all teas – black, white, green teas are all to be minimised. Nooooooo!!!! BUT, it doesn’t mean they’re completely out and if I’m really honest with myself, I probably should minimise the amount I drink anyway.
It was things like cauliflower, dates, coconut water, and grapes that was also a surprise. I was not surprised to see Kale, Garlic and onion there. Whenever I eat that I bloat immediately and don’t feel great, so it’s nice to see that it’s not just my imagination.
I’ve managed to eliminate all of my Avoid Foods, but coffee. I’m struggling with that one.
I’m eating more of my Superfoods and I feel better. I feel as if I’m not as lethargic and I’m down 2 kgs. It truly is remarkable to be able to do a test and figure out exactly what makes you, as an individual, healthy.
In the next few weeks I’ll be sharing a discount code should you want a discount on the test, so keep an eye out on my social media pages.
If you want some more info, head over to https://www.viome.co.za/