GUT HEALTH & FASTING
- Restoring Your Gut Health
- Why You Should Be Careful of What You Put in Your Body
- How Your Gut May Be Affecting Your Overall Wellness
- Transforming An Imbalanced Gut with Fasting
- How Fasting Can Improve Gut Health
Did you know that our gut may be considered our first brain?
The gastrointestinal tract (GI) is very unique because it’s the only organ to develop a fully independent nervous system called the enteric nervous system (ENS). Similar to the brain, the ENS uses more than 30 neurotransmitters, and 95% of the serotonin is produced by gut bacteria, affecting mood and GI activity.
In addition, the gut communicates with the brain, produces hormones, regulates blood flow and the immune system, and supports the central nervous system (CNS) to manage mood and emotions. Researchers have found evidence that mood changes are triggered by irritation in the gastrointestinal system. This conclusion may explain why individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have a higher risk of developing anxiety and depression (Pascricha, n.d.).
The gut is also our first protection from harmful microorganisms, toxins, and chemicals. Over time, eating an acidic, processed, and low nutritional diet and exposure to toxic products and the environment negatively impact the gut and all systems in the body. When we break down the walls of the gut, toxins flow into our bloodstream and destroy our immune system, causing chronic and mental health issues.
The following factors contribute to poor gut health:
- Processed sugar.
- Genetically modified organism foods (GMO)
- Tap water and unfiltered acidic water.
- Fluoride found in toothpaste.
- Pharmaceutical medications and antibiotics
- Poor sleeping habits
- BPA plastics like water bottles
- Hand sanitizer
- Deodorants with aluminum
- Nonstick and aluminum cooking pans
- Non-organic meat and eggs
- Lack of exercise
- Chronic stress and high cortisol levels
- Toxic cleaning products
- Toxic makeup and hygiene products
Poor gut health can manifest in physical conditions, such as excess gas, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, discomfort, heartburn, sugar cravings, inflammation, and migraines. Furthermore, it can also be detrimental to your mental health and cause depression, anxiety, and poor sleep. Recent studies from the Journal of Neuroinflammation have shown that an unhealthy gut can increase the risk of chronic conditions and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer disease, autism, stroke, and cerebrovascular diseases (Gardiner, 2021).
If we consider our gut as essential as our brain, then we need to be serious about changing our lifestyle and feeding our bodies the correct foods, minerals, and vitamins for thriving health. It’s important to learn how to cleanse and detox our bodies properly, so we can reset the gut, restore the balance in the microbiome, and prevent physical and mental diseases.
Fasting and Detoxification
Hippocrates is widely known as the father of medicine and believed that “All disease begins in the gut.”
Current Western medicine protocols do not focus on gut health and detoxification. Fasting is a time-tested and ancient tradition that has been commonly used in European, Eastern, and Indigenous cultures. It has been used for weight loss, Alzheimer’s, cancer, autoimmune conditions, HIV, and much more.
The process of fasting is fascinating! After 17 hours of fasting, the body enters a stage of autophagy, which I consider the fountain of youth. This is the body’s natural process of cleansing damaged cells, toxins, and harmful bacteria and boosting the regeneration of healthy cells.
There are many types of fasting. For instance, intermittent fasting has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years. It is a nutritional protocol that balances eating and fasting with a structured schedule.
Ramadan, a spiritual Muslim holiday, has been practiced for thousands of years and is one of the best insights into understanding intermittent fasting for humans. Research on Ramadan fasting practice shows promising health benefits, such as weight loss, improved sugar levels, and reduced cholesterol.
“Some studies have found that after Ramadan, individuals had increased levels of beneficial gut bacteria such as Akkermansia, Faecalibacterium, and Roseburia8,9. Fasting also increased microbial richness (number of different species in the microbiome) and diversity (how diverse and evenly spread-out species are), and increased levels of the beneficial SCFA, butyrate8,9,12, which are all generally associated with a healthy gut microbiome” (Tousignant, 2021).
Daily detoxing with intermittent fasting is great for maintaining physical longevity however, those who suffer from acute and chronic health conditions may benefit from prolonged fasts. Look at the graphic below to learn about the different phrases of fasting.
Water fasting is another type of fast, which consists of using the element of water to cleanse and detox the body. It allows the body to rest from digestion and focus on healing and cellular rejuvenation. In the past 3 ½ years, I have guided over a thousand people globally through my virtual holistic program called the Luna Fast, which includes a 3-day water fast.
Research shows prolonged fasts between 48-120 hours can “help your body become more resilient to stress and exposure to toxins and that certain hormones produced at this stage can have beneficial anti-cancer and anti-aging effects” (Cheng et al., 2015).
My program has been a game changer in helping people develop a healthy relationship with food, balance out their microbiome, restore their immune system, and get to the root of chronic health problems.
During the 10-day program, we combine ancient detoxifying practices with a naturopathic diet and herbal protocols for a powerful physical, mental, and spiritual shift. In this program, clients work through five phases of fasting: juice, water, dry, fruit, and intermittent. With the assistance of holistic health coaches, such as myself, and the support of a loving community, we help people transform their lives and experience lightness and rejuvenation.
If you’re experiencing symptoms from an imbalanced gut, fasting is an excellent way to target it and get to the root of your physical and mental health issues. It’s important to note that fasting should not be practiced without the guidance of healthcare professionals. I recommend discussing options with your doctor to find the right approach for your gut health needs.
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of fasting, download our FREE fasting guide and book a complimentary call with me today! I create personalized programs to help people with nutrition, gut health, and psychedelic healing. You can also follow me on Instagram @biancaabbottwellness or on Facebook at Bianca Abbott, where I share educational posts on Eastern and Western medicine, natural holistic modalities, and more.
Bianca Abbott, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC, is a Licensed Holistic Family Nurse Practitioner and Transformational Wellness Coach. Bianca’s healing journey has not been easy and has been the catalyst for enlightenment and growth. It has allowed her to empower her family and community to awaken their inner healer.
Bianca Abbott, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC is a Transformational Wellness Coach, Psychedelic Nurse Practitioner, Detoxification Specialist, Plant-based Nutrition Expert, and Kundalini Yoga Teacher. She specializes in Functional and Integrative medicine, merging the best of Western and Eastern practices to embody true healing. Her mission is to empower a million people to heal themselves and live consciously.
Bianca received her bachelor’s in psychology from Eckerd College and her bachelor’s in nursing from NYU. She also earned her master’s in nursing from the University of Miami. After exploring western medicine for 13 years and not finding the answers for her and her family’s health, she set off on a mission to find the best healing modalities in the world. This led her to study and work with master healers, doctors, yogis, and shamans in Bali, Costa Rica, Mexico, India, and Thailand.
For 8 years, Bianca immersed herself in the study of psychedelics through personal exploration and healing, facilitating in ayahuasca and psilocybin retreats, and is now working clinically with clients virtually or at Spine and Wellness Centers of America in Miami, FL. She also leads global yoga wellness retreats and organizes live and online monthly events, workshops, and trainings. She combines all her expertise and bio-hacking therapies for cellular rejuvenation, mental health optimization, and spiritual awakening.
Bianca creates a unique psychedelic healing experience for her clients. She offers ketamine therapy in the clinic and in the comfort of the client’s home. Following psychedelic therapy, Bianca meets with clients for integration sessions, which include breathwork, yoga, meditation, talk therapy, trauma and inner child work, nutrition, herbalism, and coaching.
In addition to psychedelic and integrative therapy, Bianca is the co-founder of the LunaFast, a virtual holistic fasting program that has helped 1000+ people fast and detox around the world. By combining fasting, alkaline vegan nutrition, herbalism, Ayurveda, Psychedelic medicines, and kundalini yoga with self-discipline, self-love, and perseverance, Bianca empowers her clients to heal at the root and embody thriving health!
Currently, she serves ketamine therapy for clients at Spine and Wellness of American and combines all her expertise and bio-hacking therapies for cellular rejuvenation, mental health optimization, and spiritual awakening. Bianca also leads global yoga wellness retreats and organizes live and online monthly events, workshops, and trainings.
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“Psychedelic healing is a vehicle to discover and embody the innate wisdom within you. It creates a sacred space to make meaning of your feelings, sensations, and ideas, so you can navigate your life’s journey and align with your highest self.”
– Bianca Abbott, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC
- GUT HEALTH & FASTING - February 12, 2023