Book Review: The Clever Guts Diet By Dr. Michael Mosley
Hippocrates once stated 'all disease begins in the gut' and I guess you can say this is the point Dr. Michael Mosley wants to make by writing this book. People who have bowel problems probably recognize the search for answers and solutions, since these problems influence your life in a big way. It's not only the physical pain and discomfort you have to deal with, it's also the mental side that affects you because having a toilet nearby can be a constant thought on your mind.
The book teaches us that our gastrointestinal system is not only responsible for getting energy out of the food we eat, but it also takes care of almost our whole immune system. It produces over more than 24 hormones that take care of things like our appetite and our mood. One of the things that impressed me the most is the line that says there is a thin layer of 'brain' hidden in our gastrointestinal system. Isn't that amazing? It's called the “enteric nervous system” and it consists of the same cells and neurones that you have in your brain. It puts a whole different dimension to the phrase 'gut feeling' and it also shows how incredibly smart your gastrointestinal system is.
Anyone who is familiar with stomach and/or bowel problems can benefit from this book. But also people without complaints who are 'just' seeking information about keeping your gut healthy have usable information in hand by reading this book. It provides all the information you need to transform your body from the inside out. From background information to test results and insights about food and meal planning: it's all in there. And I must say, the information is so fascinating that it keeps you turning the pages.
With nowadays' food industry and eating habits it can be a challenge to change them. Plus, there are so many articles 'out there' about which foods you should or shouldn't eat that it might be overwhelming and seem like nothing is safe to eat anymore. The fact that fast food only fills up your stomach instead of adding any nutritional value to your body is something most people can understand. But realizing that we also influence our gut bacterias with the medicines we take - that are supposed to make us better - it not something that crosses our minds on a daily basis. Knowing what is and what's not good for you and applying it into your life are two different things. But we all know, our stomach will tell us if we treated it correctly or not...
For me it makes a huge difference when I leave dairy, sugar, pork, alcohol and wheat-containing foods alone as much as possible. Also taking probiotics, eating enough fruits and veggies (not all! There are several that irritate my stomach), drinking enough water, exercising and/or doing yoga to release stress help me to keep my tummy calm. By reading this book, I learned new things and the things I already found out myself were confirmed. I hope that in the near future there will be easy accessible and affordable tests that can tell you the state of your gastrointestinal system and tell you your allergies, intolerances and sensitivities concerning foods. I'm sure this would improve the joy of life of numerous people!!
So with that being said, my advice to you is: read the book, 'take' from it what makes sense to YOU and try to apply it to your life. And most important: listen to your gut, literally and figuratively.