Bugs in Space

When it comes to health, nutrition is near the top of most people’s list. So it makes sense that maintaining healthy digestion is also important. Heck, without properly digesting the foods you eat all those delicious veggies might just go down the drain, or even worse, lead to real digestive distress like increased sensitivity to certain foods, gastric reflux, bloating, or serious challenges maintain healthy weight.

You know about probiotics right? They’re the good little buggies that live in your gut ready to help you digest your food. There was a fascinating study done on Soviet Cosmonauts which measured how stress affects the health of these helpful microscopic critters.

I’ve never been an astronaut myself, however it sure seems pretty stressful to me. Encapsulated in a tiny spaceship for months at a time, peeing without gravity, imminent threat of radiation storms or just dealing with the same lot of folks in my personal space with no escape- that’s a big thanks but no thanks.

But the people who designed the study, being mega-scientists, actually looked at how measurable oxidative stress results in a decline of these microscopic flora. What they uncovered is how stressful events significantly reduce important intestinal bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus. And, my friend, that’s a problem. This is what’s called dysbiosis, or an imbalance of digestive flora, and it is one of the culprits towards any number of health problems (including difficulty losing those extra pounds!).

It’s imperative that stress is addressed if you value your health,especially during eating. I cannot emphasize that enough.

We are designed to eat during a relaxed state (not watching the evening news, scrolling our cell phones, making our to-do lists, working at our desk…). Taking a few mindful moments to relax and turn off the day will not only help you enjoy your meal more, it will improve your digestion leading to better health. And, apparently eating while on Earth doesn’t hurt either.

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