A Healthy Gut is a Healthy You

A Healthy Gut is a Healthy You

7 March 2017

Do you, from time to time, experience sugar cravings, bloating, burping, gas, diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion, heartburn, anxiety or frequent fatigue … (to name but a few !)? These are all signs of impaired gut health!

Truth is we’re all too familiar with bloated bellies, rumbling intestines and days you can’t get off, or even close to the toilet, right? And even if you’ve never experienced any of the above, or have never suffered from the occasional “sweet tooth”; why is gut health so important?

Research has placed a spotlight on gut health in recent years, emphasising its importance in our overall health and well-being. Hippocrates once said: “All disease begins in the gut.” Clever man! Your gut is the cornerstone for optimal health and the avenue through which nutrients are absorbed and incorporated into the body. It is where metabolism starts, food is digested, nutrients are absorbed and neurotransmitters are made.

Also dubbed as “the second brain”; the gut and the brain work in tandem. How? Well there’s a constant exchange of chemical messages between the two systems.  Ever noticed that when you feel stressed or anxious you get nauseous or are inclined to get an upset stomach? Truth is problems in your gut could also impact your mental health, which could ultimately lead to depression and anxiety.

Whether your gut is healthy or unhealthy will determine how your digestion functions, how likely you are to have cravings (impacting your weight!), how energetic you feel, and how well your immune system works. Turns out 80% of your immune system resides in your gut lining, therefore it’s only logical to keep it functioning as optimally as possible.

So, what wreaks havoc on your gut? Be careful of refined carbs, processed foods, antibiotics, chronic stress, chronic infections, as well as substances that you’re sensitive to, like gluten or dairy.

According to nutritionist Madeleine Helm, the amazing thing about the cells in your gut is the fact that they regenerate every two to three days and so if you remove the triggers causing problems, cells will regenerate and restore themselves.

Here’s how to do just that:

  • Keep your sugar intake low. Bad bacteria thrive on sugar and refined carbs. Get your carbs from veggies, and fruit. Eat lean proteins and healthy fats. Real foods will support the body in culturing good bacteria.
  • Include fermented foods on a daily basis. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt etc.
  • Supplement with probiotics to boost the good bacteria in your gut.
  • Manage stress.
  • Be careful with food sensitivities. They will increase inflammation and damage the intestinal tract. The BIG FIVE culprits include: gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and nuts.
  • Don’t overuse antibiotics. Antibiotics deplete all gut bacteria, including the beneficial strains.
  • Use natural soap and water instead of anti-bacterial soaps. The overuse of anti-bacterial soaps may contribute to the rise of resistant strains of bacteria like MRSA. Use a good quality natural soap and warm water instead.
  • Fibre, fibre, fibre. Fibre promotes a healthy digestion by cleaning out the little bits and pieces that get stuck into the folds of the intestinal wall.
  • Take care of your mouth hygiene. Everything that enters your mouth ends up in your gut. Keep your mouth healthy by flossing and brushing regularly. Stay away from aggressive mouthwash products or toothpaste that’s heavy on whitening.

So, there you have it. Your gut is more than just a digestive organ. It is a delicate and diverse ecosystem that is an essential part of our physical and emotional well-being. Isn’t it time to show it some love?

Source: wellnessmama.com, www.popsugar.com, www.ahealthyplate.com, www.healthysimplelife.com, www.joyoushealth.com, www.self.com, www.navacenter.com, www.healthcoachfx.com, www.longevity.com

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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