Gut Health - The Basics

Updated: May 12, 2019

With the rise of so many conditions like allergies, autism, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, IBS, colitis and cancer, we can't help but wonder what's going on?

Current research is now shifting it's focus on the gut and the role and necessity bacteria plays on our overall health.

So how important is the gut? and what does it do for us?

70% of our immune system is located in the GI system, so you can imagine that having an imbalance in this area can manifest all sorts of symptoms and conditions.

Your intestines are full of good bacteria which plays a regulatory role for everything including the adrenals, the liver, the thyroid and blood sugar. They also aid the elimination of toxins, play a protective role against many health conditions, and help regulate all of your hormones.

So how do you take care of your gut?

Manage stress - Excess cortisol can inhibit digestive and intestinal function. So take deep breaths and practice self-care techniques that make you feel happy!

Avoid antibiotic use - You should always confirm with your doctor if taking antibiotics is necessary and if they are, try to take a high-dose probiotic supplement in between each dose.

Chew - This one is a big one but is often overlooked. The enzymes in your mouth help break down carbohydrates. The more you chew and relax while chewing the more enzymes are produced. For fat and protein, this process exposes more surfaces for other enzymes to do their job as food moves through the GI.

Eat smaller portions - This helps reduce stress on enzyme activity in the stomach and intestines and helps prevent fermentation.

Eat prebiotic foods - Such as garlic, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, chicory, wheat and most fruits and vegetables because they promote the growth of all varieties of helpful bacteria.

Eat probiotic foods - All traditionally fermented foods provide the gut with specific strains of helpful bacteria, so eating a variety of these is key. This includes properly made organic yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, apple cider vinegar, unpasteurized beer and wine.

Eat glutamine-rich foods - Glutamine promotes healing of the gut lining, the surface our digestive microorganisms live and reproduce and work on. This includes cabbage, legumes, parsley, spinach, nuts, kale, wheat, and animal products.

These steps all help encourage a healthy gut, so start implementing one step at a time until is feels natural.

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