A Healthy Gut is Important for so Many Reasons
There’s a lot of research being done on gut health, and rightfully so – the gastrointestinal (GI) tract does a lot. It transports and digests food, absorbs nutrients and ejects waste.
Despite its size and power, our gut wall is only one cell layer thick, so it’s very delicate. When you consume a lot of processed foods filled with sugar, the fine balance of your good and bad bacteria in the gut is harmed.
Poor gut health can lead to symptoms including bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea.
At a very serious level, poor gut health can result in inflammation in the gut, aka a ‘leaky gut’. Although research is in its infancy stages with this condition, it is understood that leaky gut syndrome causes our digestive track to let unwanted particles in and out of our body because intestinal permeability has been compromised. This is a serious condition that is beyond the scope of my education, please speak to your doctor if you believe you have this condition.
How to Keep Your Gut Healthy
Increasing friendly gut bacteria can help to reduce inflammation and waste, and detoxify your system. To keep you gut as healthy as possible, try the following 3 tips:
1. Build up your army of healthy gut bacteria. Whole foods filled with fibre (ie. veggies, beans and whole grains) can increase your count of friendly bacteria. Limit your consumption of processed foods filled with sugar to decrease the unfriendly bacteria.
Fibre is particularily important because most healthy gut bacteria live in the large intestine. Fibre makes it through to the large intestine to feed these bacteria. Without fibre, your healthy gut bacteria are left to starve and die off.
2. Learn from your ancestors. Fermented foods like Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), Kefir (fermented milk), Miso (fermented paste made from barley or rice) and Tempeh (fermented soybeans) have been eaten for centuries. Not only do these foods contain many healthy gut bacteria themselves, they also help balance your body’s pH levels to help your already present, good bacteria flourish.
3. De-stress regularly. Largely due to technology, an “off the clock” mentality no longer exists. The problem is, when we deprive our systems of all down time, we end up stressing our body and mind right out.
I challenge you to step away from all technology for three minutes hourly throughout your workday. Try walking to a co-workers desk, the furthest water cooler or washroom, or just stretch. This downtime is so critical to not only your gut health, but to every working system in your body.
To Sum it Up…
The gut transports and digests food, absorbs nutrients and ejects waste. Despite the size and power of our gut, it’s a very delicate system. Increase your friendly gut bacteria by eating foods that help the good gut bacteria flourish and by managing your stress. As Amy Myers, MD says, our guts are the ‘The Gateway to Health’. We can’t ignore our gut health.
Heal your Leaky Gut, Axe Wellness LLC.; DrAxe.com
Food Revolution Summit, 2019