Heal Your Gut. Heal Your Body.
What does fatigue, depression, weight gain, anxiety, bad skin, fluctuating energy levels, food cravings and bloating all have in common?
And I mean besides being completely unnecessary and a royal pain in the a*se.
Read on for the answer…
Answer: The Gut!
The gut is your entire digestive system, starting at the mouth, winding through the stomach, small intestine and yep, ending at the poop end! The gut is often referred to as the second brain because it has its own nervous system and communicates back and forth with the brain.
I like to think of the gut as your very own universe. It’s filled with over 100 trillion microorganisms of over 500 different species that make you who you are today.
The gut is involved in food digestion and absorption and in nutrient assimilation, it’s also involved in hormone production (with over 80% of serotonin the “feel good” hormone being produced in the gut) and it regulates your metabolism.
And did you know that 75% of your immune system is actually your gut! Phew…and you thought you worked hard!
Knowing the importance of a healthy gut and its many roles and impacts on the body, it seems only logical that we learn how to keep and maintain a healthy gut.
Here’s a few tips to heal your body from the inside:
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yoghurt, kombuchu and kimchi are partially digested foods loaded with probiotics (good bacteria) that will help to restore your gut flora. Not all fermented foods are the same though and depending on your health status, some fermented foods are better for you than others.
Homemade fermented foods are better for your health than buying store made probiotics (not to mention cheaper) however, not everyone wants to make their own probiotics. If that’s you, then get a good quality probiotic from your health food store and get them into your gut that way.
Limit Refined Sugar
Sugary foods such as confectionary, fruit juices and soft drinks can disrupt the environment of gut, consequently suppressing our immune system leading to a variety of health problems. Sugar is also known to reduce important digestive juices needed by the gut and feeds the bad bacteria leading to dysbiosis, an imbalanced gut flora.
Avoid Food Sensitivities
Gluten, a protein found in products such as bread, soy sauce, pasta, is a major cause of gut damage and inflammation. Now before you say ‘but I’m not coeliac’, you do not have to be coeliac to be gluten intolerant. Having a gluten intolerance can lead to bloating, cramps and to an issue called leaky gut that eventually leads to nutrient deficiency and a host of other serious diseases. FODMAPS are also worth looking into. FODMAPS are a collection of foods grouped due to having long chain carbohydrates that can be difficult to digest, causing fermentation in the gut that leads to gas and IBS related symptoms.
Eat Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil contains a good fat called Lauric Acid, which is known to be anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial which is great for helping the gut to heal and for boosting our immune system. It is also a great way to get a great energy lift. Worried about stacking on the kilos though? Very little coconut oil is actually stored as fat because it is used for energy so quickly (bonus!)
Avoid Seed Oils
Seed oils such as sunflower, safflower and even canola oil are highly processed oils that can harm the gut and are high in omega 6 fats which can cause inflammation. We should be consuming a balanced Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio of about 2:1 but many Australians eat a diet with more like 20:1. Imagine how inflamed we all are?! Ditch these oils and reach for the coconut oil or the olive oil instead.
It’s time to start treating your gut like it’s your own little wonderful universe. What you put in it and whether you allow it to heal, could harm you and make you very sick. Raise your standards for your health; demand a better version of yourself and Get Real Living.
Want to find out more about how to heal your gut? Click HERE.