People are becoming more aware of the importance of gut health. Not many people realise, however, that the gut is so complex that it’s known as the ‘second brain’, crucial to all the systems in our body.
Made up of about 100 million cells, the enteric nervous system (ENS) runs through your entire digestive tract, and plays an important role in our physical and mental well-being.
It’s capable of thinking, remembering and learning, and it can influence how we feel and react in different situations and environments.
So there is a lot to be said about listening to your ‘gut instinct’.
Importance of a Healthy Gut
A healthy gut environment literally affects your entire body. Your microbiome participate in a wide variety of bodily systems:
- neurotransmitter and vitamin production,
- whether you feel hungry or full,
- how you utilize carbohydrates and fat
- nutrient absorption
These processes contribute strongly to whether a person experiences chronic health problems like asthma, ADHD, allergies, type 2 diabetes, cancer or dementia.
Your gut health also affects:
- your mood
- your perceptions of the world
- the clarity of your thoughts
- and even your sex drive
Poor gut health could be the root cause of your headaches, anxiety, stress, inability to concentrate, or even negative outlook on life.
So if you want to fix your health, start with your gut!
Ways To Improve Gut Health
Taking a good quality Probiotic
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that support good digestive health. We recommend Modere Probiotic which contains a proprietary synbiotic blend of pre and probiotic ingredients to help maintain an optimum balance of ‘good’ bacteria within the intestines.
Some foods are also a source of probiotics. These include:
live-culture yoghurt, kombucha tea, kefir, kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut
Eating nutrient dense foods
Nutrients carry a special message to the genes to turn the negative off and the positive on. Eat non-processed nutrient dense foods full of vitamin c, grapeseed extract, green tea extract, omega 3 fatty acids. Different nutrients effect specific areas so make sure you have a really healthy diet with a range of different wholefoods.
Diets high in sugar and low in fibre fuel unwanted bacteria and can increase immune system problems, inflammation, intestinal permeability and mitochondrial damage. A diet that keeps your blood sugar balanced (such as wholefoods) keeps your gut bacteria balanced.
Giving your digestive system a rest
Digestion uses up large amounts of energy and limiting the window of eating time (and digestion time) can allow your body to naturally heal. Intermittent fasting is a safe and powerful way to do this. The 16/8 method involves skipping breakfast and only eating in an 8 hour period each day (such as from midday-8pm). Then you “fast” for 16 hours in between, ensuring your body doesn’t waste all it’s energy continually digesting.
Other benefits of intermittent fasting include cellular repair, reductions in inflammation, improved heart and brain health, anti-aging, and weight-loss. But isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day? Actually no. Once your body adapts to not eating breakfast (which may take up to a week), you actually have more energy, clarity and focus all through the morning! Learn about other ways to help your digestion.
Using digestive enzyme supplements
Digestive Enzyme supplements help you gain maximum benefit from the food you eat, and also contribute to optimal gut health. We recommend Digestive Enzymes Support which contains six different enzymes to break down fats, proteins, and fibrous foods in your system. Because digestive enzymes aid the body in assimilating and absorbing nutrients, they can also help to reduce food cravings and the tendency to overeat because your body makes more efficient use of the food you consume. Great for managing your weight!!