I feel pressed to write about arguably one of the most crucial parts of your body. If you can nurture and care for this part of your body, more likely than not all the other little intricacies of your bodies function will fall into place! Can you guess where I’m going with this?Yep, you got it…
I genuinely didn’t realise how truly important gut health was until mine started to fall apart. Before I get into the ways you can be caring for your gut I’m going to touch on how it works.
Have you ever heard of a microbiome? It is an ecosystem of bacteria in our bodies.
According to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the university of Colorado the human microbiota consists of 10-100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells in the human body.
Think of it like little colonies of bacteria. Each colony plays a different role, some help determine our genetic makeup, our weight, our body types and even our individual susceptibility toward certain diseases. The majority of our microbiome is made up from bacteria in our gut and within that microbiome, live microbes and other organisms that contribute to governing almost all other functions of the human body.
Are you starting to understand why gut health is so important?
We play a huge part in our microbiome. It is able to adapt to it’s environment. This means we can contribute in a positive way by eating nourishing foods, getting enough sleep and managing stress. Outside factors that we can’t control are how many different types of bacteria we are exposed to each day but if we are strengthening our immune systems with good bacteria, our bodies will naturally fight off diseases + viruses before they even begin to develop.
Never, ever underestimate the power of food. While we can make positive choices, we can also make negative choices. The gut is easily irritated by foods that cause inflammation and inflammation leads to bloating, gas, stomach pain and eventually autoimmune disease if we don’t get on top of it.
Foods that have a negative affect on the gut:
Refined vegetable oils eg. Corn, canola and soybean.
Refined carbohydrates eg. White flour, white bread, proceed cereal.
Steer clear from animal products where animals have been fed with corn + cheap ingredients. This effects their micro biome which will then effect yours.
Processed, refined and added sugars.
Foods that have a positive affect of the gut:
Herbs + spices
Probiotic foods such as yoghurt (Choose the most natural with low sugar, high fat is good), kombucha and kefir. Although the beginning stages of making yoghurt involve pasteurisation, the starter cultures are added after. This ensures the cultures stay live during the process of fermentation in order for the probiotics in the yogurt to have an effect on our gut and our microbiome.
Wild caught fish, free range eggs + chicken and grass-fed and pasture raised meats.
Healthy fats Eg. Coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocado.
Ancient grains and beans eg. Black beans, chickpeas, lentils, black rice, buckwheat and quinoa.
A small change in your diet can have a large and lasting impact on your gut health. Food isn’t the only negative thing that can impact your gut health. Let’s talk a little bit about beloved antibiotics. It’s every doctors quick fix of a bacterial infection and while it does work by stripping the bad bacteria, it also strips your microbiome of the good the bacteria too. This decreases our immune system significantly and if you are prescribed consistent courses of antibiotics you run the risk of becoming immune which causes the bacteria in your microbiome to become resistant to antibiotics altogether. It can also cause thrush in women because of an imbalance of bacteria in PH levels in the vagina.
Often doctors will advise you a dose of probiotics when they prescribe antibiotics to try to build the good bacteria while the antibiotics are stripping you of the bad.
Probiotics are amazing for our gut health and are known to aid in our digestion while also strengthening the immune system.
Side note: If you take probiotics regularly you should be switching up brands. Our gut and the bacteria in our gut is complex. Most probiotics only contain a few different strains and as amazing and beneficial as those strains are, taking the same probiotics for a prolonged period of time is detrimental to other strains that aren’t being fed the same way. As a result there is no balance with strains of bacteria and this can throw the stomach completely out of whack.
Something people tend to miss is the fact that prebiotics are just as beneficial as probiotics. While probiotics are full of good bacteria, prebiotics play an important role in the fermentation procedure and actually give probiotics that kick start your stomach needs to produce and process the good bacteria.
There are so many other areas to delve into when it comes to gut health education and if you would like to read + be informed a little more on this topic, let me know. I hope this post educated you on the importance of gut health and inspired you to care for your body well!
Please ensure you check with your health care professional before making any major life style changes.This information is for education purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.