Gut health is something I am extremely passionate about as it will affect all of us at some point in our lives, especially as we get older. I see it with most of my clients. If your gut isn’t functioning properly it will affect your mental and physical health.
70% of your immune system is in the gut. So gut health is essential in keeping your immune system strong and making sure the body is absorbing all the nutrients it needs from your diet.
There are an estimated 500 to 1000 bacterial species in the human gut and gut bacteria will differ from person to person, depending on their diet, medication use and health imbalances. Good gut bacteria will produce vitamins, support healthy immune function and aid digestion. This is why a healthy diet is a must as nutritious foods will lead to healthy bacteria, which will support the immune system and protect you from ill health.
Gut bacteria can be substantially altered by diet and antibiotic use. Excessive use of antibiotics will change the bacteria resulting in the wrong bugs to thrive. It is important to note that when there is an infection in the body you need antibiotics. Antibiotics have saved lives. When taking a course of antibiotics, you just have to be mindful that you will have to work on your gut health. Some conditions associated with poor digestion and gut health are Chrohn’s, IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome), recurring infections, arthritis, allergies, osteoporosis and mood changes.
Healing the Gut
For a healthy gut, you need to include both prebiotic and probiotic foods – artichoke, raw garlic, onion, asparagus and dandelion greens. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, cultured yoghurt and kefir.
Eat more fibre and sprouted vegetables. Include bitter foods that will improve digestion and stimulate the liver such as dandelion root, radishes and bitter greens like rocket, endive, dandelion greens and artichoke.
Take a strong probiotic. The brand Biocare do a really good one. If you have taken a course of antibiotics you may want to take one in the morning and one in the evening. Taking a digestive enzyme before meals is also a good idea if you have digestive issues.
Drinking 2 litres of water is crucial to gut health. If you find drinking water hard try adding lemon, mint or fruit to make it taste better.
If your immune and gut health are compromised you want to limit coffee, alcohol, refined sugar, smoking, sweets and ready made meals.
I hope you found the above useful. If you are struggling with digestive issues or have any questions please feel free to email me.