Gut Health has been quite the topic of discussion lately and you are most probably wondering what all the fuss is about and how a healthy gut can be the missing link to you reaching your ultimate state of wellness.
Research has shown that your gut is home to over 80% of your immune system and is the master influencer of your happiness and wellbeing. The state of one’s gut health can actually determine how healthy one is mentally, emotionally and physically. A compromised gut has been found to be linked to a number of ailments. I totally agree with this statement as I have been on the receiving end of negative symptoms due to poor gut health recently.
The gut is responsible for the breaking down of food and making sure the cells get the vital nutrients they require. You can be eating all the right things but if your gut health isn't up to scratch then your body may not be getting enough of the vital nutrients and vitamins it needs to function optimally. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to problems such as anxiety, depression, hormone imbalances, skin conditions, auto-immune issues and other health concerns.
I myself am struggling with a hormonal imbalance as I am not producing enough oestrgen to have a regular cycle. Excess oestrgen is a common issue for females thsese days and there is a lot of articles on how to go about healing this but there is not too much to be said regarding a lack of oestrogen so I wasn't sure where to start, but the gut seemed like the best place as I knew it wasn't functioning at its best.
Some signs for me that my gut health is in a poor state, I have already seen a big improvement, is food sensitivities to wheat, cashews, cow's milk products, hemp and citrus fruits, to name a few. I also suffer from bloating, occassional abdominal cramps and anxiety (another symptom linked to hormonal imbalance and poor gut health).
Some symptoms that may suggest you have an unhealthy gut
- Digestive issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea
- Food allergies or sensitivities
- Anxiety, Depression
- Mood swings, irritability
- Skin problems like eczema, rosacea
- Autoimmune disease
- Frequent Infections
- Poor memory and concentration, ADD or ADHD
So, what causes gut issues?
Gut issues can be caused by stress, food intolerances as well as an imbalance of the good and bad bacteria in the gut. An imbalance in the gut can be as a result of parasites and pathogens which we are exposed to daily from contaminated water, pets, toxic environments etc. Medications such as anti-biotics can also cause the good gut bacteria to become depleted allowing the bad bacteria to thrive.
What can you do to protect the gut?
- Avoid foods that cause you bloating or discomfort. Often individuals find they feel a lot better when removing gluten, wheat and dairy from their diet. Other foods that can cause problems are soy, corn, eggs and nightshades such as eggplants and potatoes.
- Eat a variety of wholefoods rich in nutrients and vitamins such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, organic grass-fed meat and dairy products. Your body benefits from healthy and nutrient-dense foods to correct microbiome imbalances.
- Include fermented foods in your diet such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha etc. Fermented foods have been known to increase the good gut bacteria as they expose your body to probiotics. (Some find that fermented food actually cause the gut symptoms to worsen so see what works best for you)
- Take time to rest and reduce your stress levels daily. This is as important as what you are nourishing yourself with as stress can cause the digestion process to be disrupted which means your food isn’t digested properly. Undigested food particles can cause inflammation in the gut as well as feed the bad bacteria allowing them to thrive and populate. Food that isn’t digested well can also lead to nutritional deficiencies and poor gut health.
- Take a good probiotic.
Book a consultation with me to create a program to heal your gut and start your Journey to Wellness.