The Importance of a Healthy Gut WORDS: SARA KNIGHT Adv Dip Western Herbal Medicine, Adv Dip Nutritional Medicine (current), Adv Dip Naturopathy (current), Diploma of Counselling (current) for Mojo Health.
It is easy to take advantage of or even ignore the health of your gut and digestive system. That is until something goes wrong! Reflux, bloating, cramping, diarrhoea and/or constipation cause not only discomfort but can also affect a person’s quality of life. Avoiding certain foods, poor sleep and not attending social situations due to tummy upsets are a typical result of digestive issues.
The health of your gut though is more than just a comfortable belly, eating all sorts of different foods, sleeping well and being with friends and family – although these are important! Gut health is also linked to, if not directly influencing mental health such as anxiety and depression; skin problems including eczema and psoriasis; immune strength and function; and mental cognition and acuity.
So what causes an unhealthy gut? Although there are a few causes, diet is one of the key factors in the health of your gut. For optimal gut health, a diet that is low in inflammatory foods such as wheat, dairy, sugar and processed foods, while high in healing foods such as bone broths, sauerkrauts, kefirs, and kombuchas is recommended. Identifying any food intolerances or allergies will also allow you to create a diet that is best suited to you and your gut health.
The health of your gut also depends on other factors; chronic unmanaged stress decreases your gut health by undermining your immune system; lack of balance in your gut microflora (good vs. bad bacteria) caused by processed foods or antibiotic use; or a decrease in functioning of your digestive system due to medications, chemicals and parasites.
Healing your gut is essential for both mental and physical health. To do it right, it does take some time. Considering the entire digestive system is up to 9 metres long it’s not surprising that it takes time to get all those metres working well again! Interestingly, the cells in our gut are replaced every 1-3 days so you should feel some benefits immediately even if you make small changes to your diet and lifestyle.
So how do you treat and improve your gut health? Healing your gut is a four step process:
1) Remove those foods and toxins that are impacting your gut health
2) Replace with healing foods to ensure good gut health and optimum nutritional intake
3) Repair the digestive tract and microflora balance
4) Reduce toxins and inflammation in the body
The health of your gut is not merely about your digestive system. Gut health impacts the health and functioning of your whole body. So if you are suffering, get help as soon as possible. Not only for your gut but for your overall health and well-being.
Do you have food intolerances, joint problems, lack of concentration, brain fog, reflux, bloating, cramping, diarrhoea and/or constipation or suffer from an autoimmune disease? You may have an unhealthy gut! Book into Mojo Health’s ‘Healing Your Gut’ seminar on Thursday 18th, 2016 to learn how to heal your body. Visit www.mojohealth.com.au/events for more information.