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It takes a whole lot of work to achieve optimal wellness. Diet is an integral part of our health. Exercise and lifestyle are also requirements, but it is nutrition that plays a major role in keeping us in peak health.
The key to good health is following a diet for good gut health. Many illnesses are known to originate from the gut. It is interconnected with other organs, which means that it can affect the vital functions of the body.
The digestive system is also considered as our second brain. As nutrients come from this part of the body, diseases and health problems including that of mental health may be rooted from problems originating in the gut.
We can live a healthy life by starting to be more mindful of what we consume. The condition of the gut truly has a major influence on how other organ systems function; from motor skills, cognition, memory, and mood to name a few. Making sure the gut is always at its peak condition results in enhanced immune system functioning, improved brain function, and guarantees healthy population of beneficial bacteria in the gut at all times.
Why is it important to heal your gut?
The state of your digestive system is crucial and is considered a determining factor of wellness. The natural population of bacteria in the gut assumes numerous roles including that of regulating digestion and nutrition absorption. In addition, beneficial bacteria also affect the immune system functioning. Other integral functions of bacterial include hormone regulation, nutrients, enzyme production, and detoxification.
There are up to 100 trillion bacteria in our body, with majority residing in the digestive system. The bacteria population in our gut largely depends on the type of foods that we consume. With this in mind, it is important to remember and realize that our diet can have a great impact on our overall health on the long term.
Now that we have established the integral roles of our digestive system, it should be a priority for us to learn how we can take care of it the best way we can. The first thing that we need to remember is to reformulate our nutrition to create a gut health diet plan that will not only heal your gut, but also deliver benefits to other organ systems, too!
Wellness starts with a healthy gut
One of the primary jobs of the gut bacteria or microbiome is to process nutrients from food that we eat. Nutrient absorption is not about the type of food that you eat, but is more so concerned with the ability of our digestive system to absorb the vitamins and mineral from the food that we eat and the supplements that we consume. So what does this mean?
Even people who eat healthy food all the time may still suffer from digestive problems, malabsorption, or worse, malnourishment. The health of your gut depends on the amount of healthy bacteria thriving throughout the digestive system. Individuals who make empowered food choices may also be victims of chronic illness and other health issues just because their gut does not contain the right proportion of bad and good bacteria.
Here are gut health diet tips that you should never forget if you want to reset and heal your gut!
Never forget probiotics
The gut features trillions of bacteria that can be found in the digestive system. These bacteria play a few roles that not only affect the digestive system but other crucial bodily functions, too.
Beneficial bacteria or probiotics break down and simplify the food into smaller pieces that the body can immediately absorb. In addition, probiotics also produce enzymes that speed up digestion and nutrient absorption.
What’s amazing is that our digestive system already has about one third of the minerals that we need to thrive and keep healthy. In order to maintain the healthy numbers of beneficial bacteria in the gut, it is important for us to supplement the diet with gut health foods.
Ideally, choose a probiotic product with time-released features, so your gut receives live organisms that optimize nutrient absorption.
The consumption of probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi are just some items that you can eat to boost enzyme production.
Keep the gut barrier intact
The intestinal wall and bacteria function as barrier between the bloodstream and the external environment. This wall is selectively permeable which means that it allows nutrient absorption whilst efficiently keeping out disease-causing microorganisms, toxins, and waste materials.
If bad bacteria dominate the gut flora, the ability of the gut to absorb nutrient decreases over time resulting in allergies and weak immune system functioning.
To keep the gut barrier intact, we highly recommend the consumption of food items containing glutamine and prebiotics. Both function in keeping the internal gut environment healthy and its walls in a selectively permeable state. Prebiotics are food items characterized by their indigestible fibers. These fibers feed the good bacteria found inherent in the gut. Other benefits derived from prebiotic consumption are that they speed up weight loss and support immune system functioning.
It’s not too late to change your diet!
The usual diet that we know and practice today is teeming with processed sugars and artificial ingredients. Ironically, the modern diet most people consider healthy can wreak havoc on your digestive system by destroying the gut barrier and killing off beneficial bacteria.
The good news is that the negative effects of modern diet can be reversed easily by altering your food choices. Ideally, your diet should be made from plant-based food items and organic meat produce teeming with nutrients, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Fasting makes the gut happy
Aside from following a gut health diet and consumption of gut health supplements, it is imperative to time your meals.
Research reveals that the “WHEN” of eating has a major impact on gut health, too. Further studies tell us that fasting for a certain amount of hours are proven to increase and diversify the population of gut microbes and stop inflammatory processes, too!
Intermittent fasting for instance was shown to further strengthen the gut barrier by keeping the bad bacteria from leaking out to the bloodstream which in turn may cause serious inflammation and autoimmune response.
You can start intermittent fasting with a 12-hour eating window. This means that you may only feed for 12 hours straight and fast for the remainder of the day. This will allow you gut bacterial to reset and perform its other functions including that of digestion and increasing their population, too.
Too clean is no good too!
Toxins are not the only substances that threaten the beneficial bacteria population in our gut. Ironically, medications that are supposed to kill disease-causing microorganisms have the potential of killing beneficial gut flora. Both antibacterial products and toxic chemicals disrupt and compromise the digestive system’s ability to absorb nutrients resulting in weakened immune system functioning and reduced wellness.
Antibiotics for instance may wipe out all the bad bacteria in the digestive system leaving it unable to perform its job efficiently. Medications including antacids, painkillers, and birth control pills may pose serious danger to our digestive flora. These drugs are unable to choose which bacteria are bad and which ones are beneficial to our bodies.
One excellent way of protecting the gut is by avoiding the use of antibacterial products and medications altogether. Try not to self-medicate and use medications only when you need them the most. Make sure your water and food comes from clean sources at all times.
Eat these, not that!
Here is a long list of gut health foods and gut health supplements. They are all proven to contribute in keeping the digestive system functioning properly and making sure perfect balance between the good and bad bacteria in the body.
Prebiotic food items are just as important as probiotics. Their main job is to support the growth of probiotics in the digestive system.
- Green leafy veggies
Probiotics are food items that feature bacteria which are allowed to ferment the natural way. Fermented food items deliver fibers to our natural beneficial bacteria population and provide more beneficial bacteria to do its job in the digestive system.
The introduction of new beneficial bacteria diversifies the gut flora population. Probiotics from the food that we eat helps the resident bacteria to perform their job more efficiently too!
- Fermented foods including kimchi pickles, and sauerkraut
- Miso, natto, and tempeh are fermented soybeans that are rich in probiotics
- Dairy products such as cheese, kefir, and yogurt
Now that you have all the useful information on how to heal your gut, it’s high time that you change your ways by throwing out old eating habits to make way for healthier, and gut-friendly eating choices.