Why It Is Good To have A Healthy Gut
I never really knew the importance to having a healthy gut until I was faced with my own health issues which all started in mid 2014 after trying to come off the pill from being on it for 10 years straight.
You can listen to my story on my podcast show about the biggest struggle I have faced on my journey.
I was so naive to the importance of true inner health, I was too focused on aesthetics and appearance, but boy has that all changed for me now.
I have taken a whole new path since then, which I now have such a love and passion for healing and nurturing my body from within. I will mention, I did go back on the pill after coming off it for a solid 12 months, but there is a reason why and you can find out why in the podcast episode above.
I have been back on the pill for almost 2 years and funny enough I am working on coming off it once and for all once I return from my Christmas Holiday overseas this year. Selfish? I think not. Right now, I am not ready to fall pregnant and I am working on educating myself about my cycle so I can use this as a course of contraception.
Since going through my own struggles over the last 2 years, from hormone imbalances, being tested from a naturopath that I was basically borderline fatigued, these issues all came back to one thing…..Gut health.
So what is the gut’s responsibilities and what can happen if its not healthy?
The gut (gastrointestinal tract) processes the food we eat, from the moment it is first eaten until it is either absorbed by the body or passed out as stools. Hey, come on, we are all human, we all do it.
The process of digestion begins in the mouth. Your teeth and enzymes begin to break down food. Muscular contractions help to move food into the oesophagus and on to the stomach. Enzymes produced by cells in the stomach begin the major work of digestion.
While some foods and liquids are absorbed through the lining of the stomach, majority are absorbed in the small intestine. Muscles in the wall of the gut mix your food with the enzymes produced by the body. They also move food along towards the end of the gut.
All nutrients are extracted and the foods that can’t be digested, ie: waste substances, germs/bacteria and undigested food are all passed out as faeces.
If you have poor gut health, your body will be causing you more than just some wind, bloating, constipation and or diarrhea.
60-80% of our immune system is located in our gut, which if you have an unhealthy gut it has been linked to many health issues such as –
- Food Allergies and or Sensitivities
- Mood Swings and Irritability
- Skin Problems
- Frequent Infections, ie: cold and flu
- Autoimmune Disease
- Mind fog/poor memory and concentration
I can say I have experienced 6 out of those 9 issues over the last 2.5 years but I am improving all the time.
How you can work on repairing and healing your gut and get it back to operating how it should be.
Use the 4 R’s
REMOVE – The first step is to remove foods in your diet that are going to be causing stress on your digestive system, such as processed foods, alcohol and yes, this also means caffeine or at least reduce to it to one or 2 cups a week. Any other foods you feel you are sensitive too, in a lot of cases gluten, wheat and dairy are removed also. These foods irritate the gut and cause inflammation.
REPAIR -The next step is to repair the gut and heal the damaged intestinal lining. By consuming an unprocessed diet you are giving your body the time to rest and repair. Some great foods to help with gut repair are Omega 3 fatty acids, Zinc, Vitamins A,C, and E, Aloe Vera and Turmeric.
RESTORE – This involves the restoration of your guts optimal bacterial flora population. This can be achieved by adding probiotics into your daily vitamin and mineral routine. A high quality probiotic is good bacteria that will help to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract and to help fight illness. A healthy lower intestinal tract should contain around 85% of good bacteria.
REPLACE – Add in essential ingredients for optimal digestion and absorption that maybe depleted from medications, poor diet, disease or age. This can be done with digestive enzymes and organic salt to help make sure you have enough hydrochloric acid. Cinnamon, turmeric, fermented foods, yoghurt and kefir, and as mentioned earlier, high quality fish oils, zinc, and vitamins A,C, and E.
Over these last couple of years of being on a journey of healing my own gut, I have been so passionate about helping other women through my experiences. Since sharing my story and my struggles I have faced, it has made me aware of just how common poor gut health really is and how over looked this area of the body is. If your gut is out of whack, then it is very likely a lot of your health will be also.
I really hope this article can help you in some way and you can start working towards true optimal health.