Gut health has become a hot topic lately, with the latest science showing that the immune system in particular depends upon a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, where the "friendly" bacteria override the "bad" bacteria that can cause illness.
This concept isn't a new one. Hippocrates had it figured out over 3,000 years ago.
"ALL DISEASE BEGINS IN THE GUT."
The GI tract is a delicate microbiome that acts as your body's "second brain." The organisms in your gut determines how your body responds to the food you eat: Will it store it or burn it? Will it worsen metabolic issues or encourage optimal health and well-being?
Gut health has a similarly strong impact on immune health. Gut bacteria account for approximately 80 percent of the immune system, plugging up holes in the gut lining so that pathogens can't enter and spread infection.
Poor gut health is revealed by digestive conditions such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and acid reflux.
Conditions outside the intestinal tract are also strongly associated with poor gut health: allergies, asthma, acne, migraines, psoriasis, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disorders, and systemic inflammation and its associated health.
Research has even linked poor gut health to an increased likelihood of mental disorders, including autism, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and panic attacks.
So, basically, If your digestion isn’t working properly, NOTHING else will work optimally!
Unfortunately, our germaphobic, modern life has challenged our gut health. We consume an abundance of nutrient-deficient, chemical-laden processed foods. We scrub and sanitize our foods and our living environments to the extent that our bodies are not sufficiently exposed to germs, and our defenses are, unfortunately, weakened.
10 SIMPLE WAYS YOU CAN BEGIN TO IMPROVE YOUR GUT HEALTH TODAY.
If you are new to all this health stuff, taking steps to correct these imbalances can seem overwhelming. True, lasting change doesn’t happen overnight!
So right now, pick one thing from the list below and do it this week.
1. Avoid sugars, processed foods and refined carbohydrates. These feed the bad bacteria.
2. Avoid conventionally raised meat, dairy products and eggs. The majority of conventional meat, dairy and eggs contain antibiotics and hormones that are detrimental to gut bacteria. Instead, focus on organic fruits and vegetables and look for pasture raised products.
3. Avoid Gluten Grains. The gluten in the United States is extremely acidic and inflammatory. Gluten is irritating to the gut and for most people causes an inflammatory response.
4. Avoid artificial preservatives, sweeteners, colors, and ingredients. Not only do these things negatively impact gut bacteria and lead to inflammation, they are known to trigger cravings.
5. Choose more natural options in your cleaning, personal care and beauty products. The synthetic, toxic chemicals in these products negatively impact gut bacteria.
6. Avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. Antibiotics wipe out both good and bad bacteria.
7. Consume probiotics rich foods, or take a high quality probiotic.
8. Eat plenty of fermentable fibers (prebiotics) and a large variety of fresh vegetables. Foods like leafy greens, garlic, broccoli, asparagus, raw honey, leeks and onion all help feed the good bacteria.
9. Take Apple Cider Vinegar (with “the mother”) or lemon juice in a glass of water before each meal. ACV stimulates your body’s digestive juices, aids in digestion, and boosts your body’s good bacteria.
10. Get enough sleep. Your digestive system needs plenty of time to rest and repair. Aim for 7 to 8 hours every night.
I truly believe that the changes you’ll experience in your health from doing one new thing will motivate you to add another new thing when you feel ready.
Now tell me, have you taken any steps to improve your gut health? Share your story in the comments below.