A healthy gut for a healthier you - inside and out!

Courtney Rupertus
A healthy gut for a healthier you - inside and out!

Do you only pay attention to your gut when it’s feeling out of sorts? Or perhaps when it’s grumbling and you need to find something to eat?

We seem to only pay attention to our gut when it is ‘talking loudly’, but it plays an integral role in our overall health and wellness and therefore deserves a little TLC.

Some refer to the gastrointestinal tract as your “second brain” because the bacterial colonies process an incredible amount of information, perform essential jobs in the body, and keep us going both mentally and physically.

Some signs that you may have been neglecting your gut are: 

Digestive discomfort such as gas, bloating, or diarrhea. 

Mood swings or irritability, even anxiety or depression.

Food sensitivities, allergic reactions, or bacterial infections.

Skin issues like eczema or rosacea. 

Trouble concentrating, memory loss, even ADHD or ADD.

 

No matter how mild or severe your symptoms are you can always ‘reset’ your GI tract the following ways:

Eliminate what ails you - An elimination diet where you cut out irritants like coffee, alcohol, or drugs, as well as inflammatory foods such as refined sugar, gluten, corn, soy, eggs, and dairy can be helpful to ‘reset’ your GI tract. Once you’ve gone two weeks or so without consuming these, you can slowly add them one at a time back into your diet to see which ones negatively affect your gut.

Incorporate fermented foods into your diet on a daily basis - Foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and drinking kombucha can help restore gut health. Why fermented foods? The fermentation process means that bacteria or yeast cultures are feeding on the natural sugars found within the food. This breakdown of sugars makes the food easier for your body to digest and absorb the nutrients. They also contain active bacterial cultures that are key to good GI health as well. 

Maintain your gut’s healthy bacterial levels - Not all bacteria should be considered bad, and in fact, without certain types of bacteria your GI tract cannot function at its best. The best way to introduce and maintain healthy bacteria in your gut is to take a probiotic and a prebiotic (food for the probiotic bacteria). The easiest way is to purchase a high quality supplement to take. Raw garlic is also considered a powerful prebiotic, which you can easily incorporate into your diet.

Reduce your daily stress levels - The term “butterflies in your stomach” isn’t just an old saying. When you are stressed mentally, your brain sends out messages and signals to your gut in the form of chemicals that then affect how your gut works. Once you nail down a gut-healthy diet, you can try meditation, exercise, aromatherapy, or even a full on belly laugh to ease your stress away and promote a healthy gut. Remember, a healthier gut means a healthier you, mentally and physically.