Hey, guys! Welcome back to the blog. Have you ever thought about how the contents of the guy are technically outside the body? Have you ever wondered about how the gut health affects overall health?
Research over a couple of years has shown that gut health is critical to overall health. An unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, arthritis, etc. There are two major factors contributing to gut health; gut flora and gut barrier.
Gut flora simply refers to the millions (scratch that!) trillions of bacteria in the gut. The human gut is in fact, home to 100 trillion bacteria with over 400 species. These bacteria are key to the functions of the gut.
The gut is a hollow tube that spans through the mouth to the anus. Any good which is not digested is egested through the anus. This is actually the essence of gut barrier. The gut barrier prevents foreign substances from entering the body. According to research, gut membrane permeability contributes to diseases such as type 1 diabetes, arthritis, heart failure, eczema, etc.
Now to the question on the tip of your tongues? How do you know you have an unhealthy gut? An unhealthy gut can manifest in the following ways;
- Diarrhoea and bloating
- Frequent infections
- Poor memory
- Food allergies, etc.
It is, however, important to note that whether or not you observe these symptoms, you should pay attention to your gut health.
There are ways to ensure you have a healthy gut.
- The first step to ensuring you have a healthy gut is to remove bad and harmful things from your diet. You should remove irritants which negatively affect the gut environment such as alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes. Inflammatory foods such as dairy, sugar, corn, eggs, etc. should be temporarily removed and then added back one at a time while taking note of the body’s response to these foods. This is to prevent allergies and sensitivity. Drugs should also be limited as drugs especially antibiotics, are harmful to gut bacteria.
- The second step is to replace these harmful foods with healthy foods which nourish and benefit the gut environment. Foods which promote digestion and absorption of depleted or lost nutrients should be added back into the diet as well.
- The third step is to introduce bacteria which are beneficial to gut health to the body. This is especially done by consuming probiotic and prebiotic foods and supplements. (I will write about probiotics sometime soon)
It is very essential to nourish your gut with nutrients that benefit gut health such as zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A and L- glutamine (an amino acid which helps to restore the lining of the gut wall.
You should not forget that it is important to ensure that your gut is healthy at ALL times. According to Hippocrates (the father of medicine), the gut is the gateway to health.
Till next time,