Healthy Gut Support
Updated: Aug 17, 2020
Our gut microbiome contains trillions of bacteria which play a crucial role in our health including: digestion, nutrient absorption, vitamin synthesis, immune system regulation and brain function.
Factors such as diet, stress, sleep, exercise, and environment can cause imbalances in healthy and unhealthy gut micobes. Diet in particular, plays a key role in the types of bacteria that inhabit the gut, effecting everything from immune health, blood sugar regulation, cholesterol levels, weight gain and mood disorders.
Supporting your gut doesn't have to be hard, here are some healthy gut support recommendations you can include in your daily routine:
1. INCLUDE FERMENTED & HIGH FIBRE FOODS IN YOUR DIET :
Fermented and cultured foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, kimchee and kombucha, are probiotic-rich foods which can help increase both the variety and number of bacteria in the gut. Sources of high fibre foods including wholegrains, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables are also important prebiotic-rich foods, providing a major food source for gut bacteria, being broken down and utilized for energy and health.
2. TAKE A GOOD QUALITY PROBIOTIC:
While fermented foods are a great source of natural probiotics - probiotic supplementation can also assist with gut health. Probiotics containing lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium lactis, can provide the gut with high amounts of good bacteria. When purchasing probiotics, make sure it is refrigerated and contains at least 30 different strains and 50 billion live cultures.
3. REDUCE YOUR STRESS:
Chronic stress can have severe consequences for gut health. Increased cortisol levels affect the digestive system by restricting blood flow and oxygen to the stomach, which can alter the basic function of the gut, causing inflammation and leading to an imbalance of gut bacteria. Identifying your stressors, practicing mindfullness and relaxation techniques like deep breathing, can go a long way to supporting gut health.
4. VITAMIN & MINERAL SUPPORT:
Vitamins and minerals including Vitamin D, B Vitamins, Magnesium, Collagen, Curcumin, Vitamin E, and Omega 3 Fatty Acids can support gut health, providing antinflammatory, lipid, nervous system, adrenal and sleep support to the body. Look for wholefood sources of these vitamins and minerals, or if advised to by a health professional, seek supplementation.
5. AVOID ANTIBIOTICS UNLESS NECESSARY:
At certain times in our lives, antibiotics can be crucial for improving poor health, but be aware that they can also be overprescribed. Antibiotics effectively kill all gut bacteria, including the "good" and the “bad”, creating an imbalance in the gut. It can take some time for the gut microbiome to heal and rebuild following a course of antibiotics, so please use them only when absolutely necessary, and take a good quality probiotic supplement at the same time.
6. TOXIN ELIMINATON:
While the body has its own clever system to rid itself of dietary toxins, frequent high consumption of alcohol, processed foods, caffeine and refined sugars can place a burden on the body, reducing its capacity to effectively eliminate these substances. Reducing or eliminating the consumption of these items can go a long way to supporting gut health.