k A Gut Feeling k
Don’t take your guts for granted and respect your inner garden!
Gut bacteria plays a crucial role in digestion, the bacteria that lives in our gut are essential for absorption and assimilation of nutrients. They also play a key role in the function of our immune system. So many people with stressful lifestyles might have a diet high in refined sugars, processed foods and could be exposed to environmental toxins which are the perfect breeding ground for bad bacteria to flourish. Subsequently it then manifests into all kinds of health problems…did you know that over 40 trillion bacteria – equivalent to a total weight of around 1.8 kg, live together in our digestive system?
This is an extremely complex living system that protects your body from outside offenders, studies have linked the microbes in our large intestines to everything from allergies, immunity to weight. Often referred to as the ‘second brain’ – the gut is lined with neurons that can influence our emotions and feelings. It produces 95% of serotonin that is essential to brain health, mood stability and stress levels. So when we say we have experienced ‘gut feelings’ about people or events that are happening in our lives these may be more accurate than we could ever have imagined.
Also to consider is antibiotic use which can turn the healthiest gut into a total wasteland. It can take up to two months for the average gut to recover from one course of antibiotics but recovery time can be helped with a gut-friendly diet of probiotics including fermented foods to bring the gut back into balance and support the immune system.
A guide for a gut full of happiness…
- Watch out for processed food & refined sugar – it’s lethal to the ‘good gut bacteria’.
- Introduce at least one fermented foods into your daily diet: kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, kefir and live natural yogurt are amazing probiotics
- The Mediterranean diet is also a winner and full of anti-oxidant rich foods such as seeds, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, coffee, dark chocolate and red wine
- Stock up on fruit and veg like artichokes, leeks, onions, chicory, garlic, celery, bananas, apples and pears.
- Take probiotic pills if/when you need them especially after taking antibiotics – or if your diet is high in processed food and low in fruit and vegetables. Look for at least eight billion live organisms per serve and for a variety of strains of bacteria.