Hippocrates may have been on to something when he said “All disease begins in the gut” – research is revealing more links than ever before between digestive health and illnesses. There are a number of contributing factors that can lead to a poorly functioning gut and chances are it could do with a little more love and tender care. The health of your gastrointestinal system is extremely important to your overall health and wellbeing so we have come up with 6 easy ways to support your gut health.
1. Avoid inflammatory foods
Refined sugar, salt, oils (vegetable and canola oil etc), wheat, processed, packaged foods and more. All of these inflammatory foods supress the immune system and allow the pathogenic bacteria to proliferate and thrive. Additionally, one of the proteins contained in gluten (gliadin) has been proven to increase the ‘leakiness’ in our guts, causing further damage.
2. Stress less
We know this is a lot easier said than done and is a constant work in process. But stress adds so much havoc to your body, it supresses the immune system, decreases our nutrient absorption, slows down the blood flow to our digestive system and turns off or turns down our body’s healing processes.
We recommend consuming cold-pressed (preferably organic/spray free) freshly pressed juices with mainly veggies, herbs and leafy greens and minimum fruit (or choose root vegetables like beetroot or carrot for sweetness) for optimal nutrition. Juice contains loads of enzymes which are essential for digestive health, loads of nutrients and minerals which help to increase immunity and aids the body to gently detoxify of toxins and chemicals. Or better yet ferment your juices with Kultured Wellness’s Coconut Water Kefir. Simply add 1/4 – 1 cup of the kefir to your fresh juice and allow it to ferment for 12-24 hours (it will depend on the weather), this will decrease the overall sugar content of the juice and increase the probiotic content. Win-Win! Here is a gorgeous cultured Beetroot & Berry Kefir you can try.
4. Fermented foods
It probably feels as though everyone is harping on about fermented foods of late, however there is a good reason for this! Fermented foods are packed full of antimicrobial and antifungal properties and probiotics, the friendly bacteria our bodies need. Fermented foods have been found to protect against gastrointestinal disease and are also a rich source of minerals, vitamins, essential amino acids that promote healing and repair, as well as general maintenance. Some fermented foods are rich in B Vitamins, Vitamin K2, thiamine, biotin, folates, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous which helps the body utilise carbohydrates, proteins and fats for cell growth, energy and maintenance. We love fermented food and drinks like Kombucha, Kefir, Yoghurt, Beet Kvass, Cultured Vegetables, Changing Habits Probiotics and more!
Natural fats are so very important for supporting our gut health! Be sure to include a variety of these beautiful fats such as; lard, tallow, duck fat, organic butter, ghee, Changing Habits Coconut Oil and Inca Inchi Oil, cold-pressed nut and seed oils like olive, almond, walnut, macadamia etc.
6. Bone broth and marrow
Bone broth provides an easily absorbable form of minerals, trace minerals, calcium, magnesium, amino acids (proline and glycine) which are essential for supporting healthy sleep and healing of the digestive tract. Bone broth is also very rich in gelatin which helps the body with hormone balance, digestion, skin and hair health along with reducing cellulite. Bone marrow (is the marrow inside of the bones) is made up of fatty acids packed with essential Omega 3’s which are anti-inflammatory and are also required for healthy brain development.
With the undeniable link between gut health and chronic illness, the age old adage “you are what you eat” becomes more accurate every day. What does your gut say about you?
Happy changing habits.
Changing Habits Nutritionist