SUPPORTING GUT HEALTH
The Gut is your second brain, it has fears and intuitions. It signals from the intestines instead of the mind.
There are 100 trillion microbes in your body that affect your overall health. When your gut microbiome is balanced you generally have more energy and are healthier. When it is imbalanced, you can experience conditions such as leaky gut, obesity, Chron’s, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis and ADD/ADHD.
You can address mental health by supporting the health of your gut. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked in conventional medicine.
If your gut is not functioning properly, malabsorption can occur. Malabsorption is a state arising from abnormality in the absorption of nutrients across the GI tract. Malabsorption will result in diarrhea and/or constipation, bloating, gas, stomach pain, feeling overly full after meals and heartburn. Any of those symptoms can lead to or become nutrient deficiencies.
One of the best ways to optimize and feed your gut microbiome is to eliminate processed sugars, eat traditionally fermented foods like kraut or kimchi, eat foods with resistant starches like lentils, chickpeas, and cashews, and by taking a probiotic supplement. The benefits of eating fermented foods were discovered by Russian Nobel Prize winner, Elie Metchnikoff. The traditional process of fermentation allows airborne bacteria to grow on food to prevent it from spoiling. When eating fermented foods, start low and slow. Try eating one – three forkfuls with each meal instead of having it as a complete side. Check out my Healthy Recipes page for Homemade Sauerkraut!
The small intestine is not only responsible for the digestion and absorption of the food you eat but also plays a crucial role in your immunity and your mental health.
It’s critical that these final phases of digestion and absorption work efficiently, otherwise, we could become toxic and even further malnourishment can occur.
It’s the health of the colon and the presence of bowel bacteria that help you to extract those important minerals from your food. The large intestine is what allows you to absorb key minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper from your food. That’s one reason why someone may be eating healthy and still be deficient in the minerals they carry.
When the colon stops functioning properly, absorption gets disrupted and undigested food can rot in the colon. Also, the colon is less able to expel the toxins it accumulates. Instead, it will release those toxins back into the bloodstream.
As rotten food collects inside the colon, regular bowel movements become compromised. The average 30-year-old American can have 10 – 15 pounds of hardened fecal matter inside of their bowel or in the distended areas of the intestinal tract. This can have a direct effect on our weight and energy as well as abdominal discomfort, back pain, sinus issues, headaches, sore throats, lethargy, and fatigue.
The elimination of undigested food is equally as important as the digestion and assimilation of food.
Processed and fried foods compromise the health of the colon. Those foods do not pass through the intestines in a timely manner and instead linger in the colon and instigate that process of fermentation. The compacted colon is starving your nerves, muscle cells and tissues of their proper nourishment.
That’s why is so important to cleanse periodically. Nurturing your digestive system and cleaning the gut is so important for your health. My 14-day Reset Cleanse is designed to jumpstart your gut. During the cleanse you eliminate caffeine, sugars, alcohol, dairy, and gluten the first week and then slowly introduce it back into your diet. I offer a variety of cleanse and diet options, depending on your needs.
Try cooking with healthy fats. Healthy fats are fats that our body recognizes so we can break them down and utilize them. Chemically altered fats are harder for the body to recognize. The high-fat content is coating the nutrients you are trying to absorb. When eating foods that our bodies cannot properly digest, the foods become toxic and can lead to poor colon health.
Signs of poor digestion:
- Feeling better when not eating
- Chronic indigestion after eating
- Poor sleep
- Depression and anxiety
- Mood swings
- Foggy memory
- Autoimmune disorders
Secrets of healthy digestion:
- Support for stomach acid
- Probiotic foods and supplements/enzymes
Water is so important for a healthy gut. Water is required to produce hydrochloric acid. Dehydration results in a stomach acid that is insufficiently acidic. The lack of stomach acid doesn’t fully break down food particles.
Lack of water in the digestive system can result in ulcers, indigestion, heartburn, fatigue, brain fog, memory loss, improper function of the organs, partial digestion and constipation. Too much caffeine can dehydrate you.
In addition to water to activate the stomach’s acidity, taking apple cider vinegar can help to inhibit the growth of bad bacteria in the digestive tract.
Probiotics coming from cultured food or probiotic supplements also help with healthy digestion.
Digestive enzymes speed the breakdown of food into fats, carbs, and proteins.
The best sources of enzymes are raw or live foods. Stress can affect someone’s ability to create their own enzymes. If you have a lot of stress and experience gas and bloating, you may have little digestive enzyme support.
You have a dynamic relationship with the food you eat. It’s where food meets physiology. There’s no one size fits all. Each person is unique. A health coach can help empower you to be your own agent for change.