Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen the explosion of gut-related topics, foods and products every-bloody-where.
Yep, our gut is said to be our second brain, and emerging research now confirms that your gut health is linked to the state of your immune system, inflammation in your body, brain and mental health including aspects like your perception of stress and levels of anxiety, and even allergies, intolerances or precursors to a potential auto-immune condition.
In other words, your gut health is of utmost importance to all areas of health. Yikes! But before you reach for the kombucha, read on…
If you want to know how to improve your gut health, the best way is to take a holistic approach that includes a gut health diet, eating fermented food, reducing stress and learning how to develop a strong, functioning mind and body.
As you can probably tell, gut health is not just a matter of eating gut friendly food or drinking kombucha, its about looking at all facets of your life that affect the health of your gut. Here’s the most important step:
The Gut Health Diet
Many people have some level of damage to their gut and need some level of repair to restore the balance in gut flora.
A healthy gut starts with the microbiome in the gut. When you eat, you’re feeding yourself and also your gut bacteria, which influence your gut microbiome.Eating a gut health diet that nourishes you and heals your gut, which can have a big impact on your energy levels, your sleep, motivation and brain clarity, weight, behaviour and happiness! Click To Tweet
Eating a gut health diet that nourishes you and heals your gut can have a big impact on your energy levels, your sleep, motivation and brain clarity, weight, behaviour and happiness!
A good starting point is to introduce more gut healing foods that will restore your gut bacteria and limit the amount of antibiotics you take to preserve the gut friendly bacteria in your tummy.
Fermented Food For Gut Health
You’ve probably seen a lot of kombucha and sauerkraut in the supermarkets recently – so, should you eat fermented foods for gut health?
Fermented foods are very trendy at the moment, but they can be hit and miss.
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kombucha are generally good for digestion however they can cause a histamine reaction in some people, so they’re not a good choice for everyone.
Rather than taking a hit-and-miss approach, you’re better off addressing your gut symptoms by dealing with the source of the issue. This is the quickest way to start repairing the microbiome in the gut and improving your mood, energy, weight and sleep.
Repairing the Microbiome in the Gut
As you’ve probably realised, repairing your gut is about more than just eating kombucha or sauerkraut or taking some digestive supplements. It starts way more upstream of that, in eating the right foods and from the right sources.
It means choosing foods that are grown in biodynamic or organic soil, so you get the nutrients from the plant as well as the medicinal benefit from the soil, both of which promote good gut health.
It also means eating natural prebiotics foods that feed the good bacteria in your gut, and avoiding foods that cause inflammation or irritate the gut and lead to leaky gut and autoimmune reactions.
And if your microbiome is out of balance, it can also affect your mental state and case stress-related conditions.
Let’s explore how this works.
Gut Health and Your Immune System
Gut health is critical for healthy function in your immune system. Your ‘gut-brain axis ’, and it’s communication between our endocrine and nervous system is critical to the messages your microbiome sends to your cells to function properly, and in turn influence how healthy you are.
When you lose that communication between the bacteria in your gut and your brain, you lose the critical messages you need for your cells to repair properly.
This sets off a chain reaction throughout the body, and that’s when your gut and general health start to spiral down.
When you have poor gut health over a long period, you are more likely to be diagnosed with auto-immune conditions and/or neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
That’s why getting in early is essential, before your cells become permanently damaged or dysfunctional. This is exactly the reasons I created the Gutsy Girl Gut Program – to help people develop lifestyle habits that create a healthy gut so you can avoid this diagnosis.
You just have to look at how these sorts of conditions have exploded in the last 20 years – everyone seems to have an allergy, and both autoimmune and neurodegenerative conditions are much more prominent.
Alzheimer’s particularly in elderly women have nearly quadrupled, alongside Parkinson’s in males. And scientists are now making the connection with the importance of the gut microbiome and how these aspects control both our bodies and our brains.
Gut Health and Inflammation
Lower inflammation is the first key to healing your gut, because it means you can start getting rid of pain, dealing with your digestive issues and balancing your energy.
The foods that most commonly create inflammation in your body include processed foods, excess sugar and toxins from the environment.
Many of our foods from large conventional crops like wheat, corn and vegetables are been sprayed with glyphosate, an antibacterial weed killer. This infiltrates the soil we harvest these crops in and disrupts the bacteria living in that soil, when we eat that food, which communicates with our gut microbiome and sterilises it, actively wiping out all the bacteria living there.
This alone has made massive genetic changes to our gut lining, levels of inflammation and overall gut health. The importance of gut health is paramount in not only what we eat, but the quality and source of our foods too!
When you start eating the correct foods for you that avoid intolerances, histamine reactions and auto-immune flare ups, you’re able to give your gut microbiome what it needs to quickly lower inflammation and correct any gut issues.
Most people think that inflammation is all about food, but it’s as much about managing stress and anxiety.
Gut Health and Your Brain
There is a superhighway between your gut and brain.
And when you find it hard to cope with everything in your life, two things happen:
- free radical molecules are released that degrade cells and cause inflammation, and
- your stress hormones increase which affects the composition of your gut bacteria.
Both inflammation and stress hormones cause gut health issues and an imbalanced microbiome can also cause stress-related disorders .
This superhighway is a two-way street.
It’s important to make your gut work for you, rather than against you, so managing stress is an important piece of the puzzle. In working with private clients, I’ve noticed that stress is having a negative impact on gut health in 100% of cases.
Learning to manage your thoughts, feelings, triggers and emotions and to build resilience is an essential requirement for a healthy gut.
Gut Health and Anxiety
While stress is the sense that you don’t have the resources to cope with things in your life, anxiety is essentially worry about things which may or may not happen.
Some people are prone to anxiety, and just like stress this can cause problems with your gut microbiome. That’s why dealing with anxiety, your hidden stress triggers, and eating a gut healing diet, is the best way to start healing your gut.
Gut Health and Allergies
As mentioned previously, balancing and repairing your gut by lowering inflammation along with the right lifestyle and dietary changes can heal and rebalance your gut, reverse autoimmune conditions, allergies and intolerances and help get rid of your pain, for good.
The good news is you can do this without medications and drugs, but the hard part is knowing the right foods to eat for you and your unique situation, as it’s an individualised approach.
Here are some tips to help you get started with fermented foods and gut healing foods .
Gut Health for Beginners
If you’re ready to take back control, join my free live Gut-Brain Masterclass which will give you your next steps to master your gut symptoms for good, based on the latest Nobel Prize winning principles.
“There’s more to life than feeling stressed, fatigued and overwhelmed and my job is to help, support and empower you to take back control.”
“I knew exactly what to do, what to eat and when, but I couldn’t seem to get the consistency I needed to recover long term. Thank you Anna!! x “Sam L.
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