It’s no wonder that the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, said that “all disease begins in the gut” and “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
Your gut affects every aspect of your health. Everything that you eat is processed by the digestive system and this in turn affects the chemistry in your body. Therefore, if you are trying to move towards your wellness, the best place to start would be your gut.
The health of your gut is determined by 2 major factors. The intestinal microbiome and gut barrier.
Microbiome is the collection of bacteria and other live organisms that live within your GI tract. Many factors contribute to the health of your microbiome, including your diet, medications, exercise and exposure to the outdoors.
The gut barrier is the physical lining within the gut and is responsible for protecting us from pathogens and infections. This barrier can be compromised by ongoing stress, frequent alcohol use, processed foods and not eating enough plant based foods.
When these 2 factors are not in balance, you may be experiencing any of the following:
Mental Health Issues
Allergies and Intolerances
Poor quality sleep
Things you can do to improve your gut health includes:
Eating a diet rich in fermented foods, like kombucha, sauerkraut and kefir
Eating a whole foods, plant based diet
Limiting the intake of alcohol and coffee
Eating a diet rich in unsaturated fats (fatty fish, nuts, olives, seeds and avocado)
Avoiding smoking/vaping (even second hand)
Eating organic foods as far as possible to avoid the intake of herbicides and pesticides
Avoiding processed foods
Using a good quality, broad spectrum probiotic
Remember, taking care of your gut is taking care of your whole self.