Simple Ways To Ambush A "Bummed Out" Gut From All Angles
Most of the time we just ingest food without even thinking about it. While we may think it is not affecting us, our body is thinking otherwise. It’s time to start listening to your body. Digestion, mood, health and even the way people think is being linked to their “second brain,” also known as their gut, more and more every day.
There are three main reasons why we should never underestimate the importance of gut health when it comes to wellbeing. Firstly, It’s home to trillions of bacteria, not to mention actual human cells, that work hard to keep you fit and well.
our intestinal tract (bowel) contains trillions of microbes. These are a hugely important part of our health: they produce different hormones and vitamins, and we couldn’t survive without them.
Secondly, the majority of the cells that make up our immune system are found in our digestive tract. Having good gut health is linked to fewer sick days and lower risk of allergies and autoimmune conditions. Finally, even if you put the healthiest food into your body, if you don’t have a healthy intestinal lining to digest it, you won’t get all the benefits of what you are eating.
There is no single way to tell if you have a healthy gut – it’s a collection of factors. Constipation, diarrhoea or stomach cramps can be signs of an unhealthy gut. But just because you don’t notice any symptoms, it doesn’t mean you have good gut health. Other factors include, how often you get sick, whether you are on a restrictive diet and what medications you take, and your lifestyle can have a serious impact on gut balance.
Making simple positive changes to your life is a simple way to get a healthy gut and wholesome gut microbiome. So don't let your gut feel "bummed" out, here are some easy hacks and tips to ensure you maintain a healthy microbiome, plus advice on what to avoid that could be wreaking havoc on your digestive system.
What Exactly Is the Microbiome?
Did you know, the composition of your gut microbiome is completely unique? A bit like a fingerprint - and consists of around a trillion microbes! Therefore, what you eat can affect your microbiome, which is home to communities of bacteria and plays a major role in your overall physical and mental health.
To start, an important definition: The microbiome is the bacterial environment within your GI tract, which is made up of thousands and thousands of different types of bacterial species. All together, there are trillions of bacteria within your microbiome.
Experts believe that all diseases — from neurological to autoimmune to cardiovascular and so on - are connected to the microbiome. The gut can also affect your brain, and vice versa. That makes intuitive sense if you've ever described yourself as having a "nervous stomach" or needing a "nervous poo"! It's also common to experience GI symptoms that seem linked to your feelings or mood.
Confused About The Difference Between Pro & Prebiotics?
Probiotics are microorganisms that can occur in foods; they aren't foods themselves. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are actual foods. But bottom line: If you want the probiotics in your gut to thrive, you'll want to incorporate prebiotics in your diet. And the combination of prebiotics and probiotics helps promote a healthy gut even more than either consumed alone.
What Are Probiotics?
Gut-friendly probiotics are considered the good kind of bacteria. These living microorganisms (or microbes) naturally exist within the GI tract and offer countless health benefits, such as improved digestion and immunity. One of the most obvious advantages of probiotics is their ability to keep the microbiome in balance. When you get sick, there is an uptick in the amount of pathogenic (bad) bacteria in your GI tract. Probiotics help knock out the bad bacteria and restore a healthy ratio of good to bad. Some food this good bacteria is present in is yogurt, kefir, some soft and aged cheese, many fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, tempeh and olives.
What About Prebiotics?
Prebiotics help boost the growth of friendly bacteria. If you're looking to support your gut microbiome, fibre-rich prebiotics are incredibly important. They're not digestible, so they pass right through your system, but during their time in your gut, they fuel the growth of probiotics.
Prebiotics are a type of carbohydrate, typically found in fibre-rich fruits and vegetables like asparagus, bananas, endive, chicory, garlic, globe and Jerusalem artichokes, kefir, leeks, onions as well as foods rich in soluble fibre.
Add some nutritious, fibre-rich prebiotics foods to your diet like Jerusalem artichokes, bananas, shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, potatoes, raw garlic, onions, honey, oats, chicory coffee alternative, unpasteurised apple cider vinegar.
Not To Mention A Synbiotic!
Think of synbiotics as a bridge combining probiotics with prebiotics. By adding prebiotics to probiotics, you may help the probiotics survive as they travel through the upper-intestinal tract to their ultimate destination, which is the colon. Synbiotic effects can occur in two ways by improvement in the host’s health after ingestion of a mixture of prebiotics and probiotic strains or by the promotion of indigenous beneficial microflora such as bifidobacteria after ingestion of prebiotics alone.