Updated: May 19
Health begins in the gut. No matter how healthy our diets are, if we have an imbalanced gut, we cannot properly break down and assimilate those nutrients to make new cells and keep us healthy. About 70% of our immunity lies in the gut and 90% of our serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter) is produced there, so the effects of a healthy, or unhealthy, gut are far-reaching. Read all my tips to help you to achieve and maintain a healthy gut.
Start with Digestion…It is not uncommon for us to develop poor digestion as we age because our enzyme and hydrochloric acid production wanes. Some symptoms of this are burping, bloating, gas, indigestion, and feeling like food just “sits in your stomach.” Taking digestive enzymes can make a huge difference in this arena. I usually recommend 1 with a snack or 2 with a meal. It is also important to address underlying issues that could be contributing to sluggish digestion.
Feed the Flora… Yes, probiotics are all over the news and for good reason. The microbiome of the gut (with 10X the number of bacteria as cells in our bodies) is essential to good health AND it needs nourishment. Taking probiotic supplements and eating fermented foods are important, but remember that you also need to provide pre-biotics to feed the bacteria. This is especially significant if you are on a Keto or low-carb diet, as you may be limiting these foods. Some good pre-biotic foods are sweet potatoes, bananas, raw onions and garlic, leeks, jicama, and apples.
Skip the Chlorine…. Chlorine is anti-bacterial, hence the reason for adding it to tap water. The downside of this is that when you drink it, the chlorine will kill the bacteria in your gut, as well. Another source of chlorine is sucralose (aka Spenda™), which is sucrose, a sugar molecule, attached to chlorine molecules. Chlorine is a known carcinogen, so skip the tap water and the sucralose to protect your gut.
Three Trains In, Three Trains Out… I learned this saying almost 25 years ago when I first started my life in the natural health field. If you eat 3 meals per day, you should, ideally, have 3 bowel movements per. If you are not eliminating regularly, your body will re-absorb toxins that were meant to be excreted. Taking care of your gut is essential to creating this balance. Please let your practitioner know if this is an issue for you and she can give you suggestions to help bring this into balance.
Cut the Glyphosate… GMO foods are modified so that they can be sprayed more heavily with the herbicide glyphosate. Glyphosate is considered safe by the FDA because it disrupts an enzymatic process that is only present in plants, fungi, and bacteria, not in animals. Well, since the microbiome of our guts consists of primarily bacteria, imagine what the glyphosate is doing to that essential part of our health. . . The most common GMO foods are soy, corn, canola oil, cotton (cottonseed oil), milk, sugar, aspartame (grown on GMO bacteria), yellow squash, zucchini and papaya. The good news is that organic foods cannot legally be GMO, so stay on the safe side and eat organic for your health and your environment!