Gut health is somewhat of a buzz phrase these days. Drink kombucha for your gut, drink kefir for your gut, sip bone broth for your gut.
Let’s start with what your gut is: it’s a term that refers to your entire digestive system; your oesophagus, mouth, pancreas, liver, small intestine, gallbladder, colon, and more. Essentially the gut is key for digestion. It tells the stomach went to store food and went to pass it on, helps us absorb nutrients into our bodies, and sterilizes our food during digestion, helping us fight sickness and infection.
Beyond digestion and food, the gut affects our mood (and vice versa); which is why when we’re nervous we get butterflies or when we’re stressed our stomachs are in knots, and is full of bacteria which, if in the right amounts, can help keep us healthy, and if in excess, can lead to some serious health issues.
Basically, your gut health matters. If you’re prone to getting sick, it could be your gut health. If you have digestive issues, it could be your gut health. If you’re taking vitamin supplements but not really seeing the effects; you guessed it, could be your gut health.
So here’s what you can do to care for your gut:
Heard of kimchi? Eat it, your gut will thank you. Turns it fermented foods help to fill your gut with good bacteria, helping you stay on top of your health.
Candy and cake are great, and we love them too, but moderating intake of them is good for more than your weight. You know who else loves sugar as much as you do? Bad bacteria. They love it so much that when there is sugar they multiply in number. For a healthier gut, just cut back a little.
Broth. Make or buy broths, stocks and soups made from animal bones and cartilage. Not only will the glutamine in these heal the lining of your intestine, but you’ll notice your digestion improving too.
Remember that stress affects your gut? Stress induced gut issues can also wreak havoc on your emotional and mental wellbeing. Do what you can to reduce the stress in your life, whether that’s through hiking, yoga, running, or anything else that helps you clear your head and relieve yourself of anger, worry, and anxiety.
The more whole foods you eat, the more likely you are to get the fiber you need. And you might be thinking, so what, who needs fiber? But trust us, you need fiber. It’s what keeps things moving when you visit the restroom first thing in the morning.
Do be careful with fiber though, adding too much too fast can have some pretty grim side effects (did someone say bloating and cramping?), so make sure to ease into and not have too much (the recommendation for adult males is 34g, for adult females it’s 28g).
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