Gut Health 101

Published on 1 May 2023 at 13:28

Gut Health 101! Learn how the health of your gut affects your mood and mental health, and pick up a few easy tips for how to keep your gut happy and flourishing.

One of the biggest takeaways from my health coach education was the importance of gut health. Your gut is often referred to as the center of your health, your second brain.

When we talk about gut health, we’re talking about two main components: stomach acid and gut bacteria. In order to have top notch digestion, both your stomach acid and the “good” bacteria need to be in balance.

So what about gut bacteria, what's the big deal? Your gut bacteria is responsible for so much of your digestion. Without the right balance of bacteria, & nutrient absorption, then digestion isn't optimal. Isn’t that what it’s all about, balance?! Why are we eating if we can’t digest and absorb nutrients properly? Kidding… but only kind of.

I like to think that we are born with a balanced body and then what happens from that point forward either helps or hurts our health (as a whole). There are a few factors that play directly into our gut health that are important to be aware of as we move through life:

  • Stress. Stress is a doozy and needs to be addressed! Stress looks different for everyone but let’s just all agree that life is stressful. It’s important to be aware of your stress and to try to do what you can to manage yours personally. Need ideas? Try implementing a yoga practice, meditation or even several minutes of breathing can do wonders! 

  • Diet. First I want to say that the word diet is a nasty four letter word but for this example it is merely being used to describe your daily food lifestyle. You are what you eat & what you eat affects your body. But you knew this already, right? Certain foods cause inflammation that can kill good gut bacteria and allow bad bacteria to thrive. “Back in the day,” people weren’t eating out of a box. They were eating fresh, whole foods and had to ferment to preserve their food. 

  • Modern medicine. Don’t get me wrong, I am a believer of Eastern and Western medicine. I believe there is space for both in today’s world. Having said that, it’s important to note that certain medications kill off the good bacteria in the gut and antibiotics clear out all bacteria in the gut. Again, I 100% understand that it’s important to be on certain medications and/or antibiotics, I just want you to be aware that these could disrupt your gut.

So what can we do to help heal our gut and keep it happy?

  • Manage stress! This will look different for everyone, so tune in to you and your body and do what you need to manage your stress.

  • Look at your diet! If you have constant gut health issues it might be time to really sit down and look at what you’re putting in your body. Some of the worst gut-health disrupters include gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and sugar. As these are highly inflammatory! And sadly it’s not just processed sugar; even so-called healthy or unrefined sugars like coconut sugar and maple syrup can cause issues if eaten too frequently. To really nail down if any of these are causing your issues, you may need to do an elimination diet or hire a coach to assist you.

  • Eat real food! If you don’t have any major issues and you’re just looking to boost your gut health, I recommend sticking with a diet rich in lean protein (free-range poultry, wild-caught fish, grass-fed meats), healthy fats (especially nuts and seeds), fiber-rich leafy greens and cruciferous veggies (think Broccoli & Cauliflower), and slow-digesting carbs (oats, sweet potatoes and winter squash).

  • Consider incorporating fermented foods! Good bacteria needs good food to thrive, and fermented foods can certainly help. This includes things like kefir, yogurt, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut… there are so many tasty options out there! Miso Soup is one of my absolute favorite go to's for fermented foods. You might need to get used to the taste of these kinds of foods, I'm still working on Kombucha, but trust me, it’ll grow on you!

  • Incorporate apple cider vinegar into your daily routine! If you are not a fan of vinegar like me, you can take this in a supplement form as well. 

  • Consider taking a probiotic supplement! My absolute favorite & one I highly recommend as well as offer, is called GUT HEALTH. But you want to look for a high-quality brand with a variety of strands. I get mine from Arbonne because its truly the most honest in its manufacturing and the one I trust most to share with all of you! But if you need something quickly I would recommend checking out your supplement section in Whole Foods if your area has one. 

  • Consider taking collagen! Some studies have shown it to help with gut health. I prefer a plant based collagen again for the purity and it being easier to digest overall!

  • Try bone broth! Bone broth is packed with nourishing minerals that are soothing and healing for the gut. There are super simple recipes to make your own, and most health food stores have started selling it too.

So that's quite a bit of information I have just thrown at you, but I am curious, what stood out for you? And what are you going to impliment moving forward? Please share in the comments below.

Love & Light my friend, Namaste'

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