Healthy Gut …. Healthy Skin
Did you know that your gut function can affect all aspects of your health?
Over 2000 years ago Hippocrates said “All disease begins in the gut” and today it is not just Naturopaths that believe this to be true. Today modern medicine is finding more and more evidence that your gut health affects all your health. These new links include gut - brain link, gut - immune link, gut - metabolism link, gut - skin link and even a gut - eye link.
So what is happening in your gut affects your ability to lose weight, fight infections, and concentrate on your tasks and even how clear your skin is.
So when we talk about the gut and gut health what do we mean and what can go wrong?
Our digestion is the process of taking in food, breaking it down into small enough particles so we can absorb the nutrients and then eliminating what we don’t want. So for us to be able to do that we need a lot of help from specialized fluids such as acids and enzymes as well a host of bacteria that live in our gut. This process relies on a strong resilient gut lining and a healthy immune system (80% of our immune system is found in our gut).
The main things that go wrong:
- The gut is not breaking down of our food resulting in fermentation creating wind and bloating, this is usually due to insufficient stomach acid, digestive enzymes, dybiosis (imbalance of bacterial flora), stress or food allergies
- Insufficient elimination resulting in constipation, infections or dysbiosis in the gut
- Gut lining damage allowing particles to enter our body that shouldn’t which then causes stress to the immune system and liver. Unfortunately this is linked to many chronic diseases and problems that we see today.
So what can I do to improve my gut health?
- Firstly increase your mindfulness around eating
Only eat when you are hungry
Eat slowly and mindfully
Take time to note which foods sit well with you and ones that don’t
Eat a clean diet (avoid sugary or processed foods, gluten, dairy, deep fried foods, artificial sweeteners, alcohol etc. as these can damage the gut lining and affect the gut flora)
Eat vegetables, fish, meat, nuts and seeds, bone broths, fermented foods and collagen to help repair the gut lining
- Manage your stress .. yep it is a key driver of poor gut health
- Quality sleep … yes sleep is one of the corner stones of overall health (allowing our body to rest and repair) can help with gut function and like-wise better gut health can help sleep
Supplements to help
- Bitter herbs – stimulate the secretion of stomach acid and digestive enzymes
- Fermented foods – sauerkraut, yoghurt, kombucha (start in small doses first)
- Collagen peptides to help heal the gut lining
- FOS – prebiotic to feed the good bacteria in your gut
- Probiotics - a blend of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species
If you need more help ..find a Naturopath or Functional Medicine Doctor