8 Ways to Support Your Gut Health (without changing your diet)
by Dr. Alison Danby ND
What if I told you that your gut impacts your ENTIRE body? Having a healthy gut impacts your body in more ways than you probably know. In fact, a healthy gut is so important that many experts believe it is essential for optimal health and well-being.
In other words: If your gut isn't healthy, you won't be either! Gut health is linked to many different elements of general health. In addition to the obvious digestive connection, your gut can also impact your: Skin The gut microbiome refers to trillions of bacteria and microorganisms that live in the gut. The microbiome maintains homeostasis throughout the body, but if it gets unbalanced, it can have a significant impact on our other organs such as the skin.
Signs of an imbalanced microbiome manifesting as skin concerns include:
Signs of premature aging
Hormones The estrobiome (a bacterial colony in the intestine that can metabolize and modulate the body's circulating estrogen) produces the perfect amount of enzymes to maintain estrogen balance when the gut microbiota is healthy. Your enzyme balance can be altered in the presence of gut dysbiosis, however. This results in either a lack or an excess of estrogen, which promotes the onset of estrogen-related diseases. Brain Gut microbes convey signals that regulate brain function via neurotransmitters generated by the ENS (enteric nervous system). The ENS is located in the GI tract and controls practically every aspect of digestion as well as having an impact on your mood. Immune system. Around 70% of your immune system is housed in your gut! Just as the ENS works to send signals to the brain, it also works to send signals to your immune function. A strong immune system relies on a healthy and diverse microbiome!
Want to support your gut and overall digestive health immediately without a total diet overhaul?
Here are the TOP 6 ways: Slow down when you eat By eating too fast and not breaking our food apart properly, we end up swallowing big pieces which get to our small intestines and gather bad bacteria and yeast and not access the nutrients within our food. Be aware of what you’re doing while eating. What’s the problem with watching TV or playing with your phone whilst eating? When we’re distracted, our blood is diverted from our digestion to our outer limbs and our bodies become immersed into the programme we are watching rather than the food we are eating. Try not to eat too much. By eating a little too much your digestive system has to work overtime, causing a spike in blood sugar, an upset stomach, and feelings of lethargy. You could try eating little but often to combat this. Be aware of what times you eat. Eating late at night has been linked to many gastric issues, caused due to poorly digested food which may cause excessive acid in the stomach. Pay attention to your body cues such as your stomach growling, in order to correctly determine if you are actually hungry. Be aware of your feelings towards the food you’re eating. Research has proven that feeling guilty or negative towards the foods you eat can effectively discourage metabolic activity, slow digestion and cause your body to store more calories as fat rather than burning them as energy. Cut down on raw foods. Raw foods are much harder to digest than cooked foods, so if you’re suffering from digestive issues such as diarrhea, bloating or acid reflux, eating cooked food can help support your digestion. Take digestive enzymes. Digestive enzyme supplements can assist you in properly digesting your food so that your immune system is not alarmed by larger, undigested food particles that have broken through the cell walls causing a leaky gut. Take l-glutamine. L-glutamine is also known as a conditionally essential amino acid - this means that your body is capable of making it on its own, but it uses it in large amounts. L-glutamine aids in the gut and digestive processes. Book in with your Naturopathic doctor to see if this is the best approach or if other supplements that might be a better fit. Want to take it a step further to address your health problems? This is something that we can help you with! Click here to get started Dr. Alison Danby, ND