Continuing our new year resolutions guide we wanted to discuss Gut Health. In this episode, we discuss what drives your gut, what gut imbalance is, symptoms and our secret tips to improve your gut health. Finally, we discuss leaky gut syndrome. Is it real or not? Stay tuned for this 2 part episode & give us your tips on gut health below. If you want to listen to the episode now you can do so by CLICKING HERE!
We all have heard of heartburn, gas, bloating and constipation. As we age all of our natural body functions start to slow down making these symptoms worse. But there are things we can do to improve gut health and to become more aware.
♡ What drives your gut?
Stomach acid changes
Your gut’s immunity or immune system and the GI flora
Note: the GI flora is the ecosystem of bacteria that governs your digestive tract - yes your body contains normal bacteria that are native or belong to the gut (you also have the same thing in your mouth, vagina, etc.)
The GI flora or gut microbiome in each person houses between 300-500 different species of bacteria.
Most of these are needed and beneficial while some are bad and cause infection. This is an important point that a lot of people may not know but do now!
♡ Gut Imbalance
A gut imbalance can decrease your ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar and store fat. More than that, an unhealthy gut can lead to a variety of symptoms including an upset stomach, unintentional weight changes, sleep disturbances or fatigue, skin irritation, autoimmune conditions, food intolerances (i.e.: having difficulty digesting or exhibiting certain symptoms like bloating). These are all thought to come from the inflammatory response that your gut creates in response to sedentary lifestyles (which literally means having a POOR diet) or bacterial overgrowth.
♡ Secret Tips
To improve your gut health:
Sleep more, stress less
Add probiotics (kefir or other fermented pickled foods) and prebiotics
Gut resetting cleanse (there are different ways to do this)
Drink more water and decaf tea (i.e.: chamomile and ginger)
Exercise regularly especially when bloated
Eat the right foods (more fiber less processed foods). In other words, more fruits and vegetables but less sugar
See a doctor when/if needed
Now that you know all of this let's talk about something that is growing in popularity.
♡ Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome. You’ve heard of it but do you know what it is? Let’s talk and get personal. It is thought to be caused because of an immune response to germs or toxins or other substances that have been absorbed into the bloodstream via this so called “leaky” bowel. Normally, your gut or intestines are lined with a tight barrier that controls what does and doesn’t get absorbed.
Fun fact: your gut covers more than 4,000 square feet of surface area.
How does your bowel actually get leaky?! It occurs when the bowel lining or the mucosal barrier becomes irritated by certain substances (i.e.: bacteria, poor diet, antibiotics) that cause the gut to become leaky (in other words, opening up pores or holes in the gut) leading to a variety of symptoms due to inflammation.
It is thought to be linked to food allergies, migraine, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, asthma, autoimmune conditions (such as, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes), skin manifestations (eczema, scleroderma, acne), obesity, mental illness and autism. But no human studies have demonstrated this to date. This is all a developing concept and has not yet been scientifically definitive or accepted as a diagnosis.
♡ Who can get Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Who gets this? Some people who are genetically predisposed can get this making them more sensitive to changes in the digestive system but also in the western world this is becoming more common due to our lifestyles. The typical western diet is low in fiber and high in sugar which can impact your gut in a negative way. Other things such as smoking, alcohol and stress can further worsen this.
♡ Low FODMAP is Key
A healthy gut is so important and a low FODMAP diet will help with that.
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols so to break it down further:
Oligosaccharides: Wheat, rye, legumes and various fruits and vegetables, such as garlic and onions.
Disaccharides: Milk, yogurt and soft cheese. Where Lactose is the main carb.
Monosaccharides: Various fruit including figs, mangos, and sweeteners such as, honey and agave nectar. Where Fructose is the main carb.
Polyols: Certain fruits and vegetables including blackberries and lychee, as well as some low-calorie sweeteners like those in sugar-free gum
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