You are what you eat — or more accurately, you are what you digest!
Every bite of buttery avocado or sip of steaming tea goes through a series of complex mechanical and chemical processes.
Digestion is fascinating business! It is your body’s means of changing food and drink into smaller, usable nutrients. These nutrients provide you with the ability to walk or lift weights, to grow luxurious hair and strong fingernails, and for your cells to repair from the wear-and-tear of daily life.
But not everyone realizes the connection between gut health and good health!
Ask yourself: Have I suffered from eczema or psoriasis? Do my joints ache? Am I struggling with depression and anxiety? Did you know that these seemingly unrelated conditions could be linked to your digestive health?
Why do we say this?
Fun fact: 70% of our body’s immune system resides in the gut! Many illnesses can actually be traced back to a gut imbalance or a problem with our intestinal lining.
Clearly, digestive health is critical. Without the necessary absorption of vitamins and minerals, we are more at risk for autoimmune diseases, colds, flu, cancer, bacterial overgrowth, and many other conditions. An imbalance in gut flora can lead to constant gas and bloating, constipation or diarrhea, headaches, nausea, and skin problems.
The gut also plays an important role in our mental health and behavior. Studies show a brain-belly connection. Consider this — when you are upset, one of your first reactions may be to feel “sick to your stomach” or to lose your appetite. Or you may gravitate toward that comforting sleeve of cookies sitting in the snack drawer.
Stress, anxiety, and depression can cause, or conversely, be the result of gastrointestinal issues. Even having a “gut feeling” may actually stem from the 40 trillion bacteria in your gut, nicknamed your second brain!
70% of our body’s immune system resides in the gut! Many illnesses can actually be traced back to a gut imbalance or a problem with our intestinal lining.
Here are five natural ways to promote gut health and vitality:
1.) Eat whole, unprocessed foods 🥬🥩🥕
Focus your diet on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes (a few tasty examples are chickpeas, black beans, and lentils). These whole foods are loaded with fiber. Fiber contributes to a sense of fullness and supports regularity. And because the fiber in a crisp, whole apple breaks down more slowly than say, apple juice, blood sugar levels are more easily maintained.
2.) Get a good night’s sleep 😴
Poor sleep has been strongly linked to weight gain, mood disorders, and inflammation of the digestive tract. And as we have learned, strong immunity and good gut health are inseparable. A night of deep sleep benefits not just our minds but our very important gut biome.
3.) Include a probiotic supplement 😎
Probiotics are good bacteria, helpful microorganisms designed to keep your gut biome healthy. Especially after a round of antibiotics or if you are experiencing gas, belly bloat, or diarrhea, probiotics can improve and restore microbiota function and bring much needed relief.
4.) Exercise regularly 💪
Good old fashioned exercise, as basic as it sounds, can help with not only gas and bloating but exciting new studies show that exercise, regardless of diet or body composition, changes our gut microbiota. These studies also identify links between healthy gut biomes due to exercise and beneficial colorectal cancer management.
5.) Enjoy high-quality, therapeutic herbal teas ☕
Organic teas containing anti-inflammatories such as malva and marshmallow leaves can be both mentally and physically calming. The common mallow, a demulcent herb, or one that relieves inflammation or irritation, has a long history of medicinal use. Mallows help to form a soothing, protective layer on the lining of the digestive tract.
Are you ready to have stronger immunity, mental clarity, and relieve chronic inflammation? Do you want clearer skin, smoother digestion, and the stamina to jog around the block?
Let’s boost that gut health!