Our gastrointestinal system is one of the most important parts of our body; our digestive tract is packed with microbes that completely outnumber our human cells: i.e. we’re more bacterial species than we are humans, so it’s vital that we nourish it properly and keep the gut flora balanced.
About 70% of our immune system lives in our gut; our nutrients are processed in out gut; our happy hormone, serotonin is made there; toxins and excess hormones get excreted when we have a bowel movement; and our gut bacteria also affect our metabolism and whether or not we gain weight.
We have a very delicate balance between ‘good’ bacteria and ‘bad’ bacteria, and when the balance is thrown due to our diet or lifestyle, we become susceptible to health and mood issues.
When we consume a diet full of processed and foods containing lots of sugar, it skews the balance of bacteria in favour of the bad species. Plus, when we lack fibre, come into contact with environmental toxins, and take antibiotics or synthetic hormones, the balance is further disrupted. When this happens, we run the risk of having long-term digestive issues such as IBS, SIBO, leaky gut, inflammation and even depression.
The good news is that there is so much we can do to reset our gut, feed the good bacteria and bring everything back into balance again.
1. Reduce processed, artificial and high sugar foods
When we cut back on the food that that feeds the bad guys in our gut, we naturally start to tip the balance back again by creating more nourishing environment for the good guys. If you start to read the labels on your food, you can get a great idea of what you’re putting into your body. Focus on food grown in the ground and you’ll be setting yourself up for a happy tummy!
2. Add in strains of good bacteria
Sometimes we need to give our gut a bit of a helping hand and top them up with some extra good bacteria. Forget those sugary yoghurt drinks you can find in supermarkets, and instead opt for naturally fermented foods like kefir or sauerkraut or go for a good quality probiotic supplement.
3. Increase your fibre
Fibre not only feeds the good guys in your gut, but it also keeps your bowels moving so you don’t have a build-up of toxins in the body. Every day try to pack your meals full of whole grains, vegetables and some fruits. Starting the day with one of our Instant Porridge mixes is such a great start!
When we’re stressed over a long period of time or we’re not getting enough sleep, our bacteria can be negatively affected. It’s really important to get those 7-8 hours of sleep in a night and find some stress reducing activities that you can do on a daily basis.
PS. Grab a pack of our porridge and you'll get a little more time in bed; all you need is water!
There is so much that can be done to take care of your health, and it starts with caring for your gut!
Written by Jodie Brandman, Nutritional Therapist BSc, dipION, mBANT