What Is Your Gut Telling You?
by Rosemary Ferguson: Part 1
By: Rosemary Ferguson
August 5, 2020
Gut health has become more mainstream in the health and wellness space, but what exactly does a healthy gut feel like? Your gut health can tell you so much about your overall health. If your gut is off it can lead to a number of serious problems. The gut is often referred to as our second brain also known as the enteric nervous system (ENS) because it can operate independently from the brain.
There are trillions of bacteria in the gut (gut microbiome) that interact with the ENS and central nervous system. All components work together and tuning into ways in which you can improve your health through food rich in probiotics is vital in helping sustain your overall well-being.
Below are some of the ways your gut health can impact the following functions of your body:
1. Mood and emotional function:
Have you ever felt like you have butterflies in your stomach when you’re nervous, or felt your stomach drop when you’re disappointed? Your emotions can manifest themselves in your gut, demonstrating just how close the relationship between your brain and gut is. Research has shown that consuming a probiotic daily can significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and can even improve your mood!
As women we’re taught the importance of taking care of our skin at a very young age. We’re finding more information about the positive benefits of a holistic approach to skincare by starting from the inside out. Our skin is the largest organ and it gets exposed to so many pollutantson a daily basis. How can we protect it beyond SPF and topical treatments? Focusing on our gut health of course!
A happy gut will reveal itself on the outside through glowing, healthy, hydrated skin. In fact, a healthy gut has been shown to reduce and heal eczema, dermatitis, acne and other inflammatory skin conditions. Again taking a daily probiotic and ingesting gut supporting foods like yogurt and kombucha can be extremely effective in preventing and treating skin inflammation by restoring the balance of bacteria in your gut.
Digestive health is closely linked to gut health. Probiotics can help improve digestive health, as they can help break down indigestible fibers that would otherwise cause gas or bloating. They can also improve symptoms of constipation, diarrhea and IBS – so it’s clear how beneficial good gut health and
probiotics are for your digestion, absorption of nutrients, and regularity in your bowel movements.
Caring for your gut is essential for a strong immune system. The gut walls house the cells which make up your immune system, so any help you can give your gut will make a world of difference for your overall well-being. And it’s important to remember this all year long not just during the winter months or flu season. Research has shown the potential for probiotics to improve intestinal conditions like diarrhea, IBS and ulcerative colitis, as probiotics can reinforce your protective intestinal barrier, making your immune system so much stronger in the long run!
Why gut health is the key to better health
The purpose of good gut health and optimal digestion is to turn the food you eat into fuel for your body’s cells. So what happens when we are out of flow and experiencing symptoms of an unhealthy gut? Fatigue, inflammation, bloat, constipation, diarrhoea, weight gain, brittle nails, dry skin, sugar cravings, weakened immune system with more frequent coughs and colds (because the immune system lies in the gut) and hormonal imbalances – and the list goes on and on!
We make serotonin (the feel good happy hormone) in our gut, so this may be why so many people with digestive issues or gut problems experience low and depressed moods.
How well are you digesting your food? Do you experience any of the symptoms above? If so, it is most likely that your gut needs some love and attention. Eating the whole foods and ingredients while limiting and avoiding processed foods can be a huge step in the right direction. Try and eliminate any foods that you suspect may be causing inflammation or irritability to your gut health. For example, if gluten makes you bloat or causes irritated inflamed skin such as a rash or breakouts cut it out for a while and see how you feel.
Our gut does so much more than just break down food. It’s really important to remember that a healthy gut needs a good balance of healthy bacteria. There are trillions of bacteria in your gut (gut microbiome) that help process your food, produce nutrients, and fight disease. I truly believe that when the gut is repopulated with healthy flora, our overall health and well-being will effortlessly blossom. Eating and drinking clean foods support this healthy bacteria like no other, so do yourself a favor - check in with your gut and give it some much needed TLC!
To be continued....