A healthy gut and microbiome is about so much more than a having flat tummy and regular poops (sorry, but its true!). It is essential to our overall health in a number of ways:
-It impacts our ability to digest and absorb nutrients.
-It's a important detox pathway.
-It houses about 70% of the immune cells in our body, making it a critical component of our body's natural defense system.
-It impacts our happiness, since gut bacteria produce about 95% of serotonin (our feel good hormone) in the body.
-Our gut bacteria also break down toxic substances, protecting us and reducing our toxic load.
Those are just a few reasons that we want to nurture our gut and the bacteria housed within it. That is why, when FitLife asked me what I thought would be a good wellness resolution for its readers in 2021, I immediately thought "Take better care of your gut!"
Here is the article that I wrote for FitLife for the January publication with 5 simple steps for nurturing your gut. If you are doing all of these things, and not seeing improvements, then you may need to take more drastic measures.
The GI Stool test, which we offer at Back to Balance, is a great place to start, as it gives valuable insight into digestive function, intestinal inflammation and the intestinal microbiome. If you want to learn more about this test and our Gut Repair program, please reach out to me at email@example.com or through contact form.
What if instead of vowing to lose weight in the New Year, you vowed to take better care of your gut and microbiome? What could that do for your health? You may experience better energy levels, feel less bloated, see a reduction in inflammation and joint pain, spend less time sick, see skin rashes disappear, and experience fewer sugar and alcohol cravings. Imagine that instead of following a restrictive low calorie detox diet to lose weight, you naturally lost those excess pounds over time without effort. When my clients start focusing on improving gut health, the myriad of benefits they see make it well worth the effort.
So in this New Year, I urge you to take care of your gut! Below are my top five tips. Start out by implementing one of the suggestions below and over time, make them all part of your wellness routine.
1. Eat lots of plants.
Plant foods are a great source of soluble and insoluble fibers which our gut bacteria need to thrive and are also critical for proper elimination and detoxification.
2. Reach for cruciferous vegetables.
Vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage contain glucosinolates, which get broken down by our microbes, producing metabolic byproducts that reduce inflammation and risk of colon, liver and stomach cancers.
3. Take probiotics.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that we want populating our gut. Probiotic supplements and foods naturally containing probiotics such as yogurt, kefir, Sauerkraut, and kombucha help support a healthy gut microbiome.
4. Drink bone broth and golden lattes.
Bone broth, made from healthy animal bones, heals the gut lining with its rich collagen and gelatin content. Golden lattes are made with turmeric, a super spice that fights inflammation in the gut and throughout the body.
5. Manage stress & sleep.
Both high stress and poor sleep habits have been linked to negative outcomes for gut flora. Address stress levels regularly and sleep at least 7 hours per night.