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Does all health originate in our gut?

Our gut is a key adaptive interface that mediates many functions, and as such is central to health and disease. But poor gut health, combined with the challenges of modern life, and our complex environment, can often leave us feeling uncomfortable, sluggish, and sensitive to foods. Poor gut health can also have ripple effects across all body systems, affecting our wider health, for example immunity or mental health.

Healthy digestive system

With a healthy digestive system, the average person should ideally produce between 1 and 3 bowel movements a day. As a consequence of poor bowel movement, the longer waste matter is left to sit in the colon, the more that toxins will be re-absorbed into the bloodstream. Likewise, the longer the bowel wall remains in contact with toxins, the more time bacteria in the colon have to transform substances into a more toxic state.

Bolstering an efficient digestive system and healthy bowel function involves thinking carefully about the choices you make every day about, such as, what you put into your body by way of food, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, medications and other substances. In addition, it is important to support a healthy balance of bowel flora that is, good bacteria vs bad bacteria.

When it comes to digestive health, prevention is better than cure, and eating a healthy diet packed with nutrient- and fibre-rich foods can prove invaluable when it comes to supporting healthy digestion, as well as helping to reduce your toxic load.

You should try to eat natural foods, as close to their original unprocessed state as possible, that are rich in digestive enzymes, nourish the gut and support digestive health. Organic, raw foods are preferable, and furthermore, try to avoid foods that are laden with artificial colours, flavours, additives and preservatives – basically any chemicals that are foreign to the body and inflammatory to the gut.

What can help?

Keep to a mealtime routine, eat socially with others, at a table, mindfully, and away from distractions

Reduce stress, as it is vital to be relaxed to enable good digestion

Increase your intake of probiotic-rich foods: sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and kombucha

Keep a food diary and note which foods cause issues. Choose alternatives or minimise intake.

Seek the advice of a health professional, such as a Lifestyle Coach and/or Nutritional Therapist.