Looking after your GUT

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Your GUT health affects more than just your digestion

Experts tell us that it is important to care for your digestive system. You may have assumed, quite naturally,  that this is because digestion is a vitally important process in the body – the process through which food is broken down into many constituent parts, and so that the nutrients can be absorbed and used, where needed, by the body, while any waste products can be safely eliminated.

While that is very true, the value of a healthy digestive system actually goes much further than this. Actually, digestive health experts place a lot of emphasis on the state of the digestive tract, and the colon in particular, with regard to supporting everything from strong immunity and an ideal weight, to hormonal balance and overall health and vitality.

All body systems are connected

The health of other key systems and organs in the body are directly affected by digestive system health, which includes:

  • the liver  – This affects fat levels in your body, your ability to lose weight, the level of toxins in your body and hormonal balance
  • the lymphatic system – This affects your toxic load and your immunity
  •  the immune system – as a matter of fact, a significant part of the immune system resides in the digestive tract – in tissue called Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue or GALT

The results of an inflamed colon and inefficient digestion can, consequently, result in or contribute to conditions such as a high toxic load, food intolerances, an inability to lose weight, recurring infections and hormonal imbalance, as well as conditions of the digestive tract itself. This may include dysbiosis, IBS, leaky gut syndrome, colitis, constipationdiarrhoea.

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.