It’s hard to believe that over 2,000 years ago Hippocrates, the father or medicine, was the first to realise that the health of the gut was integral to the health of the individual and only now, are we beginning to catch up.
Recent research has suggested that an unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of diseases including diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, autism spectrum disorder, depression, anxiety and chronic fatigue syndrome, not to mention PCOS, Endometriosis and an array of other health issues.
Suffering from any of the above conditions or simply want to improve your overall health and wellbeing? Today I have included my top 10 simple and effective tips for a healthy gut:
Eat a wide variety of fresh whole foods daily – this will ensure you get receive a wide range of nutrients from a wide range of vegetables, fruits and pasture-fed proteins.
Limit proteins found in wheat, dairy, soy and corn – these proteins can be particularly damaging to our gut lining and as a result a whole host of health problems.
Avoid sugar, flour and high GI foods – high GI foods and sugars feed the “bad” guys living in our gut, this is something we don’t want to do.
Avoid additives, colours, flavours and preservatives – this goes without saying really! Chemicals cause a number of problems throughout our entire body, not just our gut.
Eat loads of fermented vegetables – for natural probiotic goodness.
Chew well and relax when you eat – Chewing your food properly stimulates the digestive process and as a result, encourages your body to start producing all of those digestive juices that will help you break down your food properly.
Drink 2 Litres of tepid filtered water daily – Cold water shocks our digestive system and causes the process of digestion to SLOW down.
Limit your drinks with your meals – drinking liquids with your meals will “extinguish” or “dampen” your digestive fire making it harder for you to digest your food properly.
Avoid antibiotics, steroids and other drugs that harm gut flora. Our gut is home to approximately 100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion) microorganisms. These organisms promote gastrointestinal function, provides protection from infection, regulate our metabolism and comprises more than 75% of our immune system. Antibiotics and other drugs like the oral contraceptive pill have proven to cause a dramatic shift in gut flora and it is now known that this diversity cannot be recovered after antibiotic use without intervention. This is one of the key focus areas of work with my clients, click here for more information.
Breastfeed for at least 1 year – A mother’s breast milk is FULL of nourishing probiotics that prime an infant’s digestion and GI tract for their future. Unfortunately, infants that miss out on breast milk we often be on the back foot when it comes to healthy GI function.