As per UCDavis, Gut Health describes the function and balance of bacteria of the many parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Ideally, organs such as the esophagus, stomach, and intestines all work together to allow us to eat and digest food without discomfort.
There is so much more focus on Gut Health these days, and concerns with leaky gut. Leaky gut occurs when the gut lining becomes irritated, inflamed, or damaged, and undigested food particles and microbial toxins seep into the bloodstream. Symptoms include gas, bloating, brain fog, low energy, weight gain, cramps, aches and pains, headaches, constipation, memory loss, poor immune system, and can lead to further health problems. We also need to be aware of the gut-brain connection. So, while we heal our GUT, we are also addressing our mental health.
Four causes of leaky gut can be:
~FOOD—food allergies or sensitivities and inflammatory foods (gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, HFCS, fried foods, processed foods, soft drinks, etc)
~GUT INFECTIONS—candida, parasites, etc
~TOXINS—medications, NSAIDs, mercury, BPA, etc
Gluten is usually the number one cause.
Test for leaky gut, do ELISA or blood test on food allergies/sensitivities to help learn how to start healing and which foods for you to focus on.
A few ways to help treat leaky gut is:
~ELIMINATE inflammatory foods, gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs. Ditch sugar, caffeine, alcohol. These foods increase inflammation in the gut, cause digestive upset and promote growth of unfavorable bacteria leading to gut infections.
~RESTORE enzymes, eat seasonally and “eat the rainbow” (fresh fruits and vegetables)
~REINFORCE probiotics (100 billions CFUs and transition to 30 billion CFUs when settled.) Add fermented foods (yogurt -not sugar packed commercial ones, kefir, kimchee, sauerkraut/fermented veggies, pickles, kombucha, etc.Other foods to add are artichokes, red onions, avocados, olive oil, nuts, ginger, quinoa, cruciferous veggies, asparagus, chickpeas, and sprouts.)
~REBUILD with L-glutamine, aloe, licorice, slippery elm, marshmallow root, zinc, collagen, amino acids.
One way to help eliminate sugar cravings is by adding in sweet potatoes and yams.
Prebiotics are types of fiber that feed the good bacteria (probiotics) in the digestive system. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast found in certain foods and supplements that provide health benefits. Both are needed for optimal Gut Health.
We all have a certain amount of enzymes, and as we get older, need more help with our digestion. That is why it is also very important to take enzymes with your meals. Especially if you eat foods that you have a sensitivity to, inflammatory foods, and processed foods,
It isn’t hard to start your journey to healing and optimal health. It is never too late to learn new ways to easily invest in yourself and your family’s health. Small little steps help get to big goals. If you add in more goodness, it helps take away room for unhealthy choices. Always drink lots of water. The amount best for your individual needs, would be half your weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you would need to drink 75 ounces of water a day. That’s almost 9 1/2 cups a day.
Taking probiotics daily and adding probiotic-enriched foods will also help heal your gut, along with eliminating trigger foods. Enzymes with every meal, and bless your food. A blessing over your food, helps digestive juices prepare your body to receive the food. Do NOT drink iced or cold drinks with your meal. It is best to drink before your meal. If you must drink while you eat, no iced or cold drinks. That puts out your digestive fire.
Those are just a few basics to get started. I have plenty of more detailed and personalized ways to put your HEALTH MAP into your hands and give you more specifics. Feel free to reach out to me for a free consultation to help empower you on your health journey.