All You Need to Know: Gut Health
Gut health. The key to happy insides, a healthy body, strong immune system and high energy levels, but also something uncomprehendingly confusing. What is a healthy gut, how do I achieve one, and how do I know if mines happy or not? All questions we often wondered too, and all questions we struggled to find the answers to. With our naturopath, Anastasia, joining the team recently, we're now learning more and more each day, so it's time to explain the gut for good.
WHAT IS A HEALTHY GUT?
Your gut is your gastroinestinal tract: starting where the food goes in and ending where the waste comes out. The stomach, small and large intestines are all part of it too, which are made up of good and bad bacteria. A healthy gut will have more good bacteria than bad (85% to 15% to be accurate), have normal contractions when food is consumed and will be able to digest the food that comes through, taking the vitamins and minerals that it needs and sending the rest off to be disposed of.
IS MY GUT HEALTHY?
You drink your green juice, eat your kale and quinoa and drink plenty of water yet come evening, it's more 6 months pregnant than super healthy yogi. Now obviously some evening bloating is completely expected compared to the morning, that food has to be stored somewhere after all, but chances are if it's uncomfortable and often, your gut's not too happy. An unhappy gut doesn't just come from processed food either -wholesome, natural ingredients can be just as difficult on your digestive system.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
The most important thing, write it all down. Note down how you feel after eating, and you'll probably soon see patterns emerging. Everybody's gut is completely different to the next, so it's all about finding what works for you. Even if it's 'healthy' doesn't necessarily mean it's healthy for you. Take team pollen for example: some of us can eat anything and we feel fine, others know their kryptonite such as gluten, dairy or fructose, and others often need to give their body a reset, with plain food and probiotics, because sometimes it all just gets too much for the gut. Yes, we're all healthy but each in our own way.
WHAT DOES MY GUT LOVE?
Again, everyone is different. Some guts need a little help, with probiotics and a plain diet of brown rice and steamed veg, others love the fibre of cruciferous veg and legumes all day long. But if you're looking to increase your good bacteria (which, as we've gathered, you should) start eating fermented foods such as kimchi, kombucha, saurkraut and miso.
And finally, your gut loves a stress free life, something we can definitely resonate with. So take your time and enjoy your meals: not only will the slower pace aid digestion, but relaxing and enjoying the food will lead to a happier tummy after.