We all know the importance of having a healthy gut and digestive system, but did you know that there are so many illnesses, chronic diseases and conditions that can stem from poor gut health? Hormone imbalances, autoimmune disease, allergies, skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea, chronic fatigue and the list goes on. As we've mentioned before, our gut is home to approximately 70% of our immune system and it also contains a whopping 90% of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for making us feel happy. Do you have digestive discomfort or any of the conditions mentioned above, or would you simply like to give your system a reboot? Healing your gut can play a big part in making you feel well again. So, where do you start? This can be done in 4 simple steps which I have outlined below:
Remove the baddies! Remove any sources that could be causing issues, these can be food allergens or toxins such as cigarettes, alcohol, pesticides, heavy metals, chemicals and stress! Go organic where possible to reduce toxins and pesticides. Reduce stress as much as possible, try meditation and some gentle exercise
Replace the goodies! The goodies being the essentials needed for proper digestion. These are digestive enzymes and stomach acid, these can be depleted by factors such as medications (anti-inflammatories and antacids) or simply by the ageing process. So, how do we do this? Zinc & vitamin B6 in particular are required for sufficient stomach acid. Spinach, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts are all great sources of zinc. Oysters are actually the highest dietary source of zinc! Get your vitamin B6 from leafy greens, fish and poultry. Digestive enzymes can be taken in supplement form . You can also effectively increase the production of digestive enzymes by eating certain foods such as having a serving of papaya or pineapple before each meal, or a serving of green leafy salad or warm water with lemon juice
This is restoring and replenishing the good bacteria responsible for keeping our gut healthy and happy. Ways to do this are eating fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi and, or supplementing with probiotics. It is also important to increase prebiotic foods like artichoke, asparagus, onions, leeks and beets. Prebiotics are food for those lovely probiotics.
Now it's time to nutritionally repair any damage that has been done. What we want to do here is increase nutrients such as anti-oxidants, essential fatty acids, zinc, magnesium and especially L-glutamine. L-glutamine is an amino acid, extremely beneficial for the gut and helps to restore the gut lining. Dietary wise, cabbage is extremely high in glutamine, however you would need to be eating quite a lot of of for it to work therapeutically, therefore supplementing is probably the easiest option