A healthy gut is integral to a healthy working body.
If you’re ever feeling tired, stressed, lacking energy or motivation, have skin problems or food intolerances, then it could be time that you pay your stomach a little more attention.
Our gut (which includes the whole gastrointestinal tract, from oesophagus to the large intestine), is home to approximately 100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion) microorganisms, also known as gut flora.
When there is an imbalance in your gut flora, such as too much bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria, it can cause all sorts of problems, not just bloating and gas. Because most of our immune system is located in our gut, gut imbalances can set off autoimmune reactions leading to health problems such as hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, mental illness such as depression and anxiety, diabetes, chronic fatigue, skin problems, and other chronic illnesses.
Here are some easy steps that you can take to make sure your gut can get back to healthy working order. Of course, if you’re experiencing persistent symptoms, it’s probably best to consult a medical professional. But in terms of everyday health, we’ve found that these steps and a little bit of gut loving, can have a big impact on our overall wellness.
1. Remove inflammatory foods from your diet
Start by removing the foods from your diet that are adversely affecting your gut. if you're sensitive to particular foods, or have intolerances to gluten or dairy, etc, then you should avoid them in your diet.
These include inflammatory foods such as refined sugar, artificial additives, as well as irritants like alcohol, drugs, certain medications, and caffeine.
Although these may be hard to remove for some (particularly the coffee dependent among us) but no doubt your will feel healthier and have more energy when you remove them from your diet, even if temporarily.
2. Be selective
Sticking to a wholefood diet (particularly organic foods) will give your gut a rest, and time to start recovering and healing.
Increasing prebiotic foods will also help. Prebiotic foods are foods that good gut bacteria use as fuel which allows their growth and activity. These include foods such as garlic, onions, bananas, asparagus, and many greens. Anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric and aloe vera will also help.
Another handy trick is drinking an alkalising drink in the morning, such as a cold glass of Bare Greens with water and a squeeze of lemon will help to detoxify your blood and help get rid of toxins that can be in the gut.
Repopulating the good bacteria is then necessary to maintain a healthy balance of gut flora. Foods such as good fats, omega-3 fish oils, vitamins and minerals from fresh vegetables are important, as well as probiotic foods such as yoghurt with live cultures, kafir, sauerkraut and kombucha, will keep your gut flora happy and healthy.
Other factors: keep in mind that antibiotics and other medications can be detrimental to your gut flora, so take care to look after your gut after antibiotic use, and give yourself time to regenerate your good bacteria.
Stress levels can also have a large impact on your gut health. According to studies, stress shows both short- and long-term effects on the functions of the gastrointestinal tract. High stress levels can interfere with the brain-gut interactions, and therefore hinder the healthy workings of the gut.
3 healthy gut-loving recipes
1. Bare Berries Yoghurt
Organic yoghurt with live cultures, mixed with Bare Berries is a fantastic probiotic snack that your gut will love. The addition of our antioxidant-packed Bare Berries gives this an extra nutritious boost.
3. Lychee Chia Pudding
Chia Seeds are a great source of dietary fibre, which is important as it fuels good bacteria growth inside your gut!